Hundreds of costumed characters mingled and posed for photos in Escondido on Saturday. But it wasn’t a Halloween party.
Fandom Invasion was more of a celebration of a way of life and a passion for those who gathered at the California Center for the Arts, and it was a much anticipated event for the Science Fiction Coalition, which had originally planned it. for November 2020 before it is postponed. because of the pandemic.
“I’ve always been a creative person, and this is my way of bringing out my creativity and having fun with it,” said Colleen Burks.
She and her friend Linda Shoberg were at a table representing Costuming 4 the Fun of It! and other associated groups, including one for Smokey Bear and another for Space Force USA
They were among 40 vendors and artists at the arts center tables. Two rooms were reserved for panels of cosplay, podcasts and interviews with actors from sci-fi shows, movies and related topics.
Organizer Shawn Richter said the Science Fiction Coalition was formed in 2017 and has around 200 members who dress up to attend various charity events. Members also enjoy attending many conventions, this being the first organized by the coalition. Members funded the convention and volunteered for the event.
“This is a show for the fans and by the fans, not put on by any company or business,” he said.
Costumes ranged from a sinister Darth Vader to a whimsical Alvin of the Chipmunks. The San Diego Chapter of Droid Builders International featured in-house versions of R2-D2 and R5-D4, while real sci-fi actors show off signed autographs on a row of tables across the room. .
At the Geekyguys for God table, Rancho Bernardo residents Joe Queen and Brian Slape introduced people to their Christian group, where members meet monthly to study the Bible and dress up.
Their table includes a graphic novel version of the Bible, and Queen said many comic stories about good and evil translate into Bible stories.
At another table, novelist Cynthia Diamond, one of the four authors of the convention, was promoting her series “Wyrd Love”.
“I love doing this,” she said. “There are a lot of romance readers in this type of culture. They are definitely my people. It’s really cool to be able to build relationships with readers. They become more than readers. They become a support system and friends.
Anna Rose, author of “Luci: Rhodes to Hell”, said the convention was an opportunity to meet fans of other writers.
“I like being able to talk to people and meet people and find out what they are passionate about,” she said. “If they’re creative, what they’re working on, or if they read a lot, what are they looking for that they want to read? What makes them vibrate? ”
Outside the room, Dr Justin Wu was dressed up as Transformer Bumblebee as he stood next to three decorated cars he owns to promote his Healing Little Heroes Foundation charity, which provides costumed characters to make visiting young cancer patients.
Chris Canole from La Jolla has been a member of the Science Fiction Coalition “since day one” and has said he attends 150 charity events a year as “Dude Vader”.
Clad in golden foam armor – the passage of the metal reduced his weight from 55 pounds to 15 pounds – Canole said he’s been into science fiction since his days at UC San Diego, where a teammate of his fencing team turned it to the genre. Fellow fencer, Ken Stanley Robinson, has become an award-winning writer best known for his Mars trilogy.
“It started out as a lark,” Canole said of his costume, which started out as a helmet with a Hawaiian shirt, but has evolved into a head-to-toe outfit that he changes every time. week. Canole said he was contacted by Lucas Films after he started appearing in the costume and was concerned they would send him a cease-and-desist order. Instead, they started working with him and he appeared at red carpet events and Disneyland parades.
Trevor Newton from Murrieta came in as the Marvel character Hawkeye and said the costume was inspired by his resemblance to actor Jeremy Renner, who played the superhero in several films.
As a member of the Science Fiction Coalition, Newton also appears at charity events as a character.
“I love doing charity work,” he said, “having people who embrace the character and making people smile.”