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Yuma Artist And Cosplayers Showcase Creativity At Phoenix Comicon 2016

Stephanie Sanchez

Phoenix-Despite record triple digit weather, thousands of people attended this year's Phoenix Comicon in full costume and put forward their best effort to showcase their creativity.

The four-day event which ended Sunday showcased TV stars, authors and comic-book creators including panel discussions on pop-culture.

It also attracted thousands of cosplayers portraying their favorite pop-culture icons.

As KAWC’s Stephanie Sanchez reports, the event which grows larger every year is a great way for some local artists and cosplayers to showcase their work and network their way to organize future comicons in rural Arizona.

The Exhibitor Hall inside the Phoenix Convention Center spans over 312-thousand square feet and has over 500 unique exhibitors and artists.

You can find any type of merchandise of your favorite pop-culture icon. For $1,000 dollars you can buy a replica of Captain America’s shield or for one dollar you can buy old DC or Marvel comic books.

Among the hundreds of vendor booths at Phoenix Comicon this year was Yuma artist Gisela Coronado.

"Overall it has been pretty successful, people have been noticing us," Coronado said. "People actually remember us and they love to come back."

This is Coronado’s third year selling her hand-drawn fan art at the convention.  

She also hopes her artwork will serve as an inspiration.

"Maybe there is a chance that I can inspire a little girl or little boy who want to continue their drawing  or to improve," she said.

Apolonia Ruvacalba, an Arizona Western College student is helping organize a Yuma Comicon by gathering business cards for future potential vendors.

She said similar conventions in rural areas are becoming increasingly popular.

"San Diego is really popular and they have a lot of guests that are really famous, which is why they get filled sometimes," Ruvacalba said. "I feel if they had more cons around the year, more people will be able to enjoy that."

Then there is Northern Arizona University student Stephanie Stone, who cosplayed as a character from Steven Universe, an animated TV series on Cartoon Network.

She believes women’s roles in the pop-culture industry is rapidly changing.

"I think it's maybe underrepresented in television and especially for superheros," Stone said. "It's gaining momentum but they still need to do a lot for it. But I think for cosplay in general, women are taking over."

Credit Stephanie Sanchez
Yuma artist Gisela Coronado sells her handmade fan art at Phoenix Comicon.

Credit Stephanie Sanchez
Examples of artwork created by Yuma artist Gisela Coronado and placed on sale at Phoenix Comicon 2016.

Credit Stephanie Sanchez
A group of men cosplaying as video game characters from "Fallout 4" an action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios.

Credit Stephanie Sanchez
A man cosplays as "Bane", a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.

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