‘This is awesome’
Quad Con takes over Fort Frenzy
The mask that Robert Beebe, of Jefferson, was wearing on Saturday wasn’t for public health reasons. Although he wishes the cone-shaped mask would work in the same way.
Beebe sported a steampunk look at a Quad Con at Fort Frenzy. Hundreds of people attended the event, which offered fans a chance to dress like their favorite character, play games and buy comics and toys.
“I actually ordered the mask at the beginning of the pandemic sort of as a joke,” he said. “I thought I could wear it as an actual mask.”
He did end up wearing an actual CDC recommended face mask during the pandemic.
“I was going to wear it (cone-shaped one) at the store but was told it would scare the kids,” Beebe said.
Meanwhile, Kevin Ehrhardt, of Dakota City, was happy to get his hands on some new comic books.
“I got some cool comic books,” Ehrhardt said. “He signed them and did some artwork in there. He did some original artwork for me.”
The artist who created that particular comic is Camron Johnson, of central Illinois. He has done illustrations for comics, trading cards and novels.
“This is awesome,” Ehrhardt said. “The work they (artists) do is awesome. I wish I could draw like that.”
Tanner Gehling and his friend, Cody Cornelius, both of Carroll, were happy to have the opportunity to dress like their favorite super heroes.
Gehling dressed as Batman, while Cornelius did his best impersonation of Thor.
“He’s always been a favorite of mine,” said Gehling. “I like the comics and the new versions of him too.”
Gehling met Cornelius in high school. They went to their first Quad Con in Des Moines six years ago.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Cornelius.
He settled on the character Thor after watching the “Avengers” movie.
“I was in California when I saw the ‘Avengers’ movie,” Cornelius said. “I didn’t like Iron Man because he talks too much. Thor has my attitude.”
Jade Yates, 12, of Iowa Falls, was attending her first one on Saturday.
She dressed as Sonia Nevermind from the video game “Danganronpa.”
Yates was accompanied by Skylar Warmbier, 19, and Rian Dau, 19, both of Indianola.
Warmbier dressed as Fiona Gilman from the video game “Identity V.”
Dau dressed as L Lawliet from the anime series “Death Note.”
“I like being able to show off my cosplays,” said Warmbier.
Dau said being around other people with similar interests is nice.
“Seeing other people that like what you like,” Dau said.
Ethan Becker, owner of Dungeons and Dodgers, 1018 Central Ave., was one of the vendors on hand.
He was pleased with the turnout.
“Tons of people and it’s been like that all day,” Becker said. “We have a cosplay parade, comic book vendors, a ‘Smash Brothers’ video game tournament and lots of other stuff.”
John Wells, Davenport, was the event coordinator.
He was sporting a pair of bright pink pants for the convention.
“It’s so people know I’m the boss,” he said.
Wells coordinates Quad Cons all over the Midwest.
“We do these shows from St. Louis to Rockford, Illinois, to Omaha,” he said. “Fort Frenzy was nice enough to let us try a show here. Vendors and artists from as far away as St. Louis are here.”
In terms of products, Wells said there was a nice variety.
“We have comics and toys worth two, three or four thousand dollars,” he said. “We also have comics that are a dollar for our more casual fans. There’s something for everybody.”
According to Wells, about 400 people had already been through the door by noon. And the show didn’t conclude until 4 p.m.
“We have had close to 400 people here, which is right on target,” Wells said.
There was a time when cosplay wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now, according to Wells. But that has changed quite a bit in recent years.
“Pop culture is really part of the mainstream now,” he said. “Shows like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ have helped make it mainstream.”