By Thomas Cassara, Staff Writer
LincCon 2019 transformed Gettysburg College this past weekend with booths and entertainment that filled the College Union Building (CUB) and Plank Gym. The CUB Ballroom was filled to the brim with booths selling art, pop figures, custom Harry Potter-style wands, and anime body pillows. Vendors like comic artists and writers, local toy and game companies and even a company that combined cosplay with charity attracted hundreds of fans from the college and surrounding community.
Fans of comics showed up to buy art and other merchandise, enjoy refreshments, play games, and have a good time with friends. Cosplayers enjoyed a safe space where they could dress up as their favorite characters and enjoy their community. Other events included a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament and a costume contest along with classic movies and TV shows always playing for any guest to watch and relax.
Before entering the CUB Ballroom, visitors were greeted to a sign titled “Cosplay is not consent.” The sign explained the meaning of the phrase and why it is so important to acknowledge. This was a reaffirmation of the commitment the college and event organizers have each made to prevent harassment. Upon approaching the entrance you would show the stationed DPS officer your wristband and be allowed entry.
Featured guests included Bob Layton, Bob McLeod, Seb McKinnon, Scott Murphy, Ken Hunt, and Mike Hawthorne just to name a few. All of the artists were friendly and happy to be at the convention.
Among the sea of cosplayers was a GI Joe Cobra Commander who represented a company called The Finest, a GI Joe cosplay group that raises money for other charities. Currently, they are working with the charity K9s for Warriors with whom they have worked for three years.
“What they do is they find dogs from kill shelters and rescue the dogs and retrain them to be service dogs for our men and women coming back with PTSD, loss of limb, and traumatic brain injury, at no charge to the vet,” a representative from The Finest said. “They’ll match them up with the veteran, have them come train with the dog for a couple months. Then they leave and the dog goes home with them.”
The event organizers made sure the process for getting in was streamlined while also being safe and secure. The event was free for students so access was granted once names were entered in to the system. Several booth were set up in the junction for fans to purchase merchandise and enter into raffles.