On Jan. 20, the first winter StocktonCon was held in the Stockton Arena.
StocktonCon debuted the event to draw in avid movie fans, wrestling fans and cosplayers for a day filled with intimate meetings with celebrities and fellow superhero fanatics.
Vendors sold a variety of items from toys and collectibles to comics and jewelry.
Spotlight appearances included former WWE wrestler Tommy Dreamer, Paul Blake, who played Greedo in Star Wars and more.
Cosplayers who frequent conventions see familiar faces at each convention whether it’s in NorCal or SoCal, said Robert Chapman intricately dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda.
“I like smaller conventions because it’s more intimate and the fans who show up are more passionate,” said T.C. Morgan. “I don’t want to go to Comic-Con and spend $3000 to meet this one person I really want to meet.”
This was Morgan’s third or fourth StocktonCon and he was dressed up in a Darth Vader costume equipped with a voice changer. Morgan typically attends as Captain America, he said.
Fans’ costumes ranged from classic superheros to video-game characters to dinosaurs.
“I made my costume yesterday,” said Amanda Carrillo, who dressed up as Navi, also from the Zelda series.
Michael Ray was decked out in a War Machine costume that looked straight from the Iron Man movie set. His costume was handmade by his friend for six months from plastic and rivets.
“The summer conventions usually have more turnout. This one could be smaller due to the rain,” said Justin Gomes who was dressed up as Naruto character, Kakashi.
Viral sensations known for their Deadpool and Spider-Man dancing to Taylor Swift video Kyle Baxter and Simba Van Gerpen also attended.
Gerpen’s Deadpool put others to shame with his charisma and commitment to the character, which oozed from every photo he took with fans.
Baxter dressed up as Newt Scamander for the first time. He said he usually goes as Spiderman but he got a Fantastic Beasts costume for Christmas and wanted to finally debut it. The rest of his costume was found at a Goodwill.
Baxter and Gerpen usually team up with John Jarvis who dresses up as Captain America. The trio does charity work and go to elementary and high schools to talk about bullying prevention.
Barry Tisdale who dressed as Miles Morales or the Spider-Verse Spider-Man. This was Tisdale’s fourth StocktonCon and he finds winter conventions nice because he can keep the suit on longer.
The Morales character brought more representation into the superhero world. Creators wanted to portray that anyone could be behind the mask: This resonates with fans like Tisdale.
“I always go as Miles because I relate to my character a lot,” said Tisdale. “I always loved Spider-Man as a kid but was told I couldn’t be him because Peter Parker is white.”