Sunday, November 2, 2014

Being a Stormtrooper is ACE

Asheville Comic Expo (ACE) was a one-day con held on September 20, 2014, at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. In its third year, ACE was founded and organized by local comic shop Comic Envy. The show didn't have a heavy emphasis on costuming (other than attendees and a few groups like the 501st Carolina Garrison and Carolina Ghostbusters), but featured a number of artists and vendors. Once again, my daughter (who was dressed as Deidara from Naruto) gave me motivation to get out and troop some more, plus I got to see a few local 501st members who I hadn't met previously. 

We had plenty of table space due to a few no-show exhibitors and a very convenient curtained storage/changing area right behind our table. I wish every show had something like this! Most of the items on display belong to Anthony Conte, a local trooper who is always very involved with organizing events in the Western NC area (and a great all-around guy!). My "Imperial Barricade Tape" also added to the ambience.

As per tradition, we took our group photo with buckets on and buckets off. One very interesting thing that I noticed while talking to fans and taking photos was that a surprising number of people weren't sure of our gender underneath the costumes---that is to say, they didn't assume that we were all male costumers. This is a distinct shift from past events where the 501st was considered a male-dominated organization and people were surprised to find female members in our ranks.

And, as per tradition, I got to see my friend Cheralyn once again---though she really needs to represent the 501st once in a while with some of her awesome Star Wars costumes!