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Carthage Comic Con

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On Saturday, March 4, the Cosplay and Pop Culture Club will host Carthage’s first Comic-Con. The event, which will take place in the TWC from noon until 6:00 p.m., will feature student panels discussing how popular culture relates academics.

“Carthage Con is essentially just a way to bring the nerd world and the academic world together,” Abby Kirby, ’18, said.

While the Cosplay and Pop Culture Club will be hosting the event and leading their own panel discussion, other clubs such as Pagan Forum, the League of Legends Club and the Video Game Club, as well as other gaming clubs, will lead their own panels with their own interpretations on how pop culture interacts with academia.

“The idea is that we are inviting these clubs, although everybody is welcome to come, to talk about something you are not only dorky for, but why you think this matters to Carthage on a very TED talk like fashion. So for the Cosplay Club, we are obviously doing a lot of how does cosplay influence the rest of this world. I teach fanfiction over the summer, so I will be talking a little bit about what that was like as well,” Kirby said.

Popular culture, to Kirby, is not just a hobby to be explored outside of school, but she believes that it is a tool that can be used in the academic setting in order to explore the modern world. Each panel will emphasize how their own passion outside of school can be discussed on an intellectual level. For instance, the Pagan Forum club may be discussing the discrepancies between the Marvel Universe’s Thor and the original myths of Thor. To begin, in the original myths Thor’s hair is not blonde.

“I think that is what I would like to ask Carthage to take with a little more seriousness,” Kirby said. “Obviously while we need to follow the rules of the academic world, we also should have the liberty to combine what is academic with that which sort of exists in the area of dark corners and basements and movie nights. These things are cool and they matter to people for a reason.”

Kirby defines popular culture as any media that is not considered to be in the traditional canon of literary works. This can include comic books, young adult literature, video games and many movies. Kirby complained that typically these mediums along with fan art and fan fiction, are disregarded as not being fit material for college-level courses.

“[Fan art and fiction] can be pulled off very beautifully and skilled, but it’s not really taken seriously because it’s representing someone else’s characters. But there are a lot of very skilled artists out there who still do it because they love it,” Christine Werden, ’17, said.

Kirby had noticed that Carthage has a blossoming community interested in popular culture. After hearing about how other colleges have had successful Comic Cons, Kirby decided she wanted to bring that atmosphere to Carthage.

“The goal springs out of my own personal needs and desires that I am obviously a massive dork,” Kirby said. “That’s what 90 percent of my life revolves around. For the most part, I know other people are really dorky, but to try and combine that with whatever your major is is often hard because to be seen as someone who loves pop culture is to be seen as someone who is a part of low-culture. I don’t think that’s entirely true. I think we have such a fascinating way that we can think about combining these two worlds.”

During the day, a room in the TWC will be allocated all day for various games to be played by anyone. As the event will be hosted by the Cosplay club, at the end of the day, there will be a costume contest.

If you are interested in hosting a panel during the Carthage Con, contact Abby Kirby for more information.

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