Top 5 reasons why Flame Con beats NYCC!

-June 17, 2015- Sara Barton

On June 13,  Geeks OUT  launched Flame Con—New York City’s first LGBTQA+ comic convention. The spectacular 1-day convention drew over 2,220 visitors and brought together the LGBTQA+ fan community on an unprecedented scale. Flame Con featured a tremendous convergence of diversity and creativity. It’s style is a breath of fresh air to the NYC pop-culture scene. Start taking notes New York Comic Con! It looks like you have some competition. Here’s 5 reasons why:

5) The Venue!

As the saying goes, it’s all about “location, location, location” and Flame Con gets it right. The largest NYC LGBTQA+­ pop culture expo was held at Brooklyn’s opulent Grand Prospect Hall.  The French Renaissance-style palace offers a touch of 1890’s glamour giving it’s guests a magical experience. Walking into Flame Con feels as if you were in a fairy-tale. Elegant chandeliers hung above artists alley, complimenting the gorgeous balconies, classy hidden passages; and of course the enchanting outdoor balcony (where cosplayers posed for photos).

4) Gender Neutral Bathrooms!


Whether your a fan, press or a cosplayer, there’s one thing we all dread at comic conventions; the super long bathrooms lines. Yet, wait a minute, there were no bathroom lines at Flame Con! This convention miracle is all Thanks to Gender Neutral Bathrooms. Gender Neutral Bathroom are an elevated concept of Unisex Bathrooms (meaning anyone regardless of how they identify can use the same restroom facilities). The signs for the ladies and mens restrooms’ where replaced with this clever sign above. There’s been a lot of controversy in regards to Gender Neutral Bathrooms. Flame Con is proof that among 2,220 visitors, Gender Neutral Bathrooms do work (without incident) and have the added bonus of shorter restroom lines. (Even with 4 broken toilets, things still ran smoothly.)

3) Food and Alcohol!

This is a first- Good food at a comic convention plus alcohol! Flame Con featured an assortment of delicious sandwiches and snacks, along side a bar. While the Jacob K. Javits Center may have a variety of restaurants and snack stands, they’re barely praised for their cuisine. Flame con attendees could be seen enjoying their food; these sandwiches were made with love ❤

2) The Artists!

Flame Con featured over 100 creators exhibiting their talent. We bumped into former Japan Society‘s in-house manga artist, Hiroki Otsuka at table #45 (with his husband, Jason);  illustrator, Kevin Wada;  Justin Winslow, the creator of Robot and Unicorn; Tab Kimpton, the creator of British Yaoi, and much more! (I even got a nice artist commission for $1)

1) The Mascots!

The pièce de résistance: Flame Con has a mascot and it’s mascot has a sister! Flame Con took a page out of Japanese culture when they crafted these mascots. They capture the essence of Flame Con. This convention isn’t the only thing that’s on fire, check out that hair- Perfection! Nevertheless, these guys did an excellent job hosting &  welcoming attendees and patiently posing with cosplayers for photo shoots. Kudos!

Flame Con has dropped the mic-Boom! (We’re looking forward to next year)

photography: Sara Barton


Put me in the story: Avengers Black Ops Field Guide Review


Did you ever want a child friendly guide of superheros that was both entertaining and educational? Look no further because the, “Black OPS Field Guide” is a great way for young children to not only improve their reading skills but they can put it to the test with questions that will get them brainstorming too. The book true to its ‘Put me in the
story’ format is customized so that no two books are alike which helps fuel the future potential of comic book writers by allowing them to create themselves as a superhero.
Your child might like the fact his or her picture is featured in the book. So choose your child’s picture wisely. I suggest dressing your child as his or her favorite superhero.

The profiles for each superhero and villain are not the movie versions that your child might be more familiar with but instead are the comic book versions from the 616 universe. Your child’s interest might be piqued and they will have more questions and want to begin reading the comic books. Marvel does have some comic books for younger readers however the main comic book series themselves are not for children.

The only issue I had with the book was mistake made regarding Thor’s hammer the Mjolnir. According to this book it cannot be lifted by anyone else other than
Thor. This is not true. Mjolnir can only be lifted by someone Mjolnir feels is worthy enough to wield it and bestow its powers to. In the first Thor movie we see that Thor had to prove himself worthy again to lift it. Also, Black Widow in an alternative comic book universe was able to lift it and in a DC crossover Wonder Woman was able to lift it as well. Let’s not forget (*spoiler alert*) that the current Thor is a woman.

Also there was a limited selection of superheroes and villains that appeared in this book.I have to wonder why some of were chosen and certain ones were excluded. I think that they should have included, The Wasp aka Janet Van Dyke who is one of the main founders of Avengers in the comic book series. If Ant man is included in this book, so should Janet. War Machine should also be included as he’s not only Tony Stark’s best friend but also appeared in all of the Iron Man movies and was in Avengers 2. Then there is the Hulk, I wish a picture of Bruce Banner appeared with him as they are the same person. But that just the sad Bruce Banner fan in me crying sadly. Who they should’ve left out is M.O.D.O.K. He appears out of place as he was not in the movies. Instead they should have had, Malekith the Accursed who made an appearance in “Thor Dark world.”

The book is a good book for children and will have them reading and doing some creative writing of their own. On the off chance your child will notice the Mjolnir mistake or their favorite superhero is missing, or that certain facts that don’t match up to the movie version it will still encourage your child to challenge the Director Nick Fury and demand answers. On the other hand it could just be the adults doing the questioning while the child is busy dreaming what their superhero powers would be and how they could win in a fight against Captain America.