-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