Comic cons. The epitome of nerd culture. The only places where people can walk around dressed in orange martial arts gi’s, robot costumes and two-foot-long plastic horns and call other people weirdos for not doing it. There are several major comic cons all over the country including famous ones in San Diego, New York, and Atlanta. However, recent nerds, and I use the term lovingly as a card-carrying member, have begun trying to host them in smaller cities as well, including Charleston, South Carolina. The only con I had ever been to before this year was Charleston’s and while I could see the effort put into it there was still much to be desired. So, you can imagine my skepticism at how well college students could put together a con in one room of a recreation building. If you were there, I’m sure you shared in my surprise of how amazing CougarCon 2019 turned out to be.
First and foremost, I have to give props to the guy who ran the entire event, Drew Ayers. He is a graduating senior, a member of the Cougar Activities Board, and someone who if you’re reading this you probably already know because he seems to know everyone. After that, I also have to shout out all of the other volunteers who worked to make the event come together so well. There were far too many to name, but every person on staff deserves a small Goku shaped gold medal for their efforts. While I was one of those volunteers my job consisted of mainly sitting at a table and looking excited so I’d happily take an even smaller silver sized one.
The dedication of all the volunteers is prime example of the most important factor in making the event so successful: the enthusiasm. Every person there from the volunteers to the con-goers were out of their minds with excitement. There was a Dungeons and Dragons table that I’m pretty sure went on for so long they had to take it outside. There was a cosplay contest with people-sized pokemon, a completely blue Navi girl from Avatar, and a Miles Morales Spiderman costume so good I thought the guy might have legitimately snuck it out of some vault at Marvel Studios.
The most impressive thing about the entire event though was that this was only the second year that CougarCon has taken place and they got it so right already. I was also told that there would be an even bigger convention held by CofC anime club in March that’s supposed to take up all four floors of Stern. While I’ve never been to it myself I can say that if it is half as good as CougarCon was it will be a day well spent.