ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Comic Con is back for its second year in St. Petersburg.
When you’ve never gone to a comic con before there’s a lot of preconceived notions on what you’ll see.
Maybe some Pokémon, Sayans or Sith lords but one thing that could get overlooked in those presumptions is what a place like this means for those dressed in these costumes.
“I met some of, like my good friends at the last con I went to, so that was pretty cool,” said Aislyn Morris, a 14-year-old cosplayer from the Bay Area.
Morris has been cosplaying for a couple years now.
On the outside, she’s dressed as a creative version of Hello Kitty, on the inside, she’s loving every minute of this.
“I just like being able to go and express myself around people that don't really care if I express myself,” Morris said.
This is the first time she’s expressing herself at St. Pete’s Comic Con.
This smaller convention is in its second year and is bringing in thousands of people, like Aislyn.
“There's just a lot of support from the geek and nerd community,” said Dewey Caruthers, the organizer of the convention.
According to Caruthers, things went so well last year people were eager to see its return in 2023.
“You can tell they wanted this event last year and now they're telling us they are glad we brought it back,” Caruthers said. “So, I would plan on this event happening every year until infinity.”
Which the attendees are grateful for; so is Caruthers.
“I love seeing just the cosplayers who come in the door, who are so talented, who have spent a hundred plus hours on their costume and they thought out every detail to the extent that it could be in a movie,” he said.
Aside from bringing some of the most creative outfits together in one spot, St. Pete Comic Con is bringing businesses to booths around the convention floor to give them some exposure that might be more difficult to get.
“I like, like supporting the smaller businesses because it's fun,” Morris said.
Along with being on a panel, Aislyn is meandering around the convention looking at different prints and plushes while her parents follow behind beaming with happiness for their daughter.
“It’s really cool to see her develop herself and meet a lot of friends who think outside of the box,” Morris’ father said.
Something that means a lot to Aislyn.
“I'm very thankful that they are very supportive of it and are like, hey, yeah, sure, you can go do this,” Morris said.
For some, it might be odd seeing colorful characters from comics or movies walking around looking at Funko Pops.
But for those attending St. Pete’s Comic Con it feels like they’re right at home.
The convention will be continuing tomorrow as well with doors opening at 10 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m.