Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Recreation Committee hosts Comic Con, Super Smash Bros. tournament, cosplay contest

Kuba Bard

Generations of friends and fans alike flip through the ink-scented, vivid pages of a comic book. Passed-down collections allow beloved characters like Superman and Spider-Man to fight the same villains but find a regenerated purpose to entertain a new cohort of fans.

Campus Events + Entertainment Recreation Committee and Longhorn Gaming partnered to host Comic Con this Thursday in the Texas Union Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom. The free event will present over forty booths, a Super Smash Bros. tournament, a cosplay contest, arcade machines and a caricaturist. 

“(Comic Con) has been something that I’ve wanted to do since I became a member of the organization,” said Abraham Rodriguez, mathematics senior and chair of the Recreation Committee. “Our slogan is ‘we turn hobbies into events,’ so this year, we’ve been trying to do a lot more nostalgic and doing a lot of things related to a sense of belonging.”

Each booth, run by the Recreation Committee, Longhorn Gaming and other student organizations, will focus on a comic, anime or video game franchise, prioritizing community connections by representing several fandoms through themed games and giveaways.

“I hope people have an opportunity to meet people that also enjoy the same franchises as they do,” Rodriguez said. “The more booths we have, the more opportunities there are for people to go up to a booth and meet someone new who also enjoys the (same) franchise.”

Longhorn Comic Books, a student organization dedicated to comic book appreciation, will quiz attendees on comics trivia and raffle off #1 issues of Spider-Man, Red Hood, Wonder Woman, Transformers and X-Men comics. President and co-founder Kaju Daga said they chose to raffle first issues to introduce winners to the rich world of comics.

“Comic books have always been a representation of our current society,” Daga said. “People want to see our diverse society. … It’s important for people to see the full scope of our demographic in comics.”

President of Longhorn Gaming and mathematics senior Jack Alberts said Longhorn Gaming will host a bracket-style, single-elimination Super Smash Bros. tournament starting at 3:30 p.m. He said that competitors will be matched by skill level, and attendees can cheer on the contenders’ games on several screens.

“Smash Ultimate is the biggest crossover game ever,” Alberts said. “There’s almost 90 characters. … There’s a character for everyone, so that can really bring the community together.”

Rodriguez said the cosplay contest, starting at 4:30 p.m., will be open to all students and judged by the audience through Google Form voting.

“There’s so many different ways of cosplaying,” Rodriguez said. “(The contest) helps get rid of the barrier to entry for people who don’t want to spend money on a costume.”

While societal trends affect their stories, Daga said the essence of comic characters, especially their favorite character Ms. Marvel, stays the same, providing a sense of familiarity for all readers to bond over at conventions to come.

“(While Ms. Marvel’s) stories are going to change over time, she’s going to stay sixteen forever, that’s just how comics work,” Daga said. “Five years from now, my sister is going to be the same age as I am right now, and she’s going to read Ms. Marvel. It’s going to be a different story, but it’s going to be the same character, and it’s something that we can always connect on.”

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