A pint-sized Supergirl swooped through the line, posing at regular intervals with well-wishers and fans attending the Oak Harbor Library Comicon.
She came flying into the venue, disclosing to a Daily Planet reporter that her alter-ego is a young girl named Katrina Daggett, who brought along her father, Steve, for the event.
It was the perfect cover story.
“I like being Supergirl,” said Katrina Daggett.
Steve Daggett said he wanted his daughter to experience the fun of Comicons that he’s had in the past.
“I’ve been to a couple Comicons in San Diego and Seattle, so when I saw an Oak Harbor Comicon, I was like, ‘have to go,’” he said.
Meanwhile, a hulking form cast a shadow on the Oak Harbor cosplayers, a surreal kind of thing, because the 7-foot-2 form usually looks much smaller on an XBox.
John Groves, of Clinton, wore the iconic armor of Halo’s Master Chief, whose name is also John. Groves filled out 6-foot-11 of the costume by himself. The additional three inches came from the boots and helmet.
“He is the most accurate Master Chief in the world, and that is by 343’s own admission,” said Phil Shinner, the creator of the suit. 343 Industries is currently the lead developer in the Halo video game franchise, of which Master Chief is the protagonist of titles one through four.
Shinner said he spent 4,000 man hours creating the world-class armor, with 400 going into the helmet alone. Dustin Allen was also there, representing Bothell in a Seahawks Master Chief costume that fit his more average-height frame.
Groves and his entourage camped near a photo screen so that attendees brave enough to get near the Master Chief could snap a picture of the experience.
At the event, there were craft tables for kids and teens respectively with projects that changed each hour. There were also photo opportunities with Groves and company, a game table, a panelist presentation on cosplaying and a costume contest. Groves was not eligible to compete.
Jordan Broyles, also known as Deadpool, Marvel’s anti-hero that cannot die, drew his own comic while bouncing his infant, Harley-Rae Broyles on his knee while he worked. The irony of this dynamic duo was not lost on Jordan Broyles.
The library also established a partnership with The Book Rack, allowing the business to set up a booth and sell some wares at the event.
As Alice Fret set up the booth, the Book Rack employee said that the partnership was a no-brainer.
“Are you kidding? We sell comics,” she said. “Comics are my thing. We do everything that Comicons are about.”
Ashley Green, children’s librarian at Oak Harbor Library, helped teen librarian Jessica Aws and information assistant Zandra Triana plan and coordinate the event.
“It was initially conceived as a children’s event, and then we expanded it to have teens, and then…we all got together and talked about it, and realized that we wanted to really make it big and really worthwhile, so we opened it to all ages,” Green said.
She was in the guise of Yzma, “The Emperor’s New Groove’s” power-grabbing sorceress who turns the selfish title character into a llama — no llamas were present while the Daily Planet was on the scene.
Green said the library staff set out to plan Oak Harbor’s first comicon, given the success of similar, larger events in places like Seattle or Portland.
“Comicons are really exciting, so we wanted to do something for the island because it takes so long to go off the island to get to a Comicon,” she said. “We wanted to try to bring that experience to our customers.”
Facebook played a primary role in helping the library staff gauge interest in the event, Green said.
“It was amazing,” she said. “Within 24 hours, we had already had nearly 2,000 views just on (Comicon).”
An average post in that time frame for the library is lucky to receive 150 views, Green said, adding that the Facebook response to the event was so positive, that she and her colleagues received great feedback and suggestions, as well as attracting the attention of Groves.
Librarians initially expected the event to draw about 50 people, Green said, but Oak Harbor Comicon neared 400 attendees.
“It’s really exciting what is going on,” Green said. “We’re hoping maybe in the future to be able to continue on with this vein, maybe make it bigger. We’re just really excited that there’s such a positive response to it and that people really wanted to come out and see what we all have at the library.”