Pop culture party

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  • DEVIN WEEKS/Press “Incredible Hulk” fan Cliff James scours rows of comics for older issues to add to his collection Saturday during the first Lake City Comicon at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. More than 1,000 people attended the inaugural event, which featured nearly 100 vendor and artist booths and countless guests dressed in cosplay.

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    Anthony Vela, as “Silent Hill” baddie Pyramid Head, creeps through an aisle of the inaugural Lake City Comicon in the Jacklin Building of the Kootenai County Fairgrounds on Saturday. Vela is a huge fan of the survival horror video game franchise and spent three weeks making his costume, which grabbed a lot of attention from other fans during the expo. (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

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    Dressed as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” sex symbol Jessica Rabbit, Kate Pasino discusses the joy she derives from dressing up in cosplay while attending the first Lake City Comicon at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds on Saturday. “It was my favorite movie as a little girl,” she said of the 1988 film. “I just loved the costume, and I made it all myself. I love sewing. It was a challenge for me.” (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

  • DEVIN WEEKS/Press “Incredible Hulk” fan Cliff James scours rows of comics for older issues to add to his collection Saturday during the first Lake City Comicon at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. More than 1,000 people attended the inaugural event, which featured nearly 100 vendor and artist booths and countless guests dressed in cosplay.

  • 1

    Anthony Vela, as “Silent Hill” baddie Pyramid Head, creeps through an aisle of the inaugural Lake City Comicon in the Jacklin Building of the Kootenai County Fairgrounds on Saturday. Vela is a huge fan of the survival horror video game franchise and spent three weeks making his costume, which grabbed a lot of attention from other fans during the expo. (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

  • 2

    Dressed as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” sex symbol Jessica Rabbit, Kate Pasino discusses the joy she derives from dressing up in cosplay while attending the first Lake City Comicon at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds on Saturday. “It was my favorite movie as a little girl,” she said of the 1988 film. “I just loved the costume, and I made it all myself. I love sewing. It was a challenge for me.” (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

COEUR d’ALENE — Spider-Man was hanging out in a tree as Marty McFly, Pikachu and the Predator casually strolled by.

Skeletor didn’t notice because he was busy taking selfies with fans.

This wasn’t in Hollywood, Seattle or even New York. This was at the inaugural Lake City Comicon at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d’Alene on Saturday, where more than 1,000 people went to interact with other superfans and celebrate their fantasies of fiction.

“It’s kind of like going to a concert,” said Jenis Roach, who dressed as a character from “Fallout: New Vegas,” a post-apocalyptic role-playing video game. “It’s community. There’s a lot of people who are interested in the same stuff you are.”

She said an event like a comic con — a comic book convention — lets you be a kid again.

“That’s the part that I really like,” she said. “You can come here and just have fun and be silly. When you dress up like a certain character, you’re reliving it, kind of. You can make it however you want it.”

Roach welded the metal for her cosplay (character costume), which was based on a “Fallout” protagonist. It took her 11 hours to complete.

“You can buy a cosplay and wear it or you can make a cosplay and wear it,” she said. “It’s fun to make it and it’s fun to interact with other people wearing it.”

The Jacklin Building was a cosplay wonderland as fans of all ages scoped out nearly 100 artist and vendor booths and enjoyed numerous comicon activities.

Kate Pasino sparkled in purple gloves and a long red dress as she portrayed Jessica Rabbit from the 1988 film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

“It was my favorite movie as a little girl,” she said. “I just loved the costume, and I made it all myself. I love sewing. It was a challenge for me.”

She said she loves Jessica’s effortlessly sassy and confident personality.

“For me, outside of cosplay I’m not very confident, but in cosplay, especially as a cosplay character like Jessica Rabbit, I feel very beautiful and confident.”

Another cosplay attention-grabber was Anthony Vela’s homemade costume of Pyramid Head, the baddie from the survival horror video game franchise “Silent Hill.” He spent three weeks making the cosplay, including the large triangle-shaped headpiece.

“I enjoy the fact that it’s an emotional game. It’s very dark, but yet it’s very challenging,” Vela said. “The monsters are just bizarre ... It’s just one of those powerful emotional games, and it’s scary as hell, it is. I can’t think of any game that’s scarier than this one.”

Lake City Comicon founder and organizer Nathan O’Brien is also the founder of the Lilac City Comicon held every June in Spokane. He said the Lake City event came about because exhibitors and fans have asked for another show for years.

“There have been some other shows in the Inland Northwest area that have kind of been a ‘one and done,’ and it’s frustrating to me because I see the potential we have,” he said.

He said as an artist, he feels it’s important to give artists a venue to showcase their work, which is a big piece of the expo.

And, he said, it’s more than a comicon.

“It’s just as much a pop culture convention,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for all different fandoms to gather and celebrate what they love. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Disney, comics, television, sci-fi. There are so many different things that intermingle. This gives them a vehicle to come here and show off what they love.”

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