As a grown woman who sometimes still feels the sting of decades-past adolescent bullying and ostracism, I will never discount the importance of feeling included. Living in NYC, however, I feel comfortable embracing my inner nerd goddess without fear of judgement — and if you don’t like me, seriously, you can fuck right off. I get to attend and cover a lot of fun events for this website, but my very favorite pop culture convention is Flame Con: the largest LGBTQ comic convention in the world. At Flame Con, trust me, nothing is shocking and even a straight geek like me feels that she has found her tribe.
After a two year hiatus due to Covid, Flame Con made a triumphant return over the weekend of August 20th and 21st with full Covid safety protocols (vax cards and masking required) in effect, and I did not hear one person whine or complain about it. People acting like responsible, caring adults: what a concept. Congratulations to organizers Geeks OUT for making that happen and keeping everyone safe!
Stickers By Nicole Brennan
I have a lot to distill here, so let me break down the experience of walking the convention floor for five hours with a (large) selection of my photos depicting things that make Flame Con a fun and memorable event.
So Much Cool Stuff to Buy
Large Marge Pin By Stevie Laney
Do you have friends or family who love to receive cool pop culture-themed gifts like art, toys and jewelry? Why not do all of your Holiday shopping at Flame Con! Imagine the Pee Wee’s Big Adventure fan whose head would explode when receiving this pin of fan favorite Large Marge!
Whose mom loves the Golden Girls? She will surely thank you for being a friend when you gift her with one of more of these items from TOYNK Toys.
Who loves to read? Find out why MothBoy Loves The Lamp in this book by Teylor Smirl.
Do you need a small decorative mirror to keep in your purse or backpack? Who doesn’t? These are by Rencoco Art.
Does seeing actor Tom Hiddleston dressed-up as Thor’s evil adopted brother Loki get you all hot and bothered (guilty as charged)? Take your fantasy to the next level by getting your significant other this Loki cosplayers helmet by artist Carol Datura Riot. Hot!
Adorable Mini Characters By Zuccnini
If you are a regular reader, or know me IRL, then you understand that cuteness is my jam. There are so many exhibiting artists selling cute stuff at Flame Con, you may find yourself emitting one long continuous squee. The little guys pictured above can be worn on a cord around your neck, hung as ornaments on a holiday tree, or displayed in your home as part of your collection of things that are cute. So. Many. Options.
Behold: knit mini creatures by Stardust Strings. I am dead now, from the cuteness.
The cuteness is strong with these plushies (by artist Brownie Chan) of the Phoenix and Edgeworth characters from Ace Attorney, a series of visual novel adventure video games. So cute, I can’t even live.
Cosplayers are the martial artists and fire jugglers of Flame Con, and they deserve your respect.
Do you like What We Do in The Shadows? I sure do. Hats off to this very excellent Nadja, who was so statuesque, I had to get really low to the ground to get all of them in the frame. Worth it.
The best Cosplayers are the ones who aren’t afraid to strike a pose for a nerd goddess like me. This fan is dressed as Blue Sapphire from Steven Universe. You can tell they know how to have a good time at any party.
Judy from Animal Crossing: Amazing likeness!
I need to see this hairstyle start trending.
Princess Bubblegum from Adventuretime: My absolute favorite.
Wouldn’t life be so much more fun and interesting if people just dressed like this all the time? I think so.
This event photographer dressed like Pikachu also had a small dog in costume with him. They were the hit of the show!
People Saying What They Mean
Hungry Cat By CR Scannell
When you have a message that you want to put out there, don’t mince words, just say it.
Bumper Sticker By Archie Bongiovanni
It is so refreshing to know where people stand.
Because Silence Equals Death.
Devil Sticker By Stevie Eng
Not Dead Shirt By Gawki
Not Dead, get it?
The Fan Art
‘Light Up’ Sacred Heart of Ironman By Pineapple Breads
If you never imagined that you would want to rub one out to a drawing of an Elf Avatar, then you haven’t seen this:
Elf Art By Andrea Kendrick
Art By Koi
Tom Sturridge as Dream By Scott Bratek
I was very excited to actually know who this character is, having just watched The Sandman series on Netflix (highly recommended)!
How excellent are these drawings of Freddie and Frank, by the ridiculously talented Nicole Brennan? So excellent.
Jasmine and Ariel Ship By Caroline’s Art Studio
Many of these artist fans love to imagine two of their favorite characters in same-sex romances. This is called “shipping,” as in relationship-ping.
Adventuretime characters Marceline the Vampire Queen and Princess Bubblegum ship by artist Jeremy Fuscaldo.
Google “He asked for no pickles” to go down a deep rabbit hole on the meaning behind this fun fan art by Chelsea E. Ortega. The character is from Hunter × Hunter.
That’s all for now! See you next year!