Hal-Con comes and goes in a flash

Fans drawn to the energy and the community of sci-fi, fantasy and gaming convention

For three days, Hal-Con 2014 brought together fans of all-things-geek. Photo: Sergio Gonzalez

By the time Hal-Con opened Saturday morning, the lineup stretched from the doors of Halifax’s World Trade and Convention Centre into the Scotia Square food court across the street.

But this year, organizers managed to keep the lines moving, unlike last year when hundreds of fans, including those with tickets, were left shivering outside for hours.

Hal-Con is a three-day convention with the purpose of celebrating gaming, fantasy, comics, pop culture and sci-fi.

“It’s just so great seeing everyone all together” said Ava Leahy. “You get some really cool stuff you don’t get to see in regular stores.”

Guests such as Mark Sheppard, Dan Parent and Gisèle Lagacé were there, and there were events such as a costume contest, lightsaber fight and gaming tournaments.

Thanos wearing the Infinity GauntletPhoto of Maxwell (from Scribblenauts).Photo of man as Wolverine (from X-Men)Photo of two men dressed as Sith LordsPhoto of committed cosplayers showing off their complex outfits.Photo of a person dressed as the mad HatterPhoto of man dressed as Twisty the Clown (from American Horror Story).Photo of people dressed up as Steampunk characters.Photo of security checking  cosplayer's weapons.Photo of man dressed as the Witch-king from Lord of the RingsPhoto of HalCon line-up overflowing into Scotia Square.Photo of a man dressed as Rorschach (from Watchmen).Photo of a man dressed as Donatello (from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)Photo of two people dressed as Patsy and King Arthur (from Monty Python).Photo of man dressed as Steve Urkel (from Family Matters).Photo of cosplayers.Photo of woman dressed as the Queen of HeartsPhoto of two cosplayers.Photo of man dressed as Obi-wan Kenobi.Photo of people dressed as Switch to 'Bob (Reboot), Sailor Wench and Dot Matrix (Reboot)Photo of light-sabre battle.Photo of light-sabre battle
Thanos wearing the Infinity Gauntlet. Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Maxwell from (Scribblenauts) Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Wolverine (from X-Men). Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Sith lords (from StarWars). Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Committed cosplayers were glad to show off their complex outfits. Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
The Mad Hatter. Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Twisty the Clown (from American Horror Story). Photo:Nikki Jamieson
Steampunk. Photo: Nikki Jamieson
Security checks cosplayer's weapons. Photo: Nikki Jamieson
The Witch-king seeks the one ring. Photo: Nikki Jamieson
On Saturday, the line-up left flowed into Scotia Square. Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Rorschach (from The Watchmen). Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Donatello (from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Patsy and King Arthur (from Monty Python). Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Steve Urkel (from Family Matters). Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Envy (Full Metal Alchemist), Ruby Rose and Pyrrha Nikos (Ruby). Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
The Queen of Hearts. Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are here for a birthday. Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
Obi-wan Kenobi. Photo; Sergio Gonzalez
Bob (from Reboot), Sailor Wench and Dot Matrix (from Reboot). Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
The Great Saiyaman (from Dragon Ball Z). Photo: Sergio Gonzalez
*insert battle cry here* The Great Lightsaber battle of Hal-con 2014. Photo: Nikki Jamieson
Darth Vader meets his match. Photo: Nikki Jamieson

Many attendees came in groups and cosplayed, which is the art of dressing up as a character from a TV show, movie, comic or book.

Grace Farella came down from New Brunswick with her friend Bente Van Ingen from Holland for her birthday in corresponding costumes.

“I recently got really into comics, so I thought I would cosplay as [DC Comics character] Harley Quinn,” said Ingen.

“We wanted to go as something that corresponds together also,” said Farella. “So Poison Ivy just came to my mind because they’re really good friends.”

Comic conventions are growing in popularity due to the spread of nerd culture.

“I love the energy that everybody gives off,” says Eric Larter, who also attended the event. “And the sense of community everybody has, not just at this con, but other cons as well. It’s the same thing.”

Hal-Con first started in 2010 with 1,500 attendees. Last year the event went over capacity due to increased popularity and turnout. There were 6,000 people at the convention this year.