Convention-goers everywhere all have one thing in mind as of late. It’s “convention season”. Whether you love comic books, video games, or anime, there’s a convention to fit your interests. These events give you the opportunities to meet famous movie actors like Carrie Fisher, well known authors like Veronica Roth, or your favorite anime character’s voice actor.

Students here at Steinbrenner are excited for “convention season”, as some had recently gone to MegaCon. Marvel Comic’s Stan Lee, Doctor Who’s Karen Gillian and Arthur Darvill, The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus

Michael Green as Grell Sutcliffe from "Black Butler".
Michael Green as Grell Sutcliffe from “Black Butler”.

and Michael Rooker, and many more popular actors attended. Michael Green (Senior) attended as well, claiming it was, “fantastic as always”. It’s his third year in a row attending MegaCon and has been going to conventions for four years. He dressed up as Grell Sutcliff from Black Butler and Hajime Hinata from Super Dangan Ronpa.

Some students haven’t been to MegaCon, but rather to some conventions out of state. Mokshita Ashoka (Sophomore) is trying to get more into cosplay and anime, and has been to smaller events in the area. “I went to BookCon, which was in North Carolina this year! I’m planning on attending as many upcoming conventions as I can,” Mokshita enthused. She has been going to conventions for around two years and is excited to continue doing so.

The more interesting of the attendees of MegaCon was Mr.Kearney, our TV Production teacher as well as one of our English teachers. Mr.Kearney is no newbie, as he has been attending conventions for ten years. His inspiration to start traces back to a friend as well as his students from Chamberlain. “I had a friend who invited me to one. He went to a Buffy the Vampire Slayer convention and showed me footage. He actually video taped some of it and said ‘Oh, it was great!'”, Mr.Kearney explained. This inspired him to then attend Screamfest. He  ended up spending the night after that convention having nachos with four of the lost boys from The Lost Boys, the original zombie from Night of the Living Dead, and other famous actors. “It’s not so much like that any more, but it used to be and that’s what got us hooked,” Kearney claims.

Kearney’s other source for inspiration stems from his past students from his time teaching at Chamberlain High School. His students were assigned to write an essay about a nightmare and a third of the class wrote about Freddy Krueger. When Kearney passed on this message to the actor, Robert Englund, who found it fascinating. “My first autograph is up (on his classroom’s wall) of Robert Englund. He wrote ‘Hey punks! Homework or

Mr.Kearney  with his autograph from Englund.
Mr.Kearney with his autograph from Robert Englund who plays “Freddy Kruegar” in “Nightmare on Elm Street”.

death. Spell this! –Freddy K’. Englund was a really nice guy. I actually started getting autographs for my students in the classroom to inspire them to work,” Kearney disclosed. Getting autographs for students led to Kearney getting freebies from actors who deem educational autographs shouldn’t be charged.

Even though Kearney does not dress up for the occasions, he is seen as the “Jaws Guy”. “I just like being myself …I usually wear a Jaws t-shirt because that’s my favorite movie. And so, I’m the “Jaws guy” at conventions, because rarely are there lots of people wearing lots of Jaws apparel,” Kearney described. It’s an interesting take on the usual cosplay tradition, one that still expresses who you are without the wigs or expensive costumes.

As conventions such as MegaCon pass, and upcoming ones such as MetroCon approach, fans and con-goers everywhere grab their costumes or Jaws t-shirts in excitement. It’s certainly a great time of the year for fans of all ages and interests.

Hannah Makholm/Graphics Dept.


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