It’s not every day you see a Ghostbuster talking with the murderous Michael Myers from the “Halloween” movies.
But it’s par for the course at Alabama Fanaticon, a pop-culture fan festival being held this weekend in downtown Dothan.
The convention kicked off Friday at 5 p.m. at the Wiregrass Museum of Art. Events will run through Sunday at the museum, Dothan Civic Center and Dothan Opera House.
The start of Fanaticon coincided with the last Foster Fest of the year. Cosplayers in character costumes took a walk down Foster Street just before sundown on Friday.
The three-day convention is a trade show that focuses on pop culture genres from animation and gaming to comic books and movies.
Vendors offered a variety of products for sale, from lightsabers and comic books to shirts and backpacks.
Panels and workshops offered ways for people to immerse themselves in multiple genres, including wrestling and science fiction.
Little Red Fox, one of the workshop hosts, offered advice on taking cosplay to the next level, giving tips on how to make costumes “pop” by adding detail.
She grew up around dancing and theater and her mom was a seamstress. “My mom used to volunteer a lot for the costuming department,” she said. “Because these things take a lot of time she would start handing us projects.”
She judges a lot of costume contests at the conventions she attends each year. She said people who enter like to show off their best work.
“You start to notice there are certain things that people are doing that consistently catch eyes,” she said.
Halloween season is a good time to buy props and costumes off the rack and improve them. Painting an item with black acrylic then rubbing off the paint can add depth and shadows.
She said her number one tool in piecing together fabric for costumes is an iron. Cutting pieces right the first time and either ironing or smoothing them with steam means the seams won’t warp and the finished item will fit correctly.
ZombieFishie conducted a workshop on foamsmithing. Foam materials are used to fashion lightweight shields and armor for costumes, and she talked about using craft foam, core board and other materials to make accessories that look like the real thing.
She talked about how to put materials together, by hand stitching or using a sewing machine, so they fit and work properly.
A discussion conducted by Complete Nerd Authority, based in Birmingham, debated the Marvel and DC universes in animated television shows, live-action shows, video games and other genres.
Fans talked about how characters from each realm developed in various mediums and how effective each treatment was.
One fan who works as a bouncer said Superman’s secret identity as Clark Kent taught him how to be humble when dealing with patrons while being strong when his job turned physical.
A talk about female representation in pop culture conducted by 321 Films discussed how females are taking a more prominent role in movies and other mediums.
A demonstration on stage combat had Trey Clark showing how to conduct fight scenes so the audience believes the action is happening but the players are not harmed.
The convention continues through Sunday. To find out more, visit the website at alabamafanaticon.org