ArlingCon is a free pop culture convention held annually in Arlington, TX by the Arlington Public Library in conjunction with UTA Libraries. Featuring workshops, panel discussions, vendors, artists, and cosplay, ArlingCon 2020 was converted into a virtual event with much of the area still recovering from COVID-19 and still in the process of re-opening. Nevertheless, it was still an action-packed day of fandom, friends, discovery and fun!
This online version of ArlingCon was filled with over 8 hours of content and over a dozen panels hosted right on the Facebook Event Page. Attendees could hear from a variety of speakers including cosplayers, game developers, authors, and artists:
Artist Sarah Mensinga has a background in classical 2D animation and shared how filming techniques can make your drawings stronger. Using some examples of establishing shots, wide/full shots, close-ups, and over-the-shoulder shots, she showed the power of different ways you can tell your story. You can check out some of her other works through her picture book “The Box” and her fantasy novel “Currently”.
The panel “Creating Licensed Artwork for Trading Card Companies” was a fantastic segment as artist Ashley Villers took the time to discuss her licensed work with trading card companies like Topps and Upper Deck. Ashley has worked on a number of trading cards for hit franchises like Star Wars, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, and various Marvel Comics sets. She not only shared her own experiences & techniques but also answered questions from the chat and provided tips for aspiring sketch card artists. It was fun to see all the different ways she can add so much detail and bring to life something seemingly small like a card! Not only that, but Ashley works with all kinds of mediums and subject matters:
But what’s a pop culture con without cosplay, right? Cosplay, in a lot of ways, brings a con to life because instead of walking around in pedestrian clothes, many fans will don the look of their favorite characters. All day, fans were sharing photos of the cosplays that they had originally prepared for the con and it was great to see such creativity shared on the event page even when they can’t be there in person! ArlingCon even shared these posts as a part of their Virtual Cosplay Runway!
Not only that, but there were some great tutorial panels with cosplayers Kei Boardman, Rumplestilt_Seam, Captain AmeriDad, Koiykeuchiha, and BobbinVomit. They covered topics such as basic cosplay how-to’s, lightning & photography tips, and even photo editing advice. And of course, we can’t mention cosplay without a little bit of The 501st Legion! Local garrison “North Texas Squad” provided several fun videos that were played throughout the online con:
There were also amazing vendors featured at ArlingCon this year like Amtgard Kingdom of the Emerald Hills, Main Street Graphics, and The Pixelized Princess who specializes in a lot of cool pixelated art stemming from classic video games like Super Mario Bros. She is even running a 10% coupon this weekend with the following link.
Meanwhile, Chiptunes4Autism held a virtual concert online featuring retro sounds & beats. C4A is an organization that specializes in sensory experiences, music, and technology, especially for those who are autistic. Though normally they would have a booth with all kinds of experiences, this year they simply provided an hour-long performance. But please feel free to visit the following link for donations.
ArlingCon’s online event was a fun time with entertainment & content for all kinds of audiences. In fact, even the libraries got involved! Both Arlington Public Library and UTA Libraries held panels on game development, pro-wrestling, and even a virtual escape room! They also hosted some of the best parts of the day… the prize drawings!
Here’s just one of the awesome prize packs during ArlingCon this year. Plus, the entire con and some digital downloads are still available too! Head over to the ArlingCon 2020 event page for more information.