As a 13-year old with autism, Matthew Groves relates to superheroes who deal with everyday problems.
His favourite character, Spiderman, is also in high school, deals with bullies, and isn’t “the coolest guy.”
Groves was one of more than 300 attendees of the Oshawa Comic Con on Oct. 15. The
event, which took place at the Harmony Creek Community and Events Centre, brought lovers of pop culture together under one roof.
After sifting through large boxes packed end-to-end with books, Groves finds whichever web-slinger stories catch his eye and purchases them with the $20 his mom gifted him.
“He’s just a guy who’s a nerd, and I can relate to that,” he says, “I’m not the most popular guy.”
Groves says even though it is his first con, he feels at home because he is among people like him – people who understand his love for the “nerd culture.”
Among the shuffling crowd were cosplayers. They are people who design and wear costumes of their favourite characters to be paraded at conventions and other events.
Like Groves, Matthew Paige, 31, doesn’t expect people to understand his passion. That’s why he assembles with others interested in cosplay and pop culture.
“It’s people banding together, hanging out and not worrying about being judged,” Paige says while dressed as Castiel, a character from the TV show Supernatural.
He is joined in the basement of the venue by Samantha Kendall, who is covered in grey body paint for her costume as Homestuck character Jade Harley.
“Most conventions are very friendly because everybody wants to be there and wants to have a good time,” she says, “so we’re usually friendly to everybody.”
The Oshawa Comic Con had something for every type of “nerd.” This is by design, according to one of the event organizers and Robocop enthusiast, Ozz Osborne. He hopes the day brought fandoms together, and was a “place for people to make new friends.”
The day ended with attendees returning to their everyday lives. The body paint is washed off, masks are removed, and costumes are hung in closets. For Kendall, Paige, and Groves, this means facing people who may not understand their interests until they can congregate again the next time the event rolls into town.