BY PAUL PRADO
For the Record Gazette
A third mini–Comic Con event returned to the city of Banning.
During the regularly scheduled biweekly market night, merchandise for Pokémon, Manga, super heroes, anime, Star Wars were on sale, supporting the theme of Comic Con.
Colorful costumes filled the market, as cosplayers walked among the shoppers.
Cosplayers are people dressed in costume to represent their favorite character, super hero, villain or creature.
Jerry Gerue of Lompoc attended the Comic Con gathering dressed as Punisher War Machine.
“I like to see the smiles on the children’s faces when they see me or the other characters,” said Gerue.
“This is the first time attending an outdoor Comic Con, and I like that. We aren’t indoors, so we don’t have to worry about COVID-19 restrictions.”
Gerue creates his own costumes for cosplay.
“I like the engineering involved when making my costumes,” he said.
Eight-year-old Jordan Figueroa posed with the Punisher War Machine.
“I have a Funko Pop figure of Punisher,” Jordan said.
“I like the weapons in on the Punisher.”
Aaron Moren drove from Bakersfield as The First Avenger from Bakersfield.
Moren took to the highway in a blue 1964 Plymouth Valiant with a powerful V-8 engine.
When children posed for pictures with him, he was asked to start the engine. Its roar wowed the young admirers.
“I love to cosplay for the kids,” said Moren. “These costumes represent the comics.”
Moren said that he chose Captain America because he represents what other countries want to have, which is freedom.
Several cosplay characters found their way to Comic Con from Yucaipa, like Ethan Roberts, dressed as the Legion. Amber Wilson came as Alice, from Alice Madness Returns, a horror video game and Timothy Munguia wore the costume of Ghost Face.
“It’s great to see the community come together as one,” Mungia said. “We’ve really needed this for a long time.”
Mungia said the people of Banning were loving and friendly at this Comic Con.
Mungia has attended different Comic Cons for several years.
“I hope they do this more and more so it gets bigger,” said Mungia.
Wilson was invited to the Banning Comic Con at the last moment.
“It’s fun to see people expressing what they love in their own way, as they pick who they like,” she said.
To Ethan Roberts, cosplay is a nice break from real-life, which is typically filled with college papers and photography.
“I love it,” said Roberts. “It’s nice to do cosplay as a hobby because I love cosplay and making my own masks.”
Roberts picked the character Legion because it is a popular game that he and his friends play.
Banning Chamber Member Robert Sibole was happy with the turn out at the Comic Con.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “There are a lot of vendors and cosplayers for the adults and kids tonight. I took pictures of Captain American, Punisher and the Ghost Busters with my children.”
Sibole hopes that this event can take place twice a year instead of once.
The Southland Ghostbusters had a booth complete with facsimiles of the weapons and gear used in the movies.
They also brought two Ghost Buster Ecto vehicles.
The craft fair, which also sold pet beds, candles, art, ceramic jewelry, food and apparel ended by 8 p.m.
Banning’s market night takes place every first and third Friday of each month.
For more information about the market night, contact the Banning Chamber of Commerce at (951) 849-4695.