Gina Ferrer, right, a family medicine nurse with U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, and her daughter greet attendees at Camp Foster Fieldhouse during Comic Con Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 13, 2019. This annual event began in 2011 and is catered to comic book fans, movie fans, artists, and video gamers to meet and greet with comic industry professionals and celebrities.The event was open to members of the U.S. and local communities. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kayla V. Staten)
Gina Ferrer, right, a family medicine nurse with U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, and her daughter greet attendees at Camp Foster Fieldhouse during Comic Con Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 13, 2019. This annual event began in 2011 and is catered to comic book fans, movie fans, artists, and video gamers to meet and greet with comic industry professionals and celebrities.The event was open to members of the U.S. and local communities. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kayla V. Staten)

Camp Foster hosts the island's premier comic book convention, 2019 Comic Con Okinawa

by Cpl. Kayla Staten
Marine Corps Installations Pacific

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – Marine Corps Community Services, Okinawa, Japan, hosted its ninth annual Comic Con, Oct. 13 at Camp Foster.

The event started in 2011 and caters to comic book fans, movie fans, artists and video gamers, providing opportunities to meet and greet comic book industry professionals and celebrities. The event was open to all department of defense card holders and Japanese citizens.

Convention-goers by the hundreds, were spread-out all-over Camp Foster to include the fieldhouse, Community Center, Gunner’s Fitness Center parking lot, and Ocean Breeze.

The Okinawan humidity couldn’t stop passionate cosplayers from dressing up as their favorite animated popular culture and video game characters. People from all over the island of Okinawa gathered together to meet others that shared similar interests and to have a good time.

Pfc. Anthony Collazo, a combat engineer with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, could be spotted sketching astonishingly fast at a booth setup during the convention.

“I’ve been drawing since I was young," said Collazo, a York, Pennsylvania native. “I fell in love with coloring in kindergarten. I consciously and vividly still remember that. It slowly flourished into more and more throughout my days in elementary," he said. "I specifically remember being taken to the side and was told that I’m a great artist, but I need to study and do my work until I reach the 12th grade.”

Comic Con held special events such as gaming tournaments, discussion panels, and performances from III Marine Expeditionary Forces Band.

There were also a variety of food venders, rides for kids, bounce houses, and rock climbing. This year’s Comic Con had something for everyone to enjoy.

“From all branches of media, movies, games, drawing/painting, costumes, basically a safe haven for the creatives to mingle,” said Collazo. "It’s a beautiful event to experience and be a part of. It’s my very first time, but it was better than what I imagined. I can’t wait to bring my talent to Comic Con every year if possible.”

MCCS Okinawa's mission is to "make Okinawa home" by providing a premium yet cost-effective menu of quality of life programs and services designed to meet the needs of Marines and their families.

For more information on events in Okinawa like Comic Con in Okinawa or in your area, contact your local MCCS office.

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