You know you’ve done something when everyone at a comic book convention stops to gawk at you.
Carlos Blanchard loves this feeling.
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IF YOU GO
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Palm Beach County Convention Center.
Tickets: Presale, $7 adults, $4 children through the convention center website. Day of the event, $9/$5.
More information: www.cosmictimes.net/palmcon
Carlos Blanchard, 50, graphic artist, West Palm Beach
Blanchard fell in love with sci-fi movies when his father took him to “Godzilla” at a drive-in. He made his first elaborate costume for the 1997 release of “Batman & Robin.” Blanchard, a boat carpenter, makes high-end costumes for customers, upwards of $1,000 and dreams of working for a special-effects movie studio.
“You get to be a kid, and it’s OK,” he said.
Alison Berrios, 31, entrepreneur, and Caleb Berrios, 6, Palm Springs
Berrios started making costumes for her son, Caleb, for regular weekend trips to Orlando for Star Wars conventions. This year, she will be a vendor at PalmCon and hopes to launch a career making fun, affordable costumes. “It’s really like geeky arts and crafts,” she said.
She likes to dress like the obscure Star Wars Jedi Barriss Offee, who eventually turns evil in the storyline. “That’s my main go-to character. But I do the nice one.”
Don Farina, 25, bartender, Lake Worth
Farina grew tired of making beautiful drawings and stuffing them into a folder, never to be seen again. Cos-playing was a way of making wearable art. He was a professional “gamer” for more than a year after graduating from Jupiter High, but now gets his fix from dressing like video game characters such as Commander Shepard of “Mass Effect” and Damon Baird of “Gears of War.”
“This just hits the nerd factor. It’s like Halloween but all the time.”
Kaili Williams, 24, dog walker and pet sitter, Wellington
She grew up a quiet artist, drawing, painting and experimenting with photography when she started turning her drawings into outfits. She likes crossing over genres in her dress up, like Victorian-era steampunk with classic comic book character Harly Quinn from the Batman universe.
“It makes your day when you see a little kid and they ask you for your autograph. It’s adorable.”
Heather Piverotto, 24, assistant building manager, Boynton Beach
She bonded with her father over Star Wars movies in a way that her two brothers never did. She started collecting Star Wars toys at 11, and, now, one entire room in her house is dedicated to Star Wars memorabilia, from glass-blown ornaments of Chewbacca to rare action figures. She experiments with thermo-plastics, molds, clay and foam for her outfits.
“Manager by day, superhero by night,” she said.