Nowhere in Hempstead could a Stormtrooper roam the same floor as Sailor Moon and the Joker other than at Eternal Con.
The two-day pop culture convention, which ended Sunday, drew thousands to the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex at Hofstra University over the weekend.
There was Baby Yoda and baby Supergirl in strollers. Superheroes in varying capes. Michael Myers from “Halloween” menacing with a plastic knife. Next to him Pennywise the Dancing Clown from Stephen King's “It.”
Dean Flynn, 15, of West Babylon dyed his hair green, donned a purple suit and wore the makeup of the Joker on Sunday.
His favorite part of the event was “seeing all the people, the art people make and the costumes people put together,” the teenager said. “Just a bunch of nerds come together and have a good time.”
Frank Patz, owner and founder of Eternal Con, said this year’s convention marked a full return of the annual event that was canceled in 2020 and held in a limited fashion in 2021 because of the pandemic.
“Things like this keep our mind off the real world,” Patz said. “You get to escape your everyday worries, pandemic worries, gasoline price worries and this worry and that worry. You can come and just enjoy yourself.”
The weekend extravaganza, in its ninth year, featured Lee Majors from “The Six Million Dollar Man” and Lindsay Wagner from “The Bionic Woman.” The two 1970s series were based on Martin Caidin’s 1972 novel “Cyborg.”
Flynn came with his parents and two siblings: his sister, Casey, 12, as Kate Bishop and his brother, Chase, 10, as Spider-Kid.
“He's one of my favorite superheroes. I loved him growing up and I just want to be him,” said Chase Flynn, who was given web shooters for his birthday last month. “I hate it whenever they call me my real name under a mask because I'm Spider-Kid.”
Baylee Nuzzo, 23, also had a strong connection to her character, Sailor Mars, from the Japanese animation “Sailor Moon” series. Nuzzo said she liked to see others’ cosplay.
“It’s so beautiful how people can essentially play another character and in some ways make it their own,” said Nuzzo, of West Hempstead. “I think it’s really cool.”
While her mother, Linda, didn’t come in a costume of her own, she dressed up a toy Baby Yoda as a Demogorgon, a monstrous creature from the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” Linda Nuzzo said she liked the family-friendly atmosphere at the convention and loved seeing kids running around in costumes.
Among the children in character were twins Skylar and Summer Burns, 5, as Wonder Woman and Supergirl.
“I wanted to bring them so they can experience this because it's fun to dress up for no reason,” said their mother, Jennifer Borst, of Queens, dressed as Poison Ivy from the Batman stories. Her boyfriend Robert Lewis was also in green as the Riddler.
By comparison, Shinnequa Clemente came in plain clothes. She wore a sweatshirt that said: “Black By Popular Demand.”
Clemente, of Uniondale, is an art teacher at Freeport High School and works in her free time as a comic book artist. She was one of more than 200 vendors at the convention. They sold products from comic books to commissioned artwork.
“I draw what I see. I'm Puerto Rican and African American and I draw around what inspires me,” Clemente said. “There's not a lot of female artists out there, let alone Black female artists. … So I want my work to be inspirational to young Black women out there.”