Friday, October 4, 2013

2013 NJ Superhero Weekend at Comic Fusion!

So if you have seen me on Twitter lately whining about writing a blog and not being able to really wrap my head around writing the piece this is the blog.


I decided to go a much less personal route with it because I think it would be potentially problematic to put something so personal out there on the internet when I can barely wrap myself around writing or vloging it. I don’t think it would come out in the manner I want it to, plus I am not very good at being a victim even when the situation is justified or more of a statement. Of course I have chosen to not victimize myself and rise above my situations.

That said, this weekend myself and slew of other amazing cosplayers will be at Comic Fusion for Superhero Weekend! That’s right Saturday and Sunday! You will see me there as Supergirl on Saturday and the long held back debut of Catwoman on Sunday (second time this year I debuted a costume at Comic Fusion). I also hear lots of other DC and Marvel characters are attending and even some G.I. Joes! I am ready to have a blast.

But on a more serious note, Superhero Weekend is a fundraiser run by my good friend Amber. The event raises money for SAFE in Hunterdon through raffles, auctions and well known artists who volunteer their time and skills to sketch you something special when you donate. How great it that?

Who is SAFE? SAFE is a community support service that offers counseling, education, a hotline, housing, legal advisory and programs to help raise awareness and empower adults and children that have been victims of domestic abuse and violence.

I have wanted to take part in this event for the last two years. The first of which it snowed and I am a frightened of driving such a distance in the snow. Then last year, it was not feasible with NYCC being the following weekend (which it is this year as well, but I am making it work). The reason I have been wanting to be a part of this event is because I grew up around a lot of domestic violence. In the past I have described my childhood as chaotic. It was as chaotic as it gets from the time I was 10 years old until I was 23 years old when I made the decision to no longer allow abuse of any kind from anyone in my life. During those years my life was saturated with violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, manipulation, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse and a lot of witnessing physical abuse. For a short period, I did stay in a battered women’s shelter. I was 16 and it wasn’t the best of places but it was better than where I had been. I remember the kids trying to scare me and listening to the women on the pay phone getting hysterical because someone had been stabbed. So it wasn’t the Hilton.

I will be very honest and say that looking back on this as an adult, I no longer see what happened around me being one sided. As a kid I thought my mother was righteous, but as an adult I know that any problems happening in the home were elevated by her own choices. Not that it makes the situation justified because it doesn’t. No one should be abused in any manner because they made a mistake. I am saying that she didn’t do the right thing either. She was just as abusive as the men in her life. It was like a battle royal almost nightly and she could handle herself. I was (and still am) scared to death of her. The majority of the abuse I received as a child came from my mother. I was often used as a chess piece in her relationships. I was regularly made to watch these arguments and fights so that I could bear witness in court and I was taken to court many times. I also got the embarrassing pleasure of seeing her be arraigned in court as well as other people from those times. Thankfully, I learned to take out my emotions in art, music and prose. I used all the resources I had at school to stay sane by diving into after school clubs like drama, Thespian Society, Tri-M, Jazz Choir, Caroling Choir, SADD, art club, the yearly literary magazine, etc. I even won a few awards for my poems, was published a few times and I got a seat as a Soprano (one) on the NYSSMA Choir. So I regardless of the chaos I still excelled in my way.

Of course years later, I came to realize I had a lot of healing to do but healing from abuse is a constant healing. It’s not like a cold that clears up and you feel normal again. Abuse leaves long lasting scars that fade over time but sometimes randomly and unexpectedly they appear and understanding those scars can be an arduous task to take on. I went to counseling a few times and I would like to return to counseling but it takes finding the right person so I am told, because my first counselor wasn’t very good and she told me that while I had very substantial reasons to be there that she couldn’t help me if I wasn’t going to just chatter on about everything meanwhile I just didn’t know what to tell her.

So I think you can see why I think events like NJ Superhero Weekend are so important to me and why I am delighted to finally be able to take part in it.

Below you can read the official press release for the event. I apologize for taking so long to get this out there but everything I wrote up until right now just was not right. This is right. I can put this out there.

NJ’S SUPERHERO WEEKEND FOR CHARITY IS SLATED FOR OCTOBER 5-6, 2013 AT COMIC FUSION IN FLEMINGTON TO BENEFIT “SAFE IN HUNTERDON”

FLEMINGTON - The 2013 NJ SUPERHERO WEEKEND AND WONDER WOMAN DAY to benefit SAFE in Hunterdon will be hosted by Comic Fusion on October 5-6 in Flemington’s Turntable Junction shopping village. Comic Fusion will auction superhero sketches to raise money and awareness for this domestic violence charity. We'll have some prix fixe prints and raffles of prints, books and more.

Since 2007, Comic Fusion has raised close to $50,000 for SAFE in Hunterdon. This has been made possible by tremendous volunteers and companies such as Dark Horse Comics, Ravenwood Masks, 215ink, Action Lab Entertainment, the Magic Bullet comics newspaper and many talented comic book creators.

This year Comic Fusion welcomes to the store guest artists Jamal Igle (MOLLY DANGER, SUPERGIRL, KISS), Duane Swierczynski (BIRDS OF PREY, GODZILLA, HARBINGER WARS), musician Sarah Donner and even more guests to be announced.

Oct 5th (Saturday): Jamal Igle, Duane Swierczynski, Dani O'Brien, Bill Ellis, and Tom Schloendorn Oct 6th (Sunday): Nick Mockoviak, Donna Gregory, Chris Muller,possibly Laura Guzzo; and Musician Sarah Donner

Comic Fusion will also host the STAR WARS costuming groups the 501st Empire and the Rebel Legion, a GI Joe division, along with Wonder Woman and many other costumed superheroes who will gladly pose for pictures.

The art sketches are auctioned with bids taken via email and in person at Comic Fusion. There are also raffles and door prizes.

“Comic Fusion is excited to host Super Hero Weekend in our new location in Turntable Jct! Our new location is bigger and will allow us to host more artists! Our Courtyard is more open and will give our Super Heroes lots of room to move around pose for many different pictures with their fans! And we will have an entire wall devoted to displaying the sketches we get from the wonderful artists who donate to this much needed charity event! Everyone who comes to this event is a Super Hero in our books!” said Stacy Korn, co-owner of Comic Fusion.

“There’s no reason that superheroes in capes can’t be relevant today. Characters have evolved over the decades to become better role models than ever before,” said Elizabeth Amber Love, event planner. “This fundraiser gets people talking about advocacy and awareness through the great support system of the comic book industry.”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the comic industry brings awareness about issues of domestic abuse through annual fundraisers like NJ SUPERHERO WEEKEND AND WONDER WOMAN DAY. Domestic Violence Awareness Month grew from the original 1981 Day of Unity conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Comic Fusion is an independently owned retail shop of comics, gaming and collectibles located in Flemington, New Jersey. They have organized an annual event to raise money and awareness for SAFE in Hunterdon since 2007.

SAFE in Hunterdon is a valuable community resource that provides transitional housing, 24-hour counseling, crisis intervention, legal advocacy and a children’s art therapy program for those affected by domestic abuse.

Please stop by and visit and donate. It will mean the world to those you are helping and to me as well.

Cheers ~ Ally Cat