By Nick Christophers
Comic and Anime conventions have been popping up everywhere yet only one of them is based on bringing a terrible disease to the forefront. Immortal Con which takes place in Ronkonkoma, Long Island is in its second year and building with every new step. The founder Elsie Martinez-Ginsberg is all too familiar with the beast called cancer. She is stage four cancer fighter and still battling to keep up her good work. Elsie thought of a way of bringing breast cancer and cancer in general to the forefront in a fun and special way. Hence, her plan to incorporate anime and fantasy while highlighting the need for more awareness to this painful disease.
“Being in these shoes has offered me more insight of women and men suffering from breast cancer. We didn’t want to create a cancer convention so to bring awareness for the younger audience we thought to educate them via an anime / fantasy theme. Even if we can get the vital message to one person we are making a difference. When it comes down to it you can either hide in a corner and cry about it or make something that benefits others in a positive way.”
The Con featured many independent performers like Nova Pop, Cherry Pop, Nicole Olivia and Reakt. In addition, there were special guests like musician Pat Sommers and Alison McGinnis (Pink Power Ranger). We had an opportunity to chat with Pat Sommers. Pat is a seasoned performer who has played with ex-Kiss member Ace Frehley and Roger Daltrey (The Who). His resume reads like a “who’s who” of classic rock legends.
“I decided to be a part of this convention because my manager Kate Fox is a breast cancer survivor. It just so happens, that Kate and my friends are into the Anime thing so we came to support the cause. I am also on the verge of completing a new album which features some A-list talent. John Regan who played bass with Peter Frampton is on this album as well as Ace to play bass on the project. We are also looking to possibly tour beginning in Amsterdam and Sweden.”
The convention that took up three floors offered panels, vendors and all types of guests in Anime or Superhero costume. Cosplay entertainer and winner for best costume Fairwind Cosplay, was also in attendance whose mother is a breast cancer survivor. She was there selling her costume designs and accessories. A portion of her proceeds were going to cancer research. There were other creative artists like Horror Show Jack, Johnny Skinz and Suixere. It was a fun event which highlighted a pressing issue that everyone should be knowledgeable about. To learn more about ways to help fight cancer, check out the American Cancer Society site.