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COSTUMES AND T-SHIRTS AT THE CON

The parade that is the con continued to stream by my table and throughout the Valley and the hall all day for two-and-a-half days. I was vastly amused by the number and variety of cosplayers. My guess is that one of every five people attending the Con was in costume, playing the part of a favorite TV or movie or cartoon character. Zombies were numerous. And Star Trek warriors. I was surprised by the quantity of steam punk fashions on display.

But I wondered as I watched: do any of these colorfully costumed persons ever buy anything offered for sale throughout the Con? None of the cosplayers I saw were carrying bags bulging with purchases. They were all playing but, seemingly, not buying.

Still, when I asked some friends from my favorite comic book shop, they said they’d experienced great sales. No one complained.

T-shirts were also big. One exhibit booth was a “tower of t-shirts,” reaching a height of at least twenty feet. T-shirts are expensive — at least $25 each, sometimes more. Merchants must charge high prices these days because the men’s clothing industry isn’t making anything on regular shirts anymore: everyone is wearing t-shirts all the time. Casual Friday has exploded into Casual Week and all but destroyed the men’s clothing business and the surrounding economy as it did. As a results, t-shirts rule, and they’re priced to prop up the entire sagging men’s shirt industry.

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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