Soto creator of Capitán México. (Luisana Duarte/

Fantasy, flair and geekdom blur the lines at this year’s comic book convention

EL PASO — A man in a panda costume walks lazily into a conference room where other people are dressed up as Storm Troopers, Iron-Man, and Pokémon characters and sits down with leisure waiting for the next panelist to arrive. Costumes are a regular sight at a comic book convention, however the panda still elicits an “Oooh! A panda!” comment from a small girl in the crowd. The conference room, located in the El Paso Convention Center was part of this year’s El Paso Comic Con (ep-con). Hosted September 14th through 16th, EP-CON gathered people in El Paso for the third consecutive year to celebrate both comic books and pop culture.

A Jack o' Lantern. ©Toby Ord

A different side to Halloween

EL PASO – In the same moment, the bird perceived Sonjo, but instead of trying to escape, she swam straight towards him, looking at him in a strange fixed way. Then, with  her beak, she suddenly tore open her own body, and died before the hunter’s eyes. The passage above comes from a Japanese horror story called “Oshidori,” meaning mandarin ducks. It is possible that this story has been told around Halloween. Although, Halloween has not been much of a celebrated holiday in Japan, its popularity is slowly starting to rise.

Imperial Valley’s cosplaying blacksmith heads to Comic-Con

MEXICALI, Mexico–When the sun rises Edgar Mayoral’s hammer strikes the iron on the anvil, creating an ear-piercing clanging sound that resonates throughout the neighborhood in this border city. The 23-year-old El Centro, Calif. resident has a talent to shape cold, lifeless sheets of iron into fantastical and vibrant wearable armor that would make you believe Mayoral has been transformed into a live-action Japanese anime character. A skill that cosplayers—short for “costume play”—and non-cosplayers alike marvel at. “This character has a higher fan base in Mexico than in the U.S.,” says Jerry Travis, 21, an anime scholar from Brawley, Calif.