Soda City Comic Con features elaborate costumes

Cosplay runner-up Kelsey Reamer as Mollymauk Tealeaf. Allen Wallace photos.

At Soda City Comic Con, you can be anyone or anything you want to be. Of course, some new identities take more work than others.

That hard work paid off for Lamont Artybridge Saturday, as he claimed first prize in the adult cosplay contest, dressed as Hades from the Saint Seiya Anime. Artybridge said he spent 600 hours building the elaborate costume after a friend suggested it.
“Once I saw him, I knew I had to make it. I knew I had to build it,” he said. Artybridge has spent hundreds of hours on cosplays in the past. This one was the most complex and time-consuming yet, but as he put it, “Totally worth it.”

His win was the climax of day one of the fourth annual Soda City Comic Con, which continues Sunday. Thousands of people came to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center Saturday for the start of the event, which has grown rapidly in each year of its existence.

Mike Colter, who stars as Luke Cage on several Netflix shows based on Marvel Comics, and Roy Thomas, the legendary writer who created Cage (also known as Power Man) in 1972, were perhaps the biggest attractions for those who came Saturday.

Thomas and Cage sat down together for a discussion of the character. Hundreds of fans packed a Convention Center ballroom to listen as they chatted about the character’s beginnings and evolution through the years up to the present, and Colter’s portrayal.

Other featured guests at the event, which covers all pop culture, not just comics, included artist/writer/actor/musician Larry Hama, voiceover artist Billy West, writer Chad Bowers and several stars from the world of pro wrestling including Ron Simmons and Sgt. Slaughter.
Sunday’s events include a WWE roundtable and a Full Metal Alchemist reunion. Details are available at

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Columbia, Richland County