Comic book expo gets people in character

By Megan Carpenter

November 4, 2013 Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 1:23 AM EDT

Nichols, PA (WBNG Binghamton} No one was afraid to be themselves by being someone else at the Southern Tier's fourth annual River Road Comic Book Expo.

One of the organizers said it's an opportunity for people to come together and share a common passion.

"It's not a gender thing," Jared Aiosa said. "It's like okay, I love this and I embrace it and I'm with like-minded people."

Aiosa said between four and 500 people stop by each year.

"I love Green Lantern," said Charles Lomauro, 17. "Green Lantern is my absolute favorite, hands down."

Many had no shame letting their geek flags fly and showing off their homemade gear.

David Ramsay said he makes his Star Wars gear himself, putting together all 47 pieces.

"It’s addictive, it’s expensive, it’s time consuming, but it keeps us out of trouble," Ramsay said. "And it’s something we can do as a husband and wife."

For him, it's not just about having fun.

Ramsay said he's part of Garrison Excelsior, a group that attends Comic Book conventions to raise money for charities.

He said he has attended more than 23 expos just this year.

"We did a convention two months ago that raised over $10,000 for Make a Wish," Ramsay said.

Others are able to give back in different ways.

Aaron Kuder is an illustrator for DC Comics.

Through his drawing, he said he has traveled through the worlds of superman and green lantern, connecting their world with ours.

"Getting into the story of it, the soap opera of it, the adventures of it, following your characters and seeing where they go, " Aaron Kuder said. "It's just fun."

Comic lovers said their passion might look like a hobby, but to them, it's much more.

"You can relate to them, you can enjoy them, you can maybe put yourself in those same situations," David Ramsay said. "It’s a fun fantasy."

And for some, it's a way of life.