Mighty Con is a community gathering which accurately describes the nature of the people who attend it — mighty.

Mighty in their cosplay interests, their passion for comics and memorabilia and, most importantly, mighty in who they are as individuals.

The annual comic book convention brings together a variety of artists, enthusiasts and dreamers, giving them a safe space to explore their favorite characters and stories from entertainment media.

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With only a $5 fee, participants were immersed in a vast collection of comic books, action figures, art, gadgets and gizmos. Not only this, but the cheap cost of the tickets made all products affordable, making the event feel calm and easy-going. People walked around in different character costumes or fan shirts, stopping by each colorful and unique stand at the convention.

The Monona Terrace and Mighty Con crew began setup at 5 a.m., placing over 100 tables in the community room for vendors and artists to showcase their products. The cooks set out food and prepared their stand for the long day ahead of them. Finally, at 10 a.m., the festivities began.

The costume contest was the highlight of the event. In a corner of the convention, a small stage was set up and a woman introduced the line of contestants. One by one, they stepped up and posed for the gathered audience — characters ranged from Carmen Sandiego to Princess Ana from Frozen. After the showcase, the speaker announced the winners — runner-up was Rey from the new Star Wars movies, while first place in the teen category was Ashe from video game Overwatch and first place adult was Priss Asagiri from anime Bubblegum Crisis. Before even announcing the winners, the speaker congratulated everyone on a job well done. Every contestant gave it their all.

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Mighty Con is only one of many comic book conventions that visits Madison, but it’s one of the most popular for a variety reasons. All vendors and artists put their own spin on their products, and that’s what really crafts the free and creative spirit of Mighty Con. Its affordability is another major reason and is why lead promoter Randy Beasley continues to help run the event.

“You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get in to see your fandom, to cosplay, to play video games, to buy your old school toys or to buy [new] ones,” Beasley said.

A comfortable cost and creative atmosphere are two major ways that Mighty Con fosters creativity among the comic world’s most devoted fans.