On an extremely frigid morning in February, a group of my heavily layered friends and I entered the Alaska Zoo carrying large bags, giggling as we made our way to the greenhouse.
It was February 16th, the temperature felt like it may have been in the negatives, but our spirits were high, and that kept us warm. It was the very first time this particular group of us had gotten together for an event, and we were incredibly excited to see if we could make a success of our venture. Keri Lord, local cosplayer, volunteer, and my personal friend had her usual smile shining brightly as she led the way and kept us on track. When we arrived at the greenhouse, we were ushered to a dressing room where we proceeded to transform from ordinary, everyday citizens to something much more. In a flash, a troop of superheroes came marching through the door! The event was Valentine’s for the Animals, and Keri, the founder of the group SubZeroHeroes, had partnered with the zoo for us to make an appearance. The children in attendance looked up from their Valentine’s crafting and hot cocoas. Smiles lit up as they began to point and wave.
Keri…or Wonder Woman began to greet the children along with Wolverine, Black Widow, Iron Man, Spiderman, and Mera. We spent the next several hours taking photos, chatting, passing out free organic treats, stickers, and comic books to the children. Everyone was happy, and there were countless smiles. The superheroes answered questions, took individual and group photos, and told our character’s stories to the kids. Believe me, when you are representing a character, you MUST know your history! No surprise, but Spiderman was a fan favorite. I believe he walked out there that day with a handful of personalized Valentine’s made especially for him. I was Mera of Atlantis, and even though my character is relatively new to children, I was recognized as well and holding my trident was a popular request. The bravest young ones would reach out to give Wolverine a high five, some with a bit of trepidation. Then, as they realized it was safe, they would move on the Iron Man, and when you high five Iron Man, the light on his hand would shine brightly! The laughter and delight were palpable. Black Widow stayed busy handing out lollipops and comic books.
The SubZeroHeroes is the brainchild of Keri Lord, who created the group recently out of need.
The purpose of the group is to make appearances at events for children of ALL ages, to give them a chance to meet their heroes, and allow people from every background and social situation an opportunity to enjoy a chat or have a photo. As this is all voluntary, there is no charge to meet and interact with one’s favorite hero and meet a few more! While there are other groups out there for the enjoyment of children, most of them focus on Princesses. Interestingly, most of the superheroes are members of the Princess of Alaska, which is also a volunteer organization. Both these groups are wonderful in their individual way, but there was nothing in place for the kids who might not necessarily be interested in princesses, or have slowly aged out of that bracket and have interest in superpowers, action, and daring feats! Keri thought why not bring some superheroes to the kids? She is well connected in the cosplaying community and reached out to some of her friends. I jumped in almost immediately as I already had a few costumes.
I have personally gotten so much joy and pride in participating in SubZeroHeros and Princess of Alaska.
I get to enjoy my passion for cosplaying, I have expanded my horde of friends, and I get to make children, and a lot of adults smile. I have volunteered most of my life in some capacity. I do the city-wide clean up each year. I spent my teen years gardening and cleaning up local cemeteries back home in Louisiana. I have read to the elderly and played bingo with the VFW when I was young. I do Wreaths Across America every December on post. I have worn many hats, but nothing has been quite as fun and as rewarding, as when I got lucky enough to meet and be welcomed into the fold by these local cosplay enthusiasts. The next event on our schedule is Free Comic Book Day at Boscoe’s. This experience is an incredible opportunity to come out to Boscoes, meet us, and get some comic books for your collection. Boscoe’s will be holding the event on May 11th, to allow more fans to attend Arctic Comic Con on May 4th. Some Information on Free Comic Book day found on https://www.freecomicbookday.com.
If you come to the events we attend, and you see Mera, Phoenix, or Raven of Teen Titans, that’s me! Come, say hi! We are also looking for more heroes and villains. If you would like to join the league, please contact Keri. SubZeroHeroes is on Facebook and Instagram, and we hope to grow the organization substantially this year. We are looking for superheroes, villains, photographers, handlers, and volunteers to help make the group a success.