MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Make-up, costumes and talent came together Saturday, to create a one of a kind masterpieces to showcase at the only place it seems acceptable: a comic convention.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Tarantino, an Air Force reservist assigned to the 164th Airlift Wing within the Tennessee Air National Guard, hosts comic-cons to give military members and others an opportunity to let their geek shine through.
He began his journey as a comic book entrepreneur shortly after transitioning from active duty, which was a way to provide the local community with something that was nonexistent at the time.
“When I was stationed at Columbus Air Force Base, Ohio, there was no comic book shop in the area,” Tarantino said. “I decided I wanted to open one up. We had a really good first year after opening the shop.”
Since opening his shop called, Cool Pup Entertainment; named after his dog, he started to run comic conventions for the local community as well as the local military and veterans in the area. The Golden Triangle Comic-Con, in Mississippi, was the first comic-con he hosted.
This year, and eight comic-cons later, he hosted the River Region Comic Con, March 17. More than 40 vendors attended the event, including Air Force Reserves recruiting.
Tarantino donated 200 tickets to the Maxwell-Gunter community, free of charge.
“Being a veteran myself, I know how important it is to host and do things for our active duty being stationed away from home, and I want to bring something to the local area to entertain them,” Tarantino said. “If you bring something close to home, people with probably attend it.”
Since his journey began, his mission was to provide a fun and safe environment for active duty members, veterans, their families and the local community to take part in, as well as show their creative side.
“We work long hours and hard jobs, and it’s good to still enjoy these types of hobbies and still get to be a person outside of the uniform,” Tarantino added. “You need to have an outlet and a release. It’s healthy to have a creative outlet.”