The informant is currently a student at USC, who is interested in American comic books and 90s memorabilia. When I heard that he goes to the Frank and Sons Collectible Show (“Frank and Sons”) with his friends every Saturday to indulge in his hobbies, I asked him for the location’s significance:
Collector: “Why do you choose to spend over half an hour traveling to a convention center when you can go to nearby convention centers in the LA area instead? Is there something special about Frank and Sons?”
Informant: “Well, I used to go there a lot as a kid… and a big reason why I still go is because I like their selection of goods. There are other convention centers, but you can get comic books from the ‘50s from Frank and Sons, and then play some games all in the same venue. Then you get to see people with really well made costumes and cool fan art – it does take a while [to drive], but in the end it’s all worth it.”
The convention at Frank and Sons can be seen as a contemporary folk festival; it is for an audience sharing common interests (nostalgia, collectibles), and creating a new ecosystem of human interaction based on that common interest. The significance of Frank and Sons as a folk festival has to be in its wide range of goods for sale: In its availability of ‘random old stuff’, Frank and Sons consolidates existing folklore while opening avenues for more folklore by creating a strongly social environment within the convention center.