She’s 56 years old, has six kids, and this is her first Comic-Con. She loves it. She’s scanning the crowd, looking for her favorite characters. Her voice quickens with excitement when she spots Kiku from One Piece. She ticks off others like cosplay bingo: Princess Leia, Captain America, Batman, Jack Skellington, a Jedi Master.
Angelita Alcoser Yourkonis isn’t a badge-holder. She’s a security guard assigned to the handicapped area near the front of the Convention Center. Guards are not allowed to take photos while on duty, and Yourkonis isn’t even sure she’ll get inside the exhibit hall. She hopes she’ll have a chance on Sunday.
“I just wish I could get some memorabilia,” she says wistfully. “A poster, pendant… something.”
Yourkonis lives in Fontana with her partner Kelley Schaal. She works for three different security companies and runs a jewelry-making business with Schaal. Their slogan: “Ready to target your heart.”
They met when they were in prison together. After she was released, Yourkonis underwent Sheriff’s Department training and background checks. She adds proudly that she’s been sober for 13 years. “Miracles do happen. If you have a passion for your life, you can change it. I’m a walking miracle. That’s why people call me ‘Angel.’”
A man comes over and sits on one of the handicapped seats. She checks his badge to make sure he’s legit, then resumes talking about Comic-Con. She thinks it’s “totally awesome.”
“It helps the younger generation to have imagination," she says. "Who knows—we could have the next Einstein come out of it. The mind is where the imagination starts. Without imagination we don’t have gravity, electricity, automobiles.
“People have to believe in something more than themselves," she adds, "and that’s what sci-fi is about.”