Rising Star 25th

Rising Star is celebrating their twenty-fifth year at the Othello Harris-Jefferson Student Center of Bluefield State College in Bluefield Friday October 21st 6pm to 11pm and Saturday October 22nd 9am to 11pm.  They are also celebrating the forty anniversary of conventions in the region.

This year’s guests are “Golgotha’ series author R.S. Belcher, comic creator Dan Delby, “Cemetary Dreams” author N.R. Allen, game designers Pure Steam, “Mr. Lazarus and Other Tales” author Paul Dellinger, prop maker & make-up artist Chris DeHart, comic author Chris Ward, filker White Plectrum, “Dragon’s Dove Chronicles” author Kim Headlee, furry artist Ashley Holohan, alt movie music maker Consortium 499, Bluefield State College Robotics Team, and paranormal investigators Black Diamond Paranormal Society.

Events for this year include discussion panels, Costume Call, music concert, electronic and board gaming, Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator, art show, vendors, film festival, anime screenings, a LARP with Strange Aeons, robosumo, and collectables auction for the Jonathan D. Miller and Daniel E. Craig Memorial Scholarships.

Admission is only $5 for both days.  BSC students, faculty, and staff get in free with a campus ID.  A snack bar will be available on site.

A small convention with lots of people with stories to tell you.

CharCon 2016

The gaming convention CharCon returns this Friday October 14th at noon to Sunday October 16th at 7pm at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston.  The theme for this year is Fairy Tales.

Gaming for this include the Premier Board Game Tournament (with five new games to try), board game library from Appalachian Gamers, open gaming space, Aerodrome, Pathfinder Society, SPARKS (Star Wars), Confluence Meta RPG (FATE), Magic The Gathering tournaments, several social deduction games, Sailpower, Tech Commander, Settler’s of Catan US Championship Qualifier, Pure Steam RPG, Appalachian Cup (Warmachine), X-Wing tournament, Family Gaming on Sunday, demos and tutorials from 5th Epoch Publishing, State Championships finals for Diamonds, Nevermore, Letter Tycoon, Game of 49, Skull Kings, and Dimension, Double Exposure Envoy program with 50+ play to win games, many more other board games, war games, RPGs, and more.

For video gaming they have retro and fighting video games open play, Street Fighter V tournament, Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator, and challenge the members of the band Black Hole Zion in Street Fighter for the band’s swag.

Besides gaming the con will have panels from the 501st, on miniature modeling, and board game design, a Flea Market and Costume Contest on Saturday, a Kid’s Costume Contest on Sunday, a photo booth set-up, a kid’s area run by the Causeplayers group, and appearances from the WV Ghostbusters and their 30ft Say-Puff and Ecto-1.

The con will also have two CharCon after Dark events.  Friday a the Blue Parrot with four rock bands, $5 cover charge $3 with CharCon badge.  Saturday at the Monkey Barrel for games, prizes, music, drinks.

Weekend pass is $40 (children 12 & under $20), Friday pass $20, Saturday pass $25, Sunday $20, children 12 & under $10 per day, and visitor (non game playing) $10 per day.

Fans of gaming should be able to find something to interest, if they want to pay the con’s rates.

First Parkersburg Pop Con

The first Parkersburg Pop Con will be held at WVU Parkersburg in Parkersburg this Saturday October 8th from 11am to 8pm.  An event to both promote pop culture, STEM, and WVU Parkersburg.

The 501st, Bunny Bombshell, Burning Bulb Publishing, Derek Croston, Dirt Candy Productions, Dueling Ogres Podcast, WV Ghostbusters, Hades Ladies Roller Derby, James Patrick, Jason Lewis, Jason Pell, J.D. Williamson, Mid-Ohio Valley Superman, Nathan Arnold, Shawn Langley, Storyteller Publishing, WV Wonder Woman, and more promoting and selling their creations.  The Gaming Club, STEM Department, and Legal Studies Department will all be set up there.  The Legal Studies will have a crime scene on display for you to puzzle over and figure out what happened.

Vendors will comics, games, collectables, video games, toys, nerdy crafts like soaps and plushies, cosplay items, anime and manga, movies, clothes, jewelry, a photo booth, and more.  Several restaurants will be set-up with food as well.

Panel on video games, cosplay, three panels on women in horror, how to get into comics, and podcasting with Dueling Ogres.  Closing Ceremonies start at 7:30pm.  The Girl Scouts will have a table teaching kids how to debug a video game and how to create their own. There will also be a Pokémon Go hike through the campus and a kid friendly room with activities and face painting.

Video competitions hosted by Game Stop will be $20 and starts at 2pm, sign-ups at the con.  They will have Super Smash Bros, Pokken, Street Fighter V, and Mario Kart 8.  Some of the stores will have table top gaming going on.  A Cosplay Contest with categories for Best Hero Male and Female, Best Villain Male and Female, Best Hero and Villain Youth, and Most Creative.  They have also promised special Snapchat filters for the con.

Cost to get in is only $5.

Another fun and cheap little con with several interesting things to see and do.

First WV Game Dev Expo

The First WV Game Dev Expo is this Friday September 30th a the Mountwest Community & Technical College in Huntington.  Becoming the third thing you can do this Friday in Huntington along with Tsubasacon and the Ohio River Book Festival of Books.

This event offers game developers, players, and fans the opportunity to network with like-minded people, and see the newest in games. Guests will have access to presentations, workshops, and events designed to build opportunities to grow the Game Development industry in West Virginia and beyond.

Registration and check-in begins at 8:30am till the keynote address.  Grindstone Coffeeology will be on site from 8am to 10am.  The keynote address will be delivered by Mike Geig, Technical Evangelist from Unity, from 9:30am-10:45am. The exhibit hall will be open from 10am to 3pm. A Game Zone presented by Brawl-a-thon will be open at the same time.  Lasso Games will also be there to show off the games they are developing.  They have planned four breakout sessions throughout the day, though no word on what they will offer.  Lunch is for an hour with Southside Slider on site with a choice if you want to stay on site.  Closing remarks will be at 3:10pm – 3:30pm and then you are free to go.

Sponsors for the event include Mountwest CTC, Unity Technologies, Strictly Business Computer Services, Ignite Link and Syntech Creative.

Students seventeen years or older get in free.  General admission is $15.  No children under seventeen are allowed in.

If you have a deep love of video games or are interested in game creation, you should try to check this out.


Ohio River Festival of Books 2016

The Ohio River Festival of Books is a this week-long of free events around Cabell County promoting literacy and learning for all ages.

On Wednesday September 28th the MadCap Puppets will be presenting Aesop’s Fables at the Don Morris Room at the Marshall Student Center at 9:30am.

On Thursday September 29th W. Joseph Wyatt will talk about his carer working as a clinical psychologist and helping law enforcement with cases at the Putnam County Library 5:30pm.  Also Sam Wilson will talk about World War I pilot William C. Lambert of Ironton, Ohio at the West Huntington Public Library at 7pm.

Friday September 30th at the Pullman Plaza Hotel they will have the Friends of the Library book sale, the opening reception, signing authors and vendors.

Saturday October 1st will have various sessions throughout the day at the Pullman Plaza Hotel in Huntington.   Some of those include Bright Star Theatre bringing the characters of Alice in Wonderland to life; Cat Winters talking about what inspired her award-winning YA fiction; creator of the TV series Extant and writer of The Strain Mickey Fisher will speak about writing for TV, film, and theater; a writer’s workshop by Michael Knost with several session throughout the day; and more of the book sale.  The closing program will be at 7:30pm at Marshall University: School of Art and Design Visual Arts Center, where Chip Kidd the award-winning graphic designer of book covers, author, comic creator will speak.

Other authors who will be around for signings including J.D. Byrne author of his new epic fantasy trilogy, Dr. William L. Grimes author of his haunted dentist office, Eugen Johnson writer and editor of many genres, and Laberta Salamacha Lucas author of Ouija about a psychic girl who solves mysteries.

Fans of books and reading should check all this and if you are not really into reading maybe you could find something to pick up and learn to enjoy.

ShockaCon 2016

Shockacon returns Friday September 30th 4pm to Sunday October 2nd 5pm at the Beni Kedem Shrine Center in Charleston for its fifth year.


Actor guests for this year are Zach Galligan (Gremlins 1 & 2), Camille Keaton (I Spit On Your Grave), Oliver Robins (Poltergeist 1 & 2) ,Brandy Mason, and Geretta Geretta.  John Tice, Willy Mcquillan, and Will Bill from Mountain Monsters.  Plus Scott Gregg of Razor Sharp Studios, Hollywood make-effects artist Steve Johnson, bands Renfields, Orvill Rex, Miniature Giant, Hurl Brickbat, Charlie Ant Eater; belly dancers Bint il nahar and Naughty Samadhi, DJ Thunder, authors Dustin Coffman, Josh Kent, Daniel Boyd, artists Jason Pell, Chris Woodall, Two Tinkers, JR Earls; prop builder Tiffany Steele, Cult Classic Creatures, WV Ghostbusters, cosplayer Santana, Cemetery Knights Hearse Club, and Weird Paul Petroskey “the Original Vlogger”.

Events during the day include costume parade, adult costume contest for $10, kids costume contest on Sunday, R2D2 robotics demo, origami workshop, wand and building-a-torso workshops, guest Q&As, game shows, embalming demo by James Lowry, scream contest, mummy wrapping contest, learn the Thriller dance, and more panels.  On Friday and Saturday night starting at 8pm to midnight they will be holding their Shock & Roll Party with musical performances, belly dancing, gaming from CharCon with Werewolf and Cards Against Humanity, drink and draw game.  Then an after party at the Blue Parrot.

Not much info on vendors put out, though if you have been before I would expect the same.

Weekend badges are $50, Friday and Sunday  badges $20, Saturday $25, youth badges are each just $5 less.  VIP tickets are $100, with it you get preferred seating at all events, one celebrity autograph ticket, line skip, and a bag of goodies.  Come after 8pm for only $10.  T-shirts are available for $15.


Fans of horror movies, art, books plus prop making, punk style music, and the like will enjoy the con.  If you have the money for it.


Tsubasacon 2016

Tsubasacon is back for another year this Friday September 30th to Sunday October 2nd at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena and Convention Center in Huntington.

Voice actor guests for this are Steve Blum well know for his work in Cowboy Beebop, Big O, Naruto, Digimon, and many other animes, he also has the Guinness Book of World Record for most voice roles in video games, plus he voiced many incarnations of Wolverine, Amon in Legend of Korra, TOM the host of Toonami, hundreds of other roles and Caitlynn French known for such roles as Shiro from No Game No Life, Miyu Edelfelt Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Lllya, Matsurika from Maria-Holic, and several others from Sentai Filmworks.

This year they have two music acts nerdcore artist and cosplayer Shadow Clone and nerd pop band the Night Sabers.  Other guests are Pachinko Fever who will be bringing a selection of pachinko machines to play, boffer combat troupe Sleeping Samurai, Tokyo Attack who bring a collection of Japanese arcade machines, panelist group Vitamin H, the Carolina Manga Library, and convention game show host Greggo.

Events include game shows by Greggo, two video rooms, formal masquerade ball on Friday night, AMV contest Saturday morning, guest Q&A and autographs, a dance party on Saturday night, two Cosplay Lip Sync contests (one all ages and one 18+), In-Character Contest, an Iron Cosplay Contest on Sunday, and the big cosplay contest on Saturday.  Fan panels on such topics as Fire Emblem, crossplay, Japanese language, several on cosplaying and cosplay culture, Final Fantasy, chainmaile workshop, traveling to Japan, Japanese Culture, Kpop and Jpop, RWBY, and plenty more to check out.

The video gaming section on the con will have a room-scale virtual reality set-up, free play consoles from Rare Drops, tournaments of Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, J Stars Victory, Halo, Pokken, and more through out the weekend and a mobile gaming area.   Hobby gaming will have tournaments provided by Dungeon Dwellers with several tournaments for Magic, Force of Will, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dice Masters, and Heroclix; plus on a Guild Ball tournament on Saturday and on Sunday a Warmachine and Hordes tournament; the Pathfinder Society will be running scenarios throughout all three days, and a game library from Huntington Unplugged Gaming Society.

In the vendor/artist alley you will be able to find t-shirts, DVDs, manga, cosplay items, figurines, keychains, plushies, wigs, plenty of other accessories and collectibles, jewelry, weapons, Japanese snacks, games, CDs, art prints, comics, steampunk wear, nerdy crafts, and so much more.

It is $45 for the weekend, $30 for just Friday, $20 for just Sunday, and $40 for a Saturday/Sunday badge.  Wristbands that will only get you into the video and table-top gaming sections will be $35 for the weekend, $20 for Friday, $25 for Saturday, and $15 for Sunday.  Children, between ages 7-12, badges are $20 for the weekend and $10 for Sunday both with the purchase of an adult’s.  Children under seven are free.

Fans of cosplay, anime, gaming, internet culture, and the like should all be able to find something to interest them at this con.