First HerdCon

The first HerdCon is this Saturday March 16th from 9am-8pm on the Marshall University Campus in Huntington.

Panels for the con include panels from college professors (Pop Culture in the Classroom, Star Wars and Personality, Psychology of Social Exclusion) and regular fan panels (Cosplay Modeling 101, LGBT History and Representation in Video Games, Socializing in Online Gaming).  There will also be Quick Draw with JR Earls, belly dancing workshop and performance from Final Form Fusion, a cosplay contest hosted by Kiss A Frog Cosplay and Brittany Whitt, mobile escape room from Lost Escape Room, ARTEMIS: Starship Bridge Simulator, Outer Rim Praxeum Light Saber School demo, relaxation lounge, live podcasts, create your own video game workshops, screenings, slime fun station from the Ghostbusters, and more to enjoy.

Table-top gaming during the day include various RPG sessions (D&D 5E, Mystic Forces by Noble Quests, different Cthulhu games, Cypher System, Starfinder, and others) games of Werewolf by Critically Absurd, and various games from Goblin Traders (Dragon Ball Super TCG, Flames of War miniatures, Keyforge TCG, historic tabletop wargaming, Transformers TCG, Warhammer 40k), Magic: The Gathering tournaments hosted by Hometown Hobbies, game demos from Family Game Night, and game libraries from Charcon and Hunting Unplugged Gaming Society.

On the video game side of things you have a Smash Brothers tournament, various retro games, and Fallout 76 set-up.

Vendors and artists lined-up include 2nd Chance Games, Anime Palace, Ben Durfee, Burrito Princess, Frech Studios, Jason Pell, Joshua Smith, Mermaid Lagoon Boutique, Off the Hook, Two Tinkers, Third Floor Comics, Travis Tomblin, Tri-State Toys, and more.

Exhibitors include Black Mountain Guard of the Mandalorian Mercs, Cabell county Public Library, Causeplayers, Fantastic Floor Nerdcast, Knerds of the Roundtable, various Marshall clubs and departments (Comic Book Club, Japan Club, Roleplaying Club, Hackers for Charity, Game Development Guild), Rebel Legion/501st Legion, and various local conventions.

Admission is free to MU students, faculty, staff, and for anyone 18 or younger.  VIP tickets are $25 which comes with early access, a t-shirt, custom HerdCon die, and other swag.  General admission is $5.


The Haymond House Psychic and Metaphysical Fair

The First Haymond House Psychic and Metaphysical Fair on Saturday March 9th from 12pm-6pm at the William Edgar Haymond House Haunted in Sutton.  Co-Hosted by WV Seekers of Spirits.  The Haymond house is 125 years old.

There will be tarot readers, a late-night ghost hunt in the house from 10pm-2am, history talks, psychic readings, guided tours of the house, demonstrations, presentations, vendors, and more.

Those who will be available to readings and meeting include Reiki Master and herbalist Sherry L Ratliff, ghost investigator and author Jannette Quackenbush, psychic medium Chris Delaney, Master Psychic Aeson Knight, and S.P.O.O.K.E. Paranormal Society. 

Vendors include wand maker Tina Works Magic, pagan shop Curiouz Spirit, Feather and Bone Metaphysical Shop, and jewelry maker Vona’s Sparklin Ice.

The event has a $10 entry fee.  The late night ghost hunt is $35.  For $75 you can get VIP Gold Ticket, which gets you into the fair with no waiting, lunch, dinner, in-depth tarot reading from two masters, and into the public ghost hunt.  They will also have t-shirts for sell.

If you are into psychic phenomena or curious about, I would try to make a trip out to this fair.

Grave City Haunted Relic Expo

The 2nd Annual Grave City Haunted Relic Expo, brought to you be the Archive of the Afterlife (the National Museum of the Paranormal) is Saturday March 2nd from noon-6pm at the Archive of the Afterlife in Moundsville.

The event will have presentations, speakers, vendors, and more.

The speakers line-up is Eric Knapp, Adam Bonnett, Miranda Young, Kristin Lee, Stephen Tighe, Ross Allison, Tom Moore, and Bill Reap.  A concert by Matt Van Fossen will be at 5:30-6pm.  They will also have a Meet & Creep with a Freddy Kruger cosplayer doing photo-ops.

Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children, and free to those with military ID.  You will also get into the the Archive with your admission.

Nice gathering for fans of the paranormal who want to learn more.

The Grave City ParaCon has always been about not only educating those on the paranormal field and all that makes up it’s structure, but also promoting UNITY within the paranormal field. In the past the Grave City ParaCon has showcased instructional seminars, informational seminars, haunted relic seminars and presentations, meet & greets with high-profile individuals and even promotion of local businesses and independent representatives.

Archive of the Afterlife is located within the haunted, former Sanford School the mysterious Archive collection awaits your visit. The museum itself is a portal into a realm where history unites with mystery. The relics help illuminate the correlation of paranormal reports with factual historical representation thru research. The collection showcases a vast array of haunted, historical and cursed items ranging from embalming tables, caskets, idols, an iron bed frame from the Eloise Psychiatric Hospital and even an Execution Cap from the Former West Virginia State Penitentiary.

Classic Plastics Toy Expo 2019

Classic Plastics Toy Expo returns Saturday March 2nd 10am-6pm to Sunday March 3rd  11am-5pm at the Parkersburg Art Center.  The event is a fundraiser for the Parkersburg Art Center and Downtown Parkersburg.  The Expo is run by the Classic Plastics Toy Store.

Guests for the event are Timothy Zahn Star Wars author and creator of Thrawn and Mara Jade; Daniel Pesina who was the model for Johnny Cage, Sub Zero, and Scorpion in Mortal Kombat, comic creator Victor Dandridge Jr., and artist Michael Watson.  Black Mountain Guard, 501st Garrison Corellia, and WV Ghostbusters, and Ratha Con will have a life-sized speeder bike for photo opportunities.

Vendors and artists that will be set-up include J&M Used Bookstore, Burrito Princess, Terry W. Ervin, Joshua E. B. Smith, Black Dragon Ventures, C.O. Creations, New Dimension Comics, ROMA Collectibles, Reye’s Video Games, Super-Fly Comics & Games, Freestyle Komics, Hyve of Villainy, G&C Pez, Ren McKenzie, Lost Legion The Vault, Motivational Bricktures, So Pro Comics, Hot Wheels Mike, Chippies Anime, Third Floor Comics, Bughouse Comics, EZ Cash & Pawn, Enchanted Hart, Comics and Kicks, James Patrick, Cody Booth, Masters of the Comicverse, and more shops, personal sellers, and others selling various items.  The exclusive food vendor for the Expo and after party is Hot Dog Willy’s.

Events will include U Cre-8 Comics workshop on creating comic character, sketch challenge with Michael Watson, and Scorpion Rope Dart Demo, all are on both days.  There has been mentioned of a gaming area but no info has been put out about it.  A costume contest on Saturday judged by Celestiial Cosplay, Midori Kaguya Cosplay, and Hattey Cosplay with several categories to enter.  On Saturday after the Expo, the Dils Center will be running an all-ages after party.  Right down the street and tickets are $5.  They will have karaoke with Daniel Pesina in Scorpion costume.
Downtown Parkersburg is also running their Savor Saturday during the Expo.  Local restaurants will be offering $1 sample items of their menu.

Tickets are just $5 for each day or $8 for both day.  Children ten and under get in for free.

Lots for all kinds of collectors and fans to check out.  Plus plenty to keep you distracted around the same area.

Cons, Gatherings, and Festivals Coming to WV in 2019

Here is a list of conventions, gatherings, and other decent sized events throughout the state that are coming this year.  Let me know if you hear of any others that could fit this list.

February 23-24 Kanawha Valley Model Train & Craft Show Saint Albans: presented by the Kanawha Valley Railroad Association at the Arena Event Center

March 1-3 Tournament of the White Hart XXII Barboursville: Society of Creative Anachronism event hosted the Shire of Port Oasis at the Cabell County 4-H Camp

March 2-3 Classic Plastic Toy & Comic Expo Parkersburg: toy and comic expo at the Parkersburg Art Center to raise money for Downtown PKB

March 2 Grave City Haunted Relic Expo Moundsville: paranormal con from the Archive of the Afterlife “the National Museum of the Paranormal”

March 16 HerdCon Huntington: inaugural pop culture con at Marshal University,

April 6 Old School Convention Belmont: a small comic/toy show to help benefit the oldest school in WV

April 25-28 Blackstone Raid 28 Gandeeville: more SCA event from Barony of Blackstone Mountain at Camp Sheppard 4-H Camp

April 26-28 Casusecon Beckley: pop culture convention at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center to raise money for the local Women’s Resource Center

May 3-5 1d4Con Shepherdstown: tabletop gaming con, at Clarion Inn & Conference Center,

May 18 BuckhanaCon Buckhannon: all fandoms event

May 19 Beltaine in the Forest Charleston: pagan gathering at Coonskin Park; with music, dance, vendors, and Maypole

June 8 Tricon Huntington: comic book con at the Big Sandy Area

June WV Renaissance Festival Lewisburg: open Saturday and Sundays in June, check the Facebook page for more info

June 14-15 Marx Toy and Train Collectors Show Wheeling: the collectors show of Marx toys at the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

June 22 Bat-Con Nitro: a comic and toy show paying homage to the 1989 release of Batman by Third Floor Comics

June 29 Natsu no Tsubasacon Huntington: picnic from Tsubasacon at Ritter Park

July 12-14 CharCon Charleston: at the Clay Center, Facebook Page

July 20 S-Con Mount Gay: Southern WV Community and Technical College hosts its second S-Con Gaming and Pop Culture Convention on its Logan campus

Jul 20 West Virginia Penitentiary Para-Con Moundsville: celebration of the supernatural in one of America’s most haunted prisons

September 7-8 Bonus Round Flatwoods: RPG (and other games) event at Day Inn & Suites

September 7-8 WV Pop Con Morgantown: changed from an August date, Facebook Page

September 20-21 Mothman Festival Point Pleasant: cross between convention and street fair all around Point Pleasant

September 27-28 Rocket Boy Festival Beckley: festival all around Beckley celebrating the Rocket Boys and WV

October 11-13 Tsubasacon Charleston: anime convention, they move from Huntington to Charleston at the remodeled Charleston Civic Center this year

October 18-20 Vandaliacon Morgantown: steampunk con to raise money for Bonnie’s Bus Mobile Mammography Program, has moved from Parkersburg to Morgantown

November 9-10 Mountain State Pop Expo Charleston: celebration of pop culture, all proceeds go directly to the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia at Holiday Inn

Parkersburg Pop Con, West Virginia Game Developers Expo, and SecureWV/Hack3rCon have not put dates for this year yet, but expect them in the fall.  There are also some libraries that do little cons which I did not find dates for, but I am not sure who is and who is not planning one now, so keep your eyes out for them later. Power Up and Shocka-Con have both said they are taking this year off.  Willcon has moved two miles down the road and is now in Kentucky so is not covered anymore.

Plus there are always local gaming events, gatherings, and other smaller events all around you not covered here.

Fallout 76 Parties

If you had not already heard, the fourth main game in the Fallout video game series Fallout 76 is set in a post-apocalyptic West Virginia.  The game will feature over fifty iconic sites from around the state: Camden Park, the State Capitol, The Greenbrier, New River Gorge Bridge, Woodburn Hall at WVU, Ric Griffith Pumpkin House, Hillbilly Hotdogs.  You can also battle the Mothman and other WV monsters.  This will also be the first multi-player Fallout game.  The game will be released on November 14th.

To celebrate this game and the state itself there are a few parties coming up this week.

Reclamation Day Celebration at Saint Albans Branch Library on Thursday November 8th at 6pm.  Activities to test your survival skills in the wasteland will be held to test your skills.  Food and drinks will be provided.

The Official Unofficial Fallout 76 Reclamation Day Celebration of West Virginia at Don Morris Room in Marshall University’s Student Center on Friday November 9th from 7pm to 11pm.  The event is for people 18 and over.

The event will include music from Heavy Hitters, The Dividends and Christopher Vincent of Qiet. There might even be a chance to play Fallout 76 early, depends on how things go.

Tickets to the event are $20 per person or $30 for a couple. The money from the event is going to Cafe Appalachia, Children’s Home Society of WV, WV Autism, and West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition.

VaultMU Reclamation Day Celebration hosted by the Marshall University Special Collections and Marshall University Libraries is Thursday November 15th from 2pm to 8pm at the Marshall University’s Special Collections at Morrow Library.  You can play Fallout 76, eat Fallout & WV themed snacks, tour the Special Collections department, and learn more about WV and Digital Humanities.

Fallout 76 Release Party at the Rambling Root in Fairmont on November 14th from 5pm to 11pm. Discounts on all WV drafts and bottles, prizes for best Fallout costume, and a chance to win a copy of Fallout 76 for every draft you buy.

4th Annual Mountain State Pop Expo

Mountain State Pop Expo is back this Saturday November 3rd and Sunday November 4th at the Holiday Inn and Suites in South Charleston.  All funds from the event will benefit the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.

The Children’s Home Society is a statewide nonprofit children and family services agency. We have 13 locations throughout the state, each of which have a variety of programs including emergency child shelters, foster care and adoption, early intervention, and family strengthening programs.

Funds from this event will go specifically to benefit the Children’s Home Society’s holiday help. Because of you, children in foster care, emergency shelters, and needy families in the community will have the holiday gifts and necessities such as winter coats that they otherwise might not receive.

There will be exhibitors selling various nerd crafts, plushies, patches, decals, art work, pearlier beads, paintings, authors Edward A. Holsclaw and Josh E.B. Smith, Mermaid Lagoon Boutique, artists Glen Brogan and JR Earls, various other local cons will be set up.  Plus cosplayers James Hamilton, Advancing Wall of Doom, Santana, Sheena Bot, Mandalorian Mercs Black Mountain Guard, Outer Rim Praxeum Lightsaber School, and WV Ghostbusters.

Ricky Henry of Electric Tapes will be showing the 5 part micro-series Space Foxes (plus they will have copies of their Space Fox Atari 2600 game), children cosplay contest on Saturday, adult cosplay contest on Sunday (winner gets a championship belt), replica Lightning McQueen from Pixar’s Cars, Final Form Fusion performances, improv comedy from No Pants Players, Q&As, gaming provided by Charcon, snacks on sale from the hotel, charity raffle (with items from Bethesda and Fallout 76),

The show is $10 per day or $15 for the weekend.

A fun show with nerd community going on and for a good cause.