Halloween ComicFest 2014

Halloween ComicFest is like Free Comic Book Day, only it is the Saturday before Halloween and features more scary and horror related comics.  That means this Saturday October 25th.

There will be full size comics from Archie, DC with Batman, Avatar Press, Zenescope Entertainment, Action Lab, Marvel Comics, Aspen, IDW with MY Little Pony, Abstract Studios, and Viz Media.  There are also mini-comics, smaller size but same great taste, with Angry Birds, Betty & Veronica, Boom! Studios, Little Battlers Experience, Mermin, Plants Vs. Zombies, and Vamplets.

There is also a costume contest to go along with the event.  To enter, pick up one of the free comics, take a picture holding one of the comics in costume, upload your photo in one of five categories (comics, TV/movie, gamer, horror, original), write a short description, and then share your photo with others to get votes.  Two random grand prize winners will win $500 shopping spre at a participating comic shop.  Two random winners in each category will win a $100 shopping spree.  The two costumes that receive the most votes in category will also receive a Prize Pack from one of the Halloween ComicFest Sponsors.

Location that are participating include Lost Legion Comics & Games and Books A Million in Charleston, Purple Earth Comics and Comic World in Huntington, Four Horsemen Comics &Games in Morgantown, Comic Paradise Plus in Fairmont, Your Hobby Place in Martinsburg, Lost Legion the Vault in Parkersburg, and Lost Legion the Castle in Beckley,

Another great reason to go visit a local shop, hang out and meet some new people, get some comics, and maybe pick up something while you are there.



TechLAN Fall 2014

The West Virginia University Institute of Technology Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) will be hosting TechLAN on Saturday October 25th starting at 10am, with early registration at 9am, until 2am at the Tech Center Ballroom at WVU Institute of Technology in Montgomery.  There will be early admission and set up on Friday October 24th from 7pm till midnight.

PC tournaments being held are Team Fortress 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dive Kick (with controllers), and Hearthstone.  Plus console tournaments on emulators of Super Smash Brothers Brawl and Mario Kart Double Dash.  They will have a dedicated game server for Cube 2 to allow participants to play during the LAN.  They will have a FIFA 15 tourney on Xbox 360 and costume contest on Friday night.  Pizza and prizes will be given out on Saturday night, prizes range from charging cables to computer cases and mechanical keyboard.  There will also be computer parts sale and some pre-built computers for sale.

Besides tournaments everyone is encouraged to play with friends and join in on other open games during the day.

The standard entry fee is $10, $15 for premium entry fee, and $40 for platinum entry.  An additional $5 for early entry on Friday night.  Standard entry lets you into the event and take part in the tournaments for prizes, guarantee to win one prize; premium gets you into the “premium” prize pool, two slices of pizza; platinum entry lets you have larger or multiple monitors, one full pizza, only four of these are available.  Bawls will be available for $3.00 a bottle.  A professor on campus will be leading gaming computers to let anyone on them for the weekend.  Prices to use them will be from $20-40.

If you are into PC gaming you should try to make it out to this event and keep an eye open for their next event too.


CharCon 2014

CharCon is October 24th to 26th at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston. Times are Friday from noon to midnight, Saturday 9am to midnight, and Sunday 9am to 7pm. The theme for this year is Superheros, so get your cape and fly on over.

Guests at the con are artists Larry Elmore (TSR, MtG), Sam Flegal (Alderac Entertainment Group, Fantasy Flight), and Bill Tackett (zombies and more).

Tournaments include Warhammer 40k, Warmachine High Command, the Premier Board Game Tournament, Pandemic Survival, Settlers of Catan, and Kings of War. I am sure there will be some more collectible game tournaments, but no info yet.

Non tournament gaming available is Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator, Pathfinder Society, Sparks Force 7 Star Wars RPG, Nero LARP from Nero SWV, Sailpower, Tech Commander, the board game library from Appalachian Gamers, Aerodrome, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, X-Wing, Battletech, Memoir ’44, Dystopian Wars, Wits and Wagers game show, and much much more. Sign up for games at the registration table to reserve a spot.

Non gaming events are the costume contests, adult on Saturday and kids on Sunday; the CharCon Raffle, Swap Meet/Trader’s Alley, vendors, artists, paint and take miniatures, CharCon After Dark with Harrah doing an acoustic set at a local bar, a light box will be available to photograph miniatures and memorabilia for free, and general hanging out with friends new and old.

Passes at the door are $40 for a weekend pass, $20 for Friday or Sunday pass, $25 for Saturday, children 12 and under get in $20 for the weekend or $10 per day, and visitor passes (may not play games) are $5 per day and can be upgraded to a full pass if you want. Con shirts will be available for $20 at the con.

This is the big event for fans of gaming, play old favorites and learn new ones to check out.


Rising Star 23

West Virginia’s oldest convention, Rising Star, returns for another year.  October Friday 24th and Saturday 25th at the Bluefield State College (BSC) in Bluefield.  This will be Rising Star 23 and the theme for the year is Kaiju and celebrating the birthday of Godzilla.

Guests at the con are Beck Seashols (art of cute and LucasArts artist), R.S. Rob Belcher (author of Six gun Tarot), Chris DeHart (zombie make-up artist and props), Ashley Holohan (anthropomorphic artist), Kim Headlee (author of Dawnflight), Nicholas Anderson (blogger of WV Fandoms Blog), K.R. Thompson (author of The Keeper Saga), Andrew and Tiffany Ragland (FASA Corporation Game Reps), S. C. Houff (author of Spring Blessings: From the Files of the Department of the Arcane), Laura Lin (local paranormal author), Dan Delby (comic book author), Consortium 499 (filmmaker and alternate soundtracks), Paul Delinger (author of Dr. Lazarus & Other Stories), White Plectrum (filker and comedy), Studio Unseen (webcomic creators), plus Mark and Amanda Davis (local artists).

Groups attending include Strange Aeons (LARP), Pure Steam (steampunk gaming), Black Diamond Paranormal Society, Abingdon Historical Combat (renaissance-era combat instructors, BSC Robotics (award-winning robotics team), and the Rebel Legion’s Freedom Base (Star Wars costuming group).

Programming will include game demos, discussion panels, board gaming, anime viewing room, video gaming, dealers and artists, photo ops, costume contest, concert, charity auction, concessions, brony meet up, Werewolf games, workshops, and just generally hanging out with some of the old guard.  I will be running a game show on Saturday, so come check out Geek On to see who the biggest nerd is.  The charity auction on Saturday will raise money to establish the Johnny Miller and David Craig Memorial Scholarships.

A pass is only $5 at the door for both days.  BSC students, faculty, and staff get in free though.

Fans who like small events and many different fandoms will want to come check this out.


Sci-Film Series and Screenings

The Clay Center’s Science-Fiction Film Series returns this week with Fahrenheit 451 on Friday October 17th and Saturday October 18th at 7:30pm at the electric Sky Theater.  The movie, based on the Ray Bradbury novel, follows Guy Montag whose job is to burn all books till he starts to read some and question the world he lives in.  The movie has a runtime of 112 minutes.

They will have another showing in December with The Brother from Another Planet.  Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th at 7pm.  The movie follows an escaped alien slave who crash-lands in New York Harbor and flees two Men in Black.

Both are just $6 each per person.

They are also doing a special free screening on Halloween with the silent 1922 Nosferatu at 11:30pm, Friday October 31st.  The film is considered a Masterpiece of silent cinema.  The earliest screen adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula follows Count Orlok.  The movie runtime is 94 minutes.


Another screening you might want to go it up in Sutton at the Elk Theatre they will be showing John Carpenter’s Halloween on October 28, 29, 30, and 31 at 7pm each night.  Admission is $5 per person.  Halloween is the original 1978 slasher film to feature Micheal Myers stalking a young Jamie Lee Curtis and being followed by his psychiatrist Donal Pleasence.  The Elk Theater is a one screen 1930’s movie theater that was put on The National Historic Registry in 1987.


Let us also not forget the Rifftrax live screening of Anaconda on Thursday October 30th at 8pm and re-broadcast on Tuesday November 4th 7:30pm.  This will be your only chance to see the movie get riffed.  The movie has Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, and more fighting a giant snake in the Amazon.  The movie will be shown at theaters in Bridgeport, Morgantown, Nitro, and Barboursville at about $12.50 a ticket.


Dead Screamers: Dead Wood Circus

Zombie Frogz’s  Dead Screamers are opening their haunted trail at Coonskin Park in Charleston this Friday, the theme this year is Dead Wood Circus.  The Trail is open October 17, 18, 24, 25, 30, 31, and November 1 from 7pm to 11pm.  This event will feature the scariest thing imaginable, clowns.

On October 17, 1932, The Dead Wood Circus train was heading into Charleston when it collided with a passenger train heading in the other direction. After the wreckage was cleared, it was determined that fifteen passengers on the passenger train, and most of the circus animals died in the collision. While sixty-three circus performers were missing, and presumed dead, their bodies were never found.

For years, it was said that, late at night, strange lights and circus type noises came from the area of the wreck. The wreck site is now inside Coonskin Park, and park employees always refuse to stay past dusk, claiming the park is haunted by The Dark Circus, as they now call it.

Now, Zombie Frogz Ghost Hunters has obtained permission to open Coonskin after dark, and invite the public to see just what remains of The Dead Wood Circus

On the 18th Miss Amanda the morning host on 96.1 the Wolf will be at the trail along with the West Virginia Ghostbusters.  They have a concession stand on site selling snacks like soda, hot chocolate, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and chips.

Admission is $10.  A portion of the money raised will be donated to the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association.  KCHA is committed to saving the lives of animals through sheltering, adoption, foster care, spay and neuter programs, cruelty prevention, and community outreach.

Dead Screamers, located in Charleston, is a group of the strangest people the area has to offer.  They started the haunted trail in 2011 so they would have a legal way to frighten people.  Plus help the community.

Scareview Grave Schoul

The Scareview Grave Schoul (sp) is run by the West Side Volunteer Fire Department in St. Albans in the old Fairview Elementary School on Hight Street and will be open for their sixth year.  The haunted house is open rain or shine every Friday and Saturday at dusk until midnight on October 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31, and November 1st. The site is over 20,000 square feet of haunting for all ages and is run by volunteers from the community and fire department to help raise money for the fire department.

The event has been updated from previous years to give a new experience to all who come out.  The already scary local used to train fire fighters is given a make over.  Rooms are turned into different ghoulish settings with actors portraying various characters augmented by sound effects and special lighting.  The tour takes about 15 to 20 minutes.  Also expect guests like radio stations and other charitable organizations showing up to help out and sell snacks while they are there.

Admission is $10 or just $8 if you bring a non-perishable food donation.  The food donations go to local food pantries.

The attraction stays open till the last one gets out.

Another fun site for chills and screams, plus doing a little good.  It is your chance to spend a terror filled night in one of the creepiest places any of us can will ever see, a school.


Also the last three weekends in October, not November 1st though, in St. Albans, there will be a Haunted Trail at the City Park.  It runs from 7:30pm-10pm, admission is $3 for adults and $2 for students and kids.  The event is held by St. Albans Parks and Recreation.  Meet at the softball field parking lot and get a hayride to the trail.  Concessions will be available on site.