Halloween ComicFest 2015

This Saturday October 31st, Halloween, it is another chance to get free comic books from the people who bring you Free Comic Book Day with Halloween Comic Fest.

There are comics from Action Lab Entertainment, Aspen, DC, Drawn & Quarterly, Marvel, IDW, Zenescope, Viz Media, Archie, and Graphic India. Plus mini comics from Magnetic Press, Boom Studios, Dark Horse, Famous Monsters, Action Lab, Archie, IDW and Perfect Square.  There is horror, superheroes, manga, kids stuff, and more.

To enter their costume contest, first get one of the comics.  Then take a picture of yourself in costume holding it, upload it to the site with a short description, and then promote to all.

There are five categories to enter: superhero/comics, TV/movie, horror, gamer, and original.  Two grand prize winners (one adult, one child) will be randomly selected to win a $500 shopping spree at a participating Comic Fest comic shop.  Two from each category (one adult, one child) from each category will also be randomly selected for a $100 shopping spree.  The two contestants (one adult, one child) from each category with the most votes will win a prize pack from the Halloween Comic Fest sponsors.

Check the site to see where you can pick up some comics.  Most shops will most likely have their own plans to help celebrate the day.  Crit Hit Comics & Games in Princeton will have a costume contest at noon.  So will Comic Paradise Plus2 in Weston and Gary’s Comics and More in Morgantown.  Spoiler Warning Games and Comics in Danville will be showing Hocus Pocus with refreshments.  Comic World in Huntington will have candy.

Good chance to stop by your local comic shop for some fun, comics, and friends.  Oh and do not forget to find something to buy too so that you are not just a mooch.






Child’s Play Weekend at Four Horsemen Comics and Gaming

The Four Horsemen Comics and Gaming store in Morgantown is running a weekend of games to raise money for West Virginia University Children’s Hospital through the charity Child’s Play this Friday October 23rd to Sunday October 25th.  All entry fees for the games will be donated to Child’s Play.  Prize support is provided by the Four Horsemen and other local businesses.

On Friday they will have a charity toy drive with Friday Night Magic.  Donate a new toy for free entry to any of their three events that night.  Regular entry is a $5 minimum donation.  Games are at 2pm, 6pm, and 6:30pm.

Saturday will have demos all day of Ashes and Summoner Wars along with tournaments of X-Wing at noon, Heroclix Superman/Wonder Woman pre-release at noon, Magic: The Gathering Battle for Zendikar at 1pm, and Saturday Scuffles with have a Smash Bros tournament at 3pm.  They will also have a Magic Commander all night event with door prizes starting at 9pm.

Sunday’s gaming is a Magic: The Gathering tournament at 1pm, Yu-Gi-Oh win a box at 1:30pm, and Dice Masters at 2pm where you can donate a quarter every time you want re-roll a die.

Most tournaments will run from $5 to $15 minimum entry fee.  If you are free for some gaming this weekend or just want to help out with a donation head on over.


WV Book Festival Returns

The West Virginia Book Festival returns after a few year hiatus this Friday October 23rd and Saturday October 24th at the Charleston Civic Center.

For their return the book festival went out and got a big name, Neil Gaiman, to headline.  Neil Gaiman started in comics know for Vertigo’s Eisner winner Sandman, Books of Magic, Black Orchid, plus things like Miracleman, Eternals, The Last Temptation with Alice Cooper, and more.

He wrote books for adults like American Gods, Neverwhere, Good Omens with Terry Pratchett, Stardust, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and more.  Plus books for kids like Coraline (now a motion picture), The Graveyard Book, Blueberry Girl, and more.  He has wrote two episodes of Doctor Who, one episode of Babylon 5, the movie Mirrormask, and Beowulf.  He has appeared as himself on The Simpsons and Arthur.  He has won awards in the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Newbery, Carnegie, #1 New York Times bestseller.  He is married to artist/musician Amanda Palmer and the two have new baby together.

Other guests include Jodi Picoult a novelist who wrote some Wonder Women back in 2007, Jeff Shaara writer of Gods and Generals, Homer Hickman NASA engineer and author of Rocket Boys, Cat Pleska, and more.

On Thursday October 22nd there will be a pre-festival lecture from Pulitzer Prize winner Eric Foner on Civil War to Civil Rights: The Politics of History at the Riggleman Auditorium at UC.  On Friday there will be a Writing Workshop from 10am to noon and a Self-Publishing Workshop from 2pm to 4pm limited seating for both events.  At 7pm Neil Gaiman will be interviewed onstage by West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman.  Homer Hickam, Jacueline Woodson, Jeff Shaara, and Jodi Picoult will all have presentations on Saturday.

Saturday will also include the library’s used book sale.  Regular prices from 8am to 3pm and then reduced prices from 3:30pm to 5pm.  In the kid’s word play area there will be CoSi Science Spots, a Storybook Costume Parade, and performance from the Bright Star Theater at 1pm and 3pm.

Most of the guests will be signing at the festival marketplace or right after their presentations.  Except for Neil Gaiman.  He will sign only 500 books backstage in private. You will need to get a ticket beforehand in the lobby to purchase a book that he will sign.

Admission to everything is free.


Press Release: Rising Star Science Fiction Convention 2015

West Virginia State University Artist-in-Residence Daniel Boyd will be the featured presenter at the Rising Star Science Fiction Convention, October 23 and 24 at the Harris – Jefferson Student Center of Bluefield State College. Boyd will be discussing “Next–to–No-Budget Filmmaking in West Virginia” on Friday night. The talk will be a discussion of how he produced three low-budget films during the 1980s in a state not well known for its film industry. This will be followed by a twenty-fifth anniversary showing of his SF adventure, “Strangest Dreams: Invasion of the Space Preachers.”
On Saturday afternoon, he will be taking part in a discussion of independent comics. His third graphic novel, “Carbon” was released earlier this year. It’s sequel, “Salt” is currently in the planning stages.

Other creative talents from web and print comics include local artist/writer Dan Delby, Jason Pell, Glen Richardson, Chris Impink and Barb Fischer. Author guests include Kim Headlee, S. C. Houff, and Paul Dellinger. Artists attending include Jenn DePaola and Ashley Holohan.

A tentpole of the event is the annual appearance of the award-winning Bluefield State College Robotics Team. Well known and well-respected in the college robotics field, the team demonstrate their latest projects and innovations in the field of autonomous mechanisms.

Other items of interest include tradition tabletop, card and electronic games, anime, workshops, a vendors area and much more. The centerpiece of the event is a collectibles auction which raises funds toward the endowment of scholarships in the names of Jonathan David Miller and David Eugene Craig, founding members of the Bluefield State College Science Fiction Club. All proceeds from the auction go toward the goal of raising $10,000.00 to endow a $500.00 annual scholarship in the name of the honorees. A portion of any net profits from the convention itself will also be applied to this goal.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Friday evening, with programming starting at 7:00 p.m. and going on until roughly midnight. The doors reopen Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. and are open until the end of the Saturday evening entertainment, which includes a concert by musical comedy group White Plectrum. Admission at the door for attendees six and up is $5.00 to the public. Students of Bluefield State College, as well as faculty and staff get in free.


Charcon 2015

Charcon returns for another year of gaming at the Charleston Civic Center this Friday October 16th at noon to Sunday October 18th at 7pm.  This year’s theme is Monsters vs. Aliens.

Games include the Premier Board Game Tournament with five new board games, Pathfinder Society, SPARKS Star Wars RPG, Aerodrome, Sailpower, Artemis Space Ship Simulator, Are you a Werewolf?, Catan Qualifier Tournament, Warmachine Appalachian Cup Championship, Pandemic Survival, 6 WV State Championship card games, Dagorhir demos, Mario Kart and Carcassonne drinking games, King of New York Tournament, Live Action Red Dragon Inn, Battletech, 2 Rooms and a Boom, Dice Masters draft, Warhammer 40k, a board game library from the Appalachian Gamers, open gaming space, D&D, and so much more.

They have lined up a few guests this year.  The Guest of Honor is cosplayer Raining Neion.  Artist guest Billy Tackett, cosplay guest Harley Heartthrob, authors Michael Knost and Brian Hatcher.  Plus Stephanie Erb, an actress who has appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation, True Blood, Ray Donovan, 24, and The Ring.

Non-gaming events include panels on horror gaming, cosplay, photography, art in gaming, and more.  Photo shoots with guests and cosplayers.  Adult costume contest on Saturday with the winner getting a brand new sewing machine.  A kids costume contest and kids Ghostbusters Training on Sunday.  Drink and draw Saturday night along with the Charcon After Dark.  Live robotics demonstration with P.A.R.T.s.  Vendors and artist alley.

A weekend pass is $40, Friday and Sunday pass $20, and Saturday $25. Children twelve and under can get a weekend pass for $20 or day pass for $10.  A non-gaming pass is $10 per day.

This is a big year of gaming, with lots of different games to get in on and more non-gaming activities too.  I will be running Super Dungeon Explorer on Friday night, Kittens in a Blender on Saturday, and Krosmaster Arena on Sunday.  So come by and join in a game.


Dead Zone Haunted House

The Dead Zone Haunted House is the successor to the Haunted Barn at Beauregard Street in Charleston.   Most of the same staff has moved over to this new project.  The season stated last weekend and is open for all.

The Dead Zone is a multi-level event with three haunted attractions on site.  Each is designed to engage all senses and give you a full experience.  The staff will physically interact with the customers in a safe but scary way.

The Slasher haunted house features classic horror movie slashers as you attempt to survive your own personal horror movie.

The Manor offers a long and dark history.  You explore the nightmares held in this manor that has been lost in time.

The Maze of Mayham (sp) is a never-ending maze with horrors around each corner.  Can you escape or will you be trapped forever.

Escape the Asylum is a blacked out haunted house where you try to escape before the patients get you.  You will have a flag football belt with four flags, and if you get all of them taken you lose.  The asylum is only opened on Thursdays from 7pm to 10pm.

The Dead Zone will be open October 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31, and November 5.

Each event is $10 or see all three for $25.

They are doing fundraising support to EANGUS – The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of The United States, Nitro High School Show Choir, and K.V. Spartans Lacrosse team.  Just take one of their flyers to Bob Evan’s on Thursday and Friday for a donation to be made.

Fans of horror or of being scared should give the site a look.