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.



WHAAM!: Original Comic Drawings

The Huntington Museum of Art is running an exhibit on comic art that started on June 27th and will run through October 11 called The Herald-Dispatch Presents WHAAM!: Original Comic Drawings from the collection.

The exhibit features original comic book art, comic strips, and sequential drawings from the Huntington Museum of Art’s Michael Reynolds Collection of American Popular Culture.  There will be work from Bob Kane, Ernie Chan, Neal Adams, and many other noted comic artists from the 40’s to recent pieces covering superheroes, fantasy, comedy, and more.  The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Alfred Lee Reynolds.

The opening reception is this Tuesday July 28th at 7pm.  Comic writer, blogger, and WV native Beau Smith will be speaking on how comics are created and their history.  He will lead a tour of some of the pieces while he talks.  Feel free to come in costume of your favorite hero or villain.  The lecture will take about forty minutes to an hour.  Refreshments will be available.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

A native of Ceredo and a Marshall University graduate, Beau Smith’s first work was a series of backup stories for a book called “Scout” published be Eclipse comics. In the 1990s he attained national prominence working for DC Comics where he wrote “Guy Gardner: Warrior” a spin-off of the “Green Lantern” series. Smith later attained a lot of work behind the scenes at various companies. He served as the Vice President of Marketing for Image Comics and later IDW. Recently his Western/Supernatural hybrid book “Wynonna Earp” has been given the go ahead to be turned into a TV series for the SyFy channel.

Tsubasacon 2014

Tsubasacon returns this year on Friday October 10th through Sunday the 13th at the Riverfront Ballroom and Conference Center in Huntington.

Guests for this year are voice actors D.C. Douglas (Resident Evil, Mass Effect), Paul St. Peter (Naruto, Robotech, Bleach), Lisle Wilkerson (Tekken, Virtual Fighter); game show host Greggo, and musical guest the video game inspired Eien Strife.

Events lined up include panels, several game shows, video game tournaments, anime showings, concerts, improv, karaoke, games of Cards Against Humanity, AMV contest, martial arts exhibition, autograph sessions, rave, and more.  There will be panels about video games, Homestuck, art, animes, cosplay, crochet, figurines, Avatar, music, Japanese cinema, exercise, RPGs, and more.  I am personally doing five panels over the weekend under the name Otaku@DEEP.  Big events over the weekend are the Formal Masquerade Ball (Halloween Theme) and NIghtmare Night Festival (My Little Pony) on Friday night, a cosplay parade (along the sidewalk), cosplay masquerade, and cosplay lip sync contest on Saturday, plus a talent show on Sunday.

Power Up is holding some retro video game tournaments in the video game room.  The Tsubasa Region Pokemon League is holding their second year of battles.  Battle against Gym Leaders and earn badges to be the best, the best there ever was.  The cosplay masquerade and lip sync contest will be the city auditorium at city hall.

They also have a full vendor room, artists alley, the 501st Squad Corellia, and plenty more to see.  The 501st is holding a raffle, to enter bring a toy donatio to win some Star Wars collectibles.

Registration will be $45 for the weekend, $30 for just Friday, $40 for just Saturday, and $20 for just Sunday.   The cosplay parade is free though to go check out.

If you like anime, video games, or cosplay this is the biggest of the year for all that.  Lots to see, do, or just come to hang out with friends old and new.

Tri-Con 2014

The Tri-State Comic Con is coming up next month on May 31st at the Big Sandy Superstore in Huntington, WV so here is an update on what will be at the con.

Announced guests since my last piece are Jeremy Barlow (Eisner nomine writer and editor, R.I.P.D, Mass Effect, Star Wars), Mat Slay (artist, Image Comics, Upper Deck),  Jamie Snell (artist, Topps, Upper Deck, Rittenhouse), and Daniel Way (creator of Draken, Wolverine: Origins, Deadpool).

Attending exhibitors that will be there are comic creators Eric Adams, Alex Heberling, Assailant Comics, Todd Beistel, Dustin Carson, Sean Forney, Todd Frazer, Tim Fuller, Rodney Fyke, Gary Gibeaut, Kevin Leen, Seth Lyons, Michael Mayne, Chris McJunkin, Shawn Murphy, Timothy Taylor, Aaron Williams, and Thomas Williams; artists Tressina Bowling, Edward Choi, Doomsday Designs, Matthew Durfee, Ronky Tonk, Marc Lewis, Ansley McDaniel, Maryanne Rose PapkeBrett Pinson; webcomic creators Derek CrostonJordan Lowe, and Support Group; authors E.S. Brenwalt and Dan Pettry; podcasts Casual Heroes, In This Issue, Kentucky Geek Girl; publishers ElectoMagnetic Press, Mourning Daily Publishing, Old World Comics, Page 4 Yeti, Pink Dollar Comics, and Runespinner Studios.  And con creators Broken Icon Comics will be there will with Rob Dumo, Brandon “G-Raver” Graver, Tristan Kelly, KJ Mendenhall, Joseph Schmalke, Kevin Steward, and Nicholas “Iowa” Wentland. Appearances by the WV Ghostbusters Division and rock band Harrah.

Vendors for the con include individual comic dealers and stores (C&C, Dungeon Dwellers Comics, Purple Earth Comics, Third Floor Comics), Blue Line Pro for art supplies, City of Horror, toy dealers (Classic Plastics, Dave’s All-American Toys, HillBilly Toy Chest), Gem City and Lexington Comic Con, Ryancor custom screen printers, TeeMinus 24, photographer Williamson Image, plus DZ Nuts and Cards will be looking to buy key issues and will grade two issues for free.

Panels have not been posted yet, but I am going to guess stuff about working in the industry and how to produce your own work.  Though check out the list of items they have up for the auction.

You can still pre-reg for the con on the website; General Admission for $10 or the Guest Friendly Package for $15.


Over the Border: Ratha Con

Ratha Con is a comic book convention in Athens, Ohio at the ARTS/West: Athens Community Gateway to the Arts on Saturday April 26 from 10am – 5pm.

Artists, comic creators, and authors attending the event include Larry Blake, Jesse MarksSteve RichterTerence Hanley of Five Star Comics, Chris Monday, Derek Croston, Daniel Boyd, Ken Eppstein, Sandy Plunkett, Charles Milhouse, and Terry Eisele. For vendors you can expect people selling greeting cards, sewn items, costume items, comics, graphic novels, games, and food vendors. There will also be the award-winning lightsaber choreographers Blind Wave Productions.

There will be several panels at the con: a panel on comics with Sandy Plunkett, Steve Richter, Terence Hanley, and Ken Eppstein; Self Publishing by Charles Milhouse; Model Making with Jay Pare; Wearable Wounds workshop with Danette Pratt; Light Saber Choreography with Blindwave Productions which leads into the Stage Fighting workshop with Ohio University theater professors Brian Evans and Tom Fiocchi; presentation by Daniel Boyd on his films and graphic novels.  There will be a bullwhip demonstration at 11am with Daniel Trout.  For gaming they will be having a D&D game starting at 11am and Magic starting up at 12:30pm.  Their costume contest begins at 4pm.

The ARTS/West is holding a month-long Pop Culture art exhibit in honor of the con.  Take some time to check out art that represents anything from popular culture. 

Admission is $5 for everyone 11 years and older and kids under 11 get in free.

Just a quick junt over to check out this small, but still fun looking, convention.

Tsubacon Review

Another year and another Tsubasacon.  The tenth anniversary passed this year with loads of fun and special recognition from both the governor’s office and Huntington’s mayor office.

There was some layout restructuring this year, first time in a long time, since the center had done some remodeling.  The vendor room was moved to the other side of the building and panel rooms and sub-main to their place.  Lightened traffic down the hallways with the vendors and artist alley away from each other, but helped to create extra noise outside the panel rooms.

The guests were friendly and nice, of what I saw of them.  Maybe it was just me, it seemed they did not put them as front and center to the fans.  Then again I did not try too hard.

My panels ran pretty well all three days.  Fair to good attendance and very interactive crowds.  Also got to check a few other panels.  The ones I saw were quite good, a blend of learning and having fun.  Though not all.

The music acts were nice if a bit loud for myself.  Seriously I walked out of the Junko concert cause it was physically painful.  I did like here work though, picked up a CD and all.

There was plenty of cosplayers from all kinds of fandoms: animes, video games, Doctor Who, MLP, comics, and what ever else people liked.

Disappointed in the CCG room and schedule they had.  The guy in charge of Weiss Schwarz did not show and all of Sunday’s games were cancelled.  Also not a lot of room.  I did not check during the tournaments so I did not get to see them going on.  The video room did not really have too much that interested me during the weekend and the only time I actually looked in there, no video was playing and I swear there were two people napping in their chairs.

The vendors’ room was fuller than last year and had a good selection of items to pick up.  Artist Alley also had a nice selection, not a lot of repeat items.

Very much a con for people looking to hang out with friends, both old and new. Still lacks that real special spark to make it a great con, but very much improved.  Great for cosplayers, video game fans, cartoons, and internet memes.

Pictures by Aaron Bellomy

Rising Star 22

Rising Star is a sci-fi convention held on the campus of Bluefield State College in Bluefield.  It is a small and very relaxed style convention that covers many different fandoms.  This year’s event is on October 25th through the 26th.

Guests at this year’s con are Kim Headlee (Arthurian author), Ashley Holohan (furry artist), Mark and Amanda Davis (artists), Seth Banner (artist), Chris Impink and Barb Fischer (webcomic), Laura Lin (paranormal author), Dan Delby (comics), Paul Dellinger (UFO writer), Consortium 499 (musician), Pure Steam (steampunk gaming), the Bluefield State College Robotics Team, Strange AEON LARP, Black Diamond Paranormal Society, Sisters of Salem (paranormal group), Chris Dehart (make up artist), White Plectrum (filker), Abingdom Historical Combat, and the biggest start of all (read: full of flaming gas) myself.

Things to do and see at the con include an art show and auction, makeup demos, table top gaming, tournaments by Rare Hunters, dealers, art demos, video game tourneys by Game Stop, charity auction, dance party, fighting demos, LARPing, My Little Pony meetup, film fest, anime room, costume call, photo ops, music concerts, and various panels.  I will be holding a panel on “Nerd Music” and joining the panel on Doctor Who.    Food will be available on site for purchase.

Passes to the con are only $5. Students and staff of Bluefield State College get in free with a BSC ID.  This is something for fans who like small events and are more into events with substance instead of flashing events.