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.

TriCon V

Tri-State Comic Con (Tricon) celebrates its fifth year with their biggest year yet.  The con is this Saturday June 4th from 10am to 6pm at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington.

Big named guest for this year are Rikki Simons voice of GIR from Invader Zim and a writer of prose and comics of his own, WWE Hall of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase, Ed Brisson comic writer currently working on the Sons of Anarchy comic, Beau Smith creator and writer of the Wynonna Earp comic which has been turned into a TV series on SyFy, Dave Aikins illustrator for Nickelodeon products and zombies, Darryl Banks famed for co-creating Kyle Rayner, DC Comics inker Jonathan Glapion, two-time Harvey Award winning writer Chad Lambert, writer on Uncanny X-Men Jay Leisten, Brian Level co-creator of Image’s The Mantle, Tommy Patterson artist on Game of Thrones comic, and illustrators Andy Bennett, Eryk Donovan, Rob Dumo, Nate Lovett, Drew Moss, Mark A. Robinson, Uko Smith, Justin Stewart, Kyle Strahm, and Nicholas “Iowa” Wentland.

Indy comic creator appearing include KC Anderson of Wafflecus, Tressina Bowling of Dracullama, Todd Beistel of Yuri: The Gypsy Hunter, Coffman 20XX of Araura, Landon Franklin of Zokusho, Timothy Fuller of Zombie Marge, Travis Horseman of Amiculus, Shawn Murphy of Meachanaflux, Lauren Sparks of Cats Talking Words, Jason Pell of Zombie Highway, and the guys from Support Group.  Plus artists Edward Choi, Todd Frazer, Tristan Kelly, Jesse Marks, Michael Mayne, Amanda Scharf, and Jimbo Valentine, authors Rob E. Boley, Edward S. Brenwalt, Russ Lippitt, and E.E. Martin, small publishers Broken Icon Comics, Electromagnetic Press, Headshrinker Press, Mourning Daily Publishing, and Old World Comics.  Plus podcasters the Standard Nerds, D20 Girls Project, and Power Up will be set up along with a few charities out in the atrium.

You can expect plenty of vendors with a wide variety of goods.  Comics, graphic novels, manga, toys, board and card games, figurines, card sets, collectibles, leather works, knitting, steampunk jewelry, t-shirts, decals, posters, buttons, and so much more.

For those looking for photo opportunities, you can get them with the con’s Ambassador of cosplay Harley Heartthrob, the Mandalorian Mercs Black Mountain Guard, the WV Ghost Busters with their 30ft Staypuff Marshmallow Man, a Supernatural themed Impala with a trunk load of weapons, and the actual shed used in Evil Dead 2.

For events they will have panels on cosplay, making your own comics, inking comics, and a Q&A about working for Image.  A charity auction for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and a costume contest for cash prizes and medals.  For the first time there will be gaming going on at the con.  The Goblin Traders will be hosting Force of Will and Magic: The Gathering tournaments along with board game and Star Wars X-Wing minis demos starting at 11am.  The Friday night before the con, they are having their 2nd annual Drink and Draw at Sharkeys.  There will be live drawing from 8pm to Midnight.

Tickets are only $10 and free for kids 10 and under.  They will also have for sell limited edition exclusive comic cover of Army of Darkness for sell.

This is con is just a must to see.  Lots of good creators to meet, things to buy, people to meet, and things to do.  All for a good price.


Game Day to Benefit the Riddells

On December 22, 2014 the house of Tom and Marnie Riddell caught fire and burned down.  They lost their home, belongs, and Tom suffered serious burns as a result of this blaze.  The two are active members of the local gaming community, cosplayers, con goers, and more.  Marnie has also been named the first Ambassador of Cosplay at Tri-Con this year.

To help them out CharCon and friends are holding a game day to benefit them on Saturday February 7th at the Elk River church of Nazarene in Charleston.  Things will start around 10am and go all day along.

They will have a variety of board games to play, Pathfinder sessions, Sparks Star Wars RPG, and more.  Plus a game auction, door prizes, and concessions will be available.

There is no admission fee but they are taking donations.  They are also taking games or game related items for use in the auction or as door prizes and donations for concessions, anything but baked goods. There is also a gofundme page for them to donate at as well.  All the money goes to help the Riddell family.

Let the organizers know if you are going on the Facebook Event page, so they can figure out how much they need for concessions.


Over the Border: Wyvacon2014

Wyvacon is a small sci-fi con in Wytheville, VA holding their third event this year.  It will be at the Wytheville Meeting Center on Saturday July 26th from 9am-5pm.  Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under.  There will be food and drink sold by the meeting center, no outside food allowed.

Special guest for the convention are paranormal investigation groups Sisters of Salem and Black Diamond Paranormal, author and screenwriters Barry Hayes and Jeremy Hicks, FX makeup and costumers Chris DeHart I.R. Zombi, green screen photographers Sci-Fi Photo Guys, Transformer costumer John Koger, Arthurian novelist Kim Headlee, amateur astronomer Scott Martin, artist Hershel A. Brewer, all-round nerd and tinkerer Drew Laing, the 501st, filker White Plectrum, geek metal band Cult Dionysis, and comic creator Dan Delby.

Some of the events at the con are 501st will be holding a charity raffle with prizes from local artists, vendors, and businesses, a book exchange where you can trade up to three sci-fi or fantasy books for three others, silent art auction, and costume contest at 12:30pm with three different age categories and one for pair or group.  There will panels on comic book illustrations, brony meet-up, paranormal investigations, gamer creation, Japanese comics, filking, space & science, plus demonstrations on latex, 3-D printing, steampunk weapon making, and miniatures painting.

Gaming at the event includes console gaming  provided by Game Stop with BlazeBlue, Streetfighter, Injustice, and Dark Souls 2.  For table top gaming there is Warhammer 40k tournament, Magic: the Gathering sealed deck tournament, Star Wars X-Wing miniatures demos, and Pathfinder Pure Steam and Imperium Campaign games.

Vendors will be selling books, buttons, patches, walking sticks, steampunk jewelry, art prints, art cards, crafts, t-shirts, comics, steampunk weapons, collectibles, leather work, RPGs, models, miniatures, CCGs, and plenty more.

There will be an after con party at the Wohlfahrt Haus Matterhorn Lounge and Bier Garten.

A small friendly con with lots of excitement.

JediCon XI

West Virginia’s original Star Wars convention dedicated to the fans and raising money for Children’s Miracle Network JediCon WV XI is Saturday June 21st at the Matthew Barker Memorial Complex in Paden City from 9am-4pm.  Admission is just $1 for everyone six and up, free for five and under.  If they still have any table space left they are just $5.  There will be door prizes, a silent auction, and guest speakers.

Panelist for the con are Blind Wave Productions two-time winner of the  LCC (Lightsaber Choreography Competition), Bryan K Prosek author of Earth United, Brian Stillman producer of the documentary Plastic Galaxy, and Bill McBride curator of the Darth Vader Toy Museum. Also members of the costuming groups Garrison Carida of the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion, and Mandalorian Mercs will all be around for photo ops.  Other special guests include Kim Simmons the photographer of Kenner Star Wars toys,  The Science Fiction Alliance of Pittsburgh and the West Virginia Star Wars Collectors Club will also be there.

Besides panels and the convention supports the Children’s Miracle Network with the proceeds from their silent auction.  The auction has items donated from the vendors, present and past guests, and different companies.  There will be a video game area with a lineup of vintage video games.  Food will be provided by Christy’s Cakes and Catering.  Plus tables and tables of Star Wars toys and merchandise, and many other fandoms and series will be represented, to buy, sell, or trade.

I plan to make the trip up for the day to check out this event.  Those who want to come up and hang out on Friday with the crew when they go out for food after set up might want to look into a nearby hotel.  Though all the real close ones are already full.


We’re Going to Name It VandaliaCon

There is a new Steampunk convention coming to the state, Vandalia-Con.  It will be May 2-4 in Parkersburg at the Blennerhassett Hotel.  The convention is to raise funds to provide for uninsured women with screening, diagnosis, and treatment for breast and cervical cancer.

The con will be having classes, workshops, panels, vendors, and special events all weekend long.

Some events include the Miner’s Lament Saloon on Friday, where you can gamble and bid on items in the Red-Eye Auction.  On Saturday will be a screening of the locally filmed steampunk reimaging of the classic 1930’s horror movie White Zombie, afterwards will be a Q&A with the cast and crew, also the Rivergem Grande Ball, part promenade part shindig.  On Sunday is the Heroes of Vandalia Educational Seminar and Brunch to learn about creating your own charity events with local groups.  Some special events will cost an extra $10 event ticket, like the Haunted Parkersburg Tour with Susan Sheppard and Magic and the Hypnosis Show.

They have lined up several Guests of Honor for the weekend: gagetier Thomas Willeford (Lord Archibald “Feathers” Feathersone), entertainer Professor Bubblemaker’s Eclectic Entertainment, sideshow Karnevil (Gypsy, Arson, Snidley, and Lord Maxwell), olde time music from Battle Weary Band, alternative rock band The Dead Frets, bard of many styles Painless Parker, and authors Susan Sheppard (The Gallows Tree, A Mothman’s Tale), Geoffery Foster (Clockwork and Ghosts of West Virginia), and Cindy Lynn Speer (The Chocolatier’s Wife and Once Upon a Curse).

Tickers are on sale now.  Weekend passes allow access to all classes and panels, concerts, Saloon Night, Pass to the Oil and Gas Museum, and Parkersburg Art Center Tour for $50.  Silver Passes get all that plus free pass to the Blennerhassett Museum, Island Belle Sternwheeler on the Ohio River to Blennerhassett Island, free tour of the Maple Shade House on the island for $75.  Gold Passes get that and all access pass to Blennerhassett Island including mansion tour and horse-drawn carriage ride and one special event ticket of your choice for $100.  Day passes are $15 at the door.

Might be a bit steep, but totally looks worth it if you are a steampunk fan.


Jedi Con WV X

Jedi Con WV has been going on for ten years now.  WV’s first and only Star Wars con, it has been bringing in fans from all over the region who love the fandom.  This year’s event has been moved from their usual Octoberish date Saturday June 15th.  They are expecting to be able get a bigger crowd.  The con is at Sistersville Fire Hall (121 Maple Lane) Sisterville.

The con’s special guest artist Scott Simmons who has done work for Lucasfilm, at cons he does sketch cards, sketches of guests as Star Wars characters, and artwork of any requested character.  The con will have plenty of vendors selling old and new Star Wars toys and memorabilia,  door prizes, a video game booth, food catered through Christy’s Cakes and Catering, costuming groups 501st Legion’s Garrison Carida and The Rebel Legion, and the WV SW Collectors Club.  There will be exclusive prints (example below) by Kim Simmons who help design and photographed the Star Wars toy packaging from 1977-1986.

They are holding a silent auction with items donated by Brain’s Toys, Sideshow Toys, a Price Guide written by Super Collectors Gus Lopez and Duncan Jenkins, and a retro 12″ Jumbo Rocket Fett from Gentle Giant donated by Kenner Collector.  All proceeds from the auction, ticket sales, and food sales goes to the CMN which in turn go to the WVU Children’s Hospital in Morgantown.

Admission is just $1 for everyone 6 and older.  Kids under 5 get in free. If you want to buy a table to sell at it is only $5 for each table, if they have any left.

Small event to be sure, but looks like fun for sure.  Another little one to head to if you have the time.  Do not even have to be that big of a Star Wars fan to find something to do or buy.