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.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

More on WV Cons

Ok, so I have slacked off on this so I am posting write ups of the last few cons of October in WV in one big post.

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Tsubasacon

The ninth year of Tsubasacon was much like the previous.  Several guests, various panels, dealers and artists, cosplayers, and a lot of people in the hallways.

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Guest were all right, just a little underwhelming to me.  They went from four voice actors last year to two this year, two artist guest to one, though this year they at least had a band that showed up and played different shows.  The vendor room was a little less this year too.  Same number of vendors just less tables sold; they did have one vendor cancel at the last moment but did get a replacement who bought less space.  Panel and events line up is a mixed bag depending on your preferences.  Game shows were big again with Greggo hosting again, Random Battle Group, the Brony and Pokemon meet ups, several cosplay panels, and various panels on different concepts.

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The convention center is really gotten too small for the event.  This has caused moving through the small hallways even tougher than past years.  More people moved to hanging outside which helped some of the problems, but not much.  The con did set out some smaller tables and chairs in one of the few gathering spots in the center with room which was nice.  There just needs to be more of it.  But unless they get a lot of money to take over the arena next door. I do not see that happening.

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Tsubasacon is for people who want to go to a con full of friendly people to hang out and share the love cartoons, comics, Doctor Who, video games, cosplaying and other such things together.  Unfortunately I go to anime conventions for anime.  I feel that if they just declared themselves more a multimedia con or used the phrase “otaku entertainment” con instead I would be happier.

WV Book Festival
I only attended on Sunday, so I missed the what I assumed to be the bigger part of the event on Saturday.  Still I was able to pick up a few books from different sci-fi/fantasy authors, see a film about the Flatwoods Monster, and take in a panel by Nobelman about his books on the creators of Superman and Batman.

Good event for literary fans of all sorts.  It is free, bunches of authors and publishers, activities (mainly for kids though), and the used book sell with great deals.

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Charcon
Charcon’s seventh year and back in the Charleston Civic Center.  They had a hall filled with miniature gaming of all kinds, board game galore, vendors, some artist, and their famed raffle.  They had video gaming in the lounge of the center and RPGs up in the 2nd floor hallway.  Plenty of room up there for them.

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Charcon is great if you are heavily into table top gaming.  Wide selection of games to play, demo, learn about, and talk about.  I just do not see much beyond that though.  They had some guest, but did not really do anything with them.  Some of the artists spent the whole time at their tables and Andy Hopp was never at his table hanging out and playing games.  So two different extremes.  The con also had the most useless con program guide I have ever seen and I have seen many.  Mostly full of ads, a nice coupon here and there, and a list of some events and areas they had.  It listed a flea market event on Sunday that never came about.  I got the cheaper daily pass so I could experience the con and mingle, but not play any games.IMG_5661

I did win a special Magic: The Gathering promotional folding chair in the raffle which is cool.  It means I have won one thing the raffle ever year of the con.  My younger brother won Best Theme in the costume contest with his homemade Famine of the Horsemen armor.

IMG_5681Rising Star

This was the 21st Rising Star and I believe the sixth at Bluefied State College.  Rising Star is very much a relaxacon; meaning it is more about just hanging out with fellow fans and guests than the actual programming itself.  By that I mean most of the  con was just wondering around the main room and talking with everyone.  Not to say they did not have programming or that is was not good.

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My favorite part of the con was being a guest for this blog and my nerdy music one.  My name even indeed up on one of their poster, which I made sure to swipe one for myself.  I ran two panels: WV Fandom and Nerdy Music.  WV Fandom was mainly just me talking about the different events and groups that I know about through out WV with a few people till we got off topic.  Nerdy Music was me explaining my take on “geek music” to a newbie.

One of the most well attended event at the con was the Brony meetup.  I have no comment that I can publish for this.  There was also a “Meet the Fan Groups” event for all the different groups at the con to introduce themselves to everyone; there were more people int the groups than who attended.  There was also the college’s robot department showing off some of their work; one sprayed fire and another shot a paint ball gun, I do not fear zombies I fear a robot uprising.  Saturday morning they played cartoons from the 60’s and served cereal   It was awesome.

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Most of the crowd cleared out at about 6pm.  During and right after the costume contest; leaving just really the locals and hardcore people.  Which is a shame cause the concert from White Plectrum and the Charity Auction were after that.  I feel there was also too much of a lull leading into the contest, and not enough attempts to let everyone know it was starting on time, and a judging period that took longer than it took for all the contested to get up killed the some of the excitement.

Nice show a fans of all kinds of genres to connect, very cheap, and friendly environment.  And so ended my six weeks on cons (I was at Cincinnati Comic Expo the weekend before Shockacon).

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So what do you all think?

Upcoming Events

West Virginia is not really a place you think of when making convention and nerd event plans, but there are a few events that take place in this state every year that might interest you. In fact most of them happen from September through October. Here are list a geeky events I have been able to come across in the Mountain State.

Culturefest
September 6-9
The Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem
Outdoor festival featuring world music, dances, workshops, artisan vendors, belly dancing, drum circles, a kids’ village, healing arts, camping, community art projects, a parade, open mic, yoga, and after hours cabaret. Some of the performers include Po’ Folks Cabaret (fire performance), Cari Cohen (fire & light dance), Liberty High School World Percussion Ensemble, Captain Lazerblast Band (techno folk), Antioquia (psychedelic lovefunk), Option 22 (space folk), Chally Erb (dance and movement theater), Quiet (rock band), and My Pet Dragon (alternative rock). A full weekend pass costs $30, single day passes available too.

Mothman Festival
September 15-16
Downtown Point Pleasant
The Mothman Festival is a celebration WV’s favorite cryptiod (sorry Flatwoods Monster). Events include face painting by Jody Rife, tram tour of downtown Point Pleasant, hayride through the TNT area, the Miss Mothman Pagent, and live music from a number of bands including the Mothman band. Guests speakers will include: Chad Lambert, creator of Mothman Comics; Robin Bellamy, speaking on the Haunted Lowe Hotel; Rosemary Guiley, author and investigator; Stan Gordon, speaking on UFOs and Bigfoot; Susan Shephard, author and ghost hunter; and Tom Ury, Mothman eyewitness.

Siege of Glengary
September 21-23
Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Kearneysville
Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) event where Atlantia will once again lay siege to the Shire of Sylvan Glen. There will be a feast, merchants, arts and crafts competitions and classes, children’s activities, archery, fencing, battles with siege engines, art and sciences competition, brewing competition, and combat. Pre-registration is $10 for adults and $5 for those 6-17. The feast is $8 per person.

Shockacon
September 29
Around the mound in South Charleston
A new sci-fi/horror convention that is heavy on the horror.  Events planned include a monster parade and scream contest.  Guest include various actors from indy movies plus from Dawn of the Dead and Walking Dead, wrestler Chance Prophet, comic creators Daniel Boyd and Jason Pell; authors Keith Davis, Geoffrey Cameron Fuller, Karin Fuller, Kyle Lovern and others; artists J.R. Earls, Stacy Parker, and many other guests.  Groups for the con are 501st Legion, Original WV Paranormal, Heart of Appalachia Roller Girls, Cemetery Knights a hearse customization group, and model group Hearse Maidens. Live music will be provided by bands Renfields, the Monster Dolls, Dead Ringers, Nanker Phelge, and DJ Thunder.  Vendors include the like of costumers, prop makers, toy sellers, game dealers, and other collectables.  The event is free.

October Sky Rocket Boys Festival
October 5-7
Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine at New River Park in Beckley
The Rocket Boys Festival has moved from Coalwood to Beckley this year. The even will have four of the Rocket Boys, music performances, craft and food vendors, a rocket launch, fire hydrant painting contest, screenings of October Sky with commentary, writer’s workshop with Homer Hickam, paper airplane flights, and more.

Evil Dead The Musical
October 5-6, 12-13
Kanawha Players Theater in Charleston
Evil Dead The Musical is a campy rock-musical based on the cult classic Evil Dead/Army of Darkness movies. The music rocks, the stage blood flows freely and the chainsaws never run out of gas. Kanawha Players Theater brings it here for its area premiere production.  The show has strong language, adult situations, blood, gore, demonic possession, and some not so nice trees.  Children under 16 will not be allowed in without an adult.  Children over 16 enter at their own risk.  Tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for kids.

WV Pop Con
October 6-7
Mylan Expo Center in Morgantown
Another new con, this one a multi-genre convention.  The con will have a demonstration on zombie makeup costuming, a chance to create your own superhero, both a makeup and costume contest and a Magic tournament.  They have lined up several guests for the con.  Comic guests: Kyle Higgins, Rober Tinnell, Neil Vokes, Bo Hampton, JC Vaughn, Mark Wheatley, and several more mainstream and indy creators.  Other guests include podcaster Chris Ferrell, Morgantown Roller Vixens, Garrison Carida, RJ Haddy from Face Off, filmmaker Jacob Young, game designer Chevee Dodd, and others.  There will be comic, game, toys, publishers, and more vending at the con.  $15 for passes of both days.

Tsubasacon
October 12-14
Riverfront Ballroom and Conference Center in Huntington
WV’s premiere anime convention returns for it’s 9th year. Guest for this year include VAs Patrick Seitz (Hetalia, Durarara, Monster) and Lauren Landa (Madoka, Familiar of Zero, Nanoha), comic creator Dirk I. Tiede, steampunk band The Extraordinary Contraptions, video game journalist Justin McElroy and game show host Greggo. There will be: a formal ball, plenty of game shows, and the usual anime con events of panels, cosplay contest, AMV contest, video rooms, and rave.  Pre-reg is $35 till the end of August.

Jedicon WV
October 13
Sistersville Fire Hall in Sistersville
Little Star Wars con up North. You can expect vendors, door prizes, trivia contest, charity auction, appearances by Ken Simmons principal photographer for Kenner packaging and publicity images, Garrison Carida and The Rebel Legion Star Wars costume groups. Just a dollar for admission.

Morgantown Zombie Walk
October 13
Top of High St next to Chi Omega sorority Morgantown
Walk begins at 8pm.  Sign up here.  On-site registration starts at 7pm and all zombies are asked to bring as much canned food as they can carry. All collected food will be distributed to the local food shelters. Beginning at 9pm, there will be a Zombie Prom. Advanced tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Illusive Skull Costume Castle located in the Mountaineer Mall. Tickets are also available at the door for $12.00. The Zombie Prom is for ages 16 and up, but those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

CharCon/Hack3rcon
October 19-21
Charleston Civic Center in Chareston
WV’s largest table top gaming event; in additional to a computer security conference/LAN event. They are having an Post Apocalypse theme this year. Event submission and pre-reg is up for this year. Know events are CharCon’s Premier Board Game Tournament, a Dungeon Crawl Tournament, various RPGs and miniatures, giant raffle, CCG tournaments, and a board game library. Hack3rcon will have panels on computer security and other related topics plus their own games.  Admission is $40, to attend Hack3rcon it is $75.

Rising Star 20
October 26-27
Harris Jefferson Student Center at Bluefield Stage College in Bluefield
WV’s oldest Sci-fi con is holding their 21st year. Guests for the year are Daniel Caton (author and BSC author), Chris DeHart (zombie make-up artist), Ashley Holohan (Furry artist), White Plectrum (filker), Dan Delby (comic creator), Paul Dellinger (UFO author), Brady Sheet (local author), Studio Unseen (webcomics), Black Diamond Paranormal Society, BSC Robotics Team, Abingdom Historical Combat, C. R. Ward (author), local artists Mark and Amanda Davis, and fan groups the 501st and USS Yeager,. Events list are electronic gaming, charity auction, art show, board gaming, costume call, panels, workshops, and more. Just $5 to get in. Free to BSC students and faculty.