I do seem to be hitting the smallest of cons this year – while I like small cons, I’m not actively seeking them out by size! When I discovered that Weplcon was being held at a library, that didn’t bother me much, I had visions of Akron’s Geekfest, held annually at their library. Of course the Akron library has a huge stage and room to spread out. Not so at the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library.
Weplcon takes place on the lower floor of the small library, occupying several rooms as well as setting up a face paint station. It’s something more than a library kids event, while being something less than a convention. They offer way more than your typical Library event, with panels, a dealers room and a cosplay contest, not to mention a green screen station (and unlike my friends and I at heroes united, where we take the photos and post them a couple of days later, they were actually editing them right there and printing them out for people on the color laser printer!). This kind of stuff tends to bring out great costumes, like my friend Bob, debuting his wookie outfit (complete with a disassembled C3P0 in a sack to carry on his back). There was the cutest Squirrel Girl ever (and she really hammed it up during the costume contest) as well as a lady on the older side in a sailor scout suit – she mentioned making the boots out of duck tape since that how the Cure used to do it. Even the Emcee was decked out in one of the more stunning Twilight Sparkle dresses I’ve encountered!
I actually kind of dig what they do during the contest- they look your character up and then throw a google image search up on the screen behind you so you are standing in your costume in front of the source material. Not only does it help the audience (who by the way, help choose some of the winners!) and judges make a decision on costumes, but it’s a stunning (yet simple) way of presenting the contestants. Great production value for such a small venue.
When you enter and sign in with registration (It’s free admission since it’s a public library, but they do like to know how many came and who is in the costume contest) they hand you fistfulls of coupons; Chipotle, Applebees, bowling, not to mention a bunch of raffle tickets for you to bid on things in the dealers room. The dealers room itself was small but packed, with familiar vendors like Comics and Friends or Cleveland ConCoction set up. In the center was a table for the raffle featuring giant stacks of graphic novels and movies – all old, used stuff that was being retired from the library. It’s a clever way of purging the old stock and with a show this small, your odds of getting something were good.
The kids went with me to this one and we decided on a Krypton theme. Maddie even did a review of the show!
Overall, we had fun and I like what they are trying to do, but it’s a little too far of a drive from the west side of Cleveland for something this small of scale. Shows like this (library based) don’t typically grow, but then again, this was better done than most and I can’t help wondering what it would be like if it did!