You could almost hear the strains of the song “I’m the bogeyman” from the nightmare before Christmas as Oogie Boogie sauntered through the halls of the library. He spotted a giant Lego version of Deadpool, and waved to get his attention. Lego Deadpool shuffled over to him and Oogie Boogie piped up “Can I get a hug?”. Behind them, R2 D2 whistled in apprehension.
Colossalcon totally lives up to its name as a massive anime convention drawing and people from all over the country. The crowds are huge, and it’s a show unlike any other… Which is probably why I chose to go to Geekfest instead. It’s actually a triumphant return for this convention as well… last year it mysteriously vanished from the schedule and I was really bummed about that. I like this convention, and I think it’s a really great one for the community. There’s very little to buy here, being more programming focused with panels and kids activities and such a great atmosphere. It’s unfortunate that they chose to schedule this opposite not only Colossalcon, but also River City Pop Culture Fest (and OddMall collaboration) going on just one or two exits down the road. The end result; attendance was down a little bit from their last show in 2016. It’s still however every bit as good an event as I remember.
I got up in time to catch most of the History of Comics panel. In particular the speaker was focusing on women and comics with a emphasis on Wonder Woman. While it was meant to be a survey of comics from the 20th century all the way up to modern times, the presenter really finds the older stuff to be more interesting in discussion (so do I for that matter). Ultimately we kind of skimmed over the 90s and forward, remaining mostly in the golden age and of course going over the effects of the book “seduction of the innocent” on the industry.
Over the years, I’ve always seen the Ramen eating contest schedule but never got to watch it – that was another fun thing I managed to slip into before catching the gaming panel. As I slipped from room to room in the halls, R2D2 would roll by and harass me – courtesy of the R2 builders club in attendance.
While there weren’t as many costumes as I’m used to this year, the ones that did show up were brilliant. a No-Face wondered the halls, and what impressed me about this particular version was the way the roads were layered with the mask being a full helmet and not just a face mask and a hooded robe. The way the fabric was draped and fell, it all felt like there was more detail and character to it. An extremely slimed ghostbuster showed up with a home-made proton pack built from duck tape and wires and lights and whatever trash she could get her hands on (and we know I’m ALL about costumes made from trash!). She described it as being inspired by Ghostbusters 2… the bit where Lewis grabbed Egon’s leftovers to run and save the guys. It looks like that – like a beat up old pack that was in the back of the closet and that’s such a nice touch. I love the original Sith character, and a marvelous Harley Quinn who showed off her hand made varsity jacket. Myself, I barely made it up the stairs to the stage in my bulky Lego costume… The presenter gave me a hand up and twisted my leg back into place after I hobbled on stage. The emcee asked what it was about Deadpool that I liked. “I’m just in it for the chimichangas,” I replied before inquiring if the food truck outside stocked any Mexican food.
I attended Geekfest alone this year. As the girls grow older they don’t hit as many cons with me the way they did back in 2014… and I gotta admit, this particular event is just not the same without my kids. But still, I’m glad to see the show is alive and well and I really hope to see it return next year at a better calendar slot so it can get the sort of attendance it really deserves.
This year marks the third time we’ve attended Geekfest at the Akron Canton Library it’s grown and changed every year and has always been a fun show… But one of the smaller cons we go to. It was actually one that I was intending to drop this time around– until Maddie specifically asked to go to it. I can’t really say no to that face.
So I pulled out my Apocalypse costume – it’s an outfit I had built for the premiere of the movie, but then a family emergency kept me from attending – this was its debut. I’ve never been entirely happy with the suit though, and Maddie and I hatched a plan to do something very different.
Instead of going as just Supergirl, and just Apocalypse – we decided we were going to show up as hero clix, complete with dials and cards. This also allowed Maddie to actually compete in the costume contest – there is no costume contest category for her age at this show, the kids just do a costume parade, and she is starting to get a little bit by the competition bug herself! it was a little quirky and awkward but so much fun to take the stage as game pieces and throw the dice to show Maddie’s attack hitting me.
The overlord media group and their drama is always a fun time – this time of course they were mixing up genres… throwing Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and Attack on Titan all together. The problem is it’s a bit of a one note joke, and I’m not sure that it really hangs together for a full hour like they were attempting to do. But I always enjoy watching them, it’s the only place and really good to see this sort of lunacy performed live – it be a great fit with the Cleveland CONcoction
Another thing that seems to to be growing is the vendors room – really more of a dealers hallway… there never used to be a lot of vendors at the show and it seems to quietly be creeping up more and more… I’m not sure how I feel about this. I always enjoy that this was really a show where it was just about fun, Comicon through the eyes of a library – not so much profit driven. On the other hand the vast majority of the vendors are crafters and Artisans, and I have to admit I do enjoy seeing that kind of stuff. These knit characters are really becoming popular, I may have to look into the craft myself!
We managed to catch a good chunk of the panel “writing the unreal “which featured three female authors. Maddie frequently talks about wanting to become an author when she grows up and I thought this was a really important panel for her to see. I like this kind of stuff, it really allows you to feel connected to The kind of creative world that seems to be hidden around here in the Cleveland area.
We turned a corner only to discover the sounds of battle! This was a great addition… One of the local medieval fair groups had full contact sword fighting going on in the hallway – padded weapons of course, but still amazing to watch. I love how something new pops up at this event every single year! Indeed, they had so much going on upstairs that they had to relocate the craft room to a downstairs classroom and the children’s library where there were some very interesting lightsabres been made down there. Maddie declined to create one herself (my kids just never connected with Star Wars) but we did have fun seeing the others around the show. One particular little Jedi Joker was absolutely adorable.
We do still love this mini-comicon, it’s a wonderful free event that I cannot recommend enough that it already sounds like you’re making plans for next year so make sure you get up for year five when it comes around next summer!
I almost wish that this had been the first con I took my kids to. It’s a great primer on con life, while being inexpensive – free admission and parking, very few vendors, while still having some real local talents like Thom Zhaler there for people to meet.
It’s very much the idea of a comicon as seen through the eyes of a Library with a lot of activites for the kids, crafts and games and handouts. Lydia was debuting her new Harley Quinn outfit and was distressed that I had forgotten her mask at home, but never fear, one of the craft stations was a mask making activity and both she and Maddie made themselves masks. Odd, I think Poison Ivy looks good in a mask….
The highlight for me was the live Doctor Who performance by the Overlord Media Group which featured 9 and 10, along wiht the War Doctor and Captian Jack, as well as a female Captian Jack (Jill) and the perkiest Dalek you’ve ever met. They are trying to fix a time paradox caused by Rose who was still trying to find the Doctor…Everyone was perfect and the entire thing was fun from start to finish. Clocking in at half an hour my daughters didn’t even get fidgety.
Geekfest is a huge cosplay event, especially with teenagers. While the kids dress up as everything under the sun and adults lean towards comics, I notice a heavy anime influence in the teen division of the costume contest (which had at least twice as many entries as either the adult or kids). It keeps things interesting and diverse -and again, it’s a very Library kind of con. Speaking of cosplay, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this AMAZING troll that entered with a head made mostly out of Great Stuff – the same stuff I made my Thing feet and Groot costume out of. It’s stuff like this that starts to give me ideas….
For a Library event, this thing is huge and always well run, this year boasting a game room, an art show and multiple panels, along with a media room showing Superhero TV shows as well as a food stand outside. They call themselves a Mini-Con, but this event is as big as quite a few of the full fledged comicons I attend and they certainly deserve the name, and I’m interested in seeing what they come up with next year!