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Posts tagged “Geekfest

Geekfest 2022

Look, I’m as surprised as anyone. I was certain that geek fast was dead. I mean, the plague killed bigger and more powerful conventions than them… And they already missed a year here and there even without those complications. It’s a difficult event for the library to mount, a lot of variables a lot of planning. I really wouldn’t have blamed them for just deciding to sit this one out.

I’ve actually only heard that they were coming back about three weeks ago. Definitely not much more than two weeks before the event itself, and it was so close to Neo Comicon  that I wasn’t sure if we really had it in us to do two back to back shows. Still, it’s a show I like, being one of those more programming driven events. Maddie hadn’t been out to this thing since all the way back in 2016, and she found herself really looking forward to it, another chance to bring out her my hero academia costume and connect with other people. So, Saturday morning, we loaded up the car and headed out.

I was taking a chance bringing out my Borg costume for this one… Star Trek is passé these days, and Star Wars is real the real attention is at. Still, I was pleased to discover I wasn’t the only person and track garb there. This event draws a lot of boomers and Xers, with children that they’ve raised on Star Trek. I was surprised at how often I was recognized, not only by adults, but by teenagers! Around the corner at one point and one of the vendors piped up “now there is the scariest summer of my life!“. He was of course referring to the Star Trek next generation cliffhanger “the best of both worlds“. I nodded. “It’s funny, but of all the two-parter is they did after that, they never quite managed to get you to those same stakes.“ The vendor agreed. “During that third season,“ he told me. “They’ve gotten into the habit of always resolving everything within the last five minutes… But we got closer and closer to the end of this episode, 10 minutes, five minutes, three minutes, and I found myself wondering how tehy were going to wrap this up. I spent all summer nervous and wondering what was going to happen when the show came back.“. I remember that summer too. I mentioned to him that I was certain that Captain Picard wasn’t coming back to the show, that he’d be taken off with these bad guys, and that Patrick Stewart would basically go off and go back to Shakespeare while Commander Riker would take command of the enterprise for the remainder of the series pack. It was fun chatting with somebody about this and reminiscing about the days when Star Trek was genuinely good and had such cultural relevance.  As I wandered around, I made sure to menace the other people in Star Trek costumes, and was surprised to how many there were… In fact, I wasn’t even the only one carrying around a triple! There was a great looking doctor crusher with a triple in her jacket pocket. It seem to be behaving better than mine, considering I couldn’t get mine to sit on my shoulder the way it’s supposed to. I managed to get it attached just before pre-judging for the costume contest and about 20 minutes before I had to walk on stage for the main competition. That’s really my main goal, to have him ride out on my shoulder so that I can remove him and display him to the audience. I’ve gotta remember to use a better magnet the next time though.

That pre-judging was a problem. One of the main events that Maddie and I were looking forward to was a screening of Howls moving castle. The Akron Summit public library has a massive auditorium with a large screen… Just about movie size, so they get to see this on the big screen is a real treat. However, the movie was screening from Eleven to One, and pre-judging was at noon! It didn’t help that Maddie and I were a little late getting in as well, so we probably missed about 20% of the movie, but we did get to watch was every bit as good as we remember, and incredibly fun to watch on a proper screen with a good sound system.

Costumes were in abundance, despite the fact that the costume contests itself was a little lightly populated. Queen Anna Boleyn shuffled through the doors as I was making my way out for a swag dump, she waved a wand at me to vanish the evil machinery! She would occasionally come up to me throughout the convention with a screwdriver adjusting my mechanics. Another running joke was the way that R2 D2 seem to keep running into me. The R2-D2 builders club had a table downstairs with the 501st Legion, creating of nice Star Wars presence there. But occasionally the droid would roll his way upstairs and mingle with the rest of the people. It would see me and Emmett allowed high pitch scream, as I’d come over and scan it and examine it for the edification of the crowd. At times I almost felt like a little droid was following me!

I’ll say this, not only did Geekfest return, they veritably exploded. It’s bigger than I’ve ever seen it before, with them really pulling out all the stops. I remember the days when this show was basically maybe a half dozen tables up by the auditorium, mostly library personnel making buttons and playing games with the kids, one panel room and maybe some improv going on in the main auditorium. This time around they utilized all four floors. Star Wars characters on the ground floor along with a cosplay repair station… I can’t even tell you how amazing that was! When fingers started popping off my glove, I was grateful to be able to use their hot glue gun to put myself back together. Also video game rooms downstairs with retro video games and custom ones made by one of the guests. Another floor had board games… Some of them giant size. A couple tables in the middle were reserved for first timers playing dungeons and dragons. Another floor gave you a chance to explore strange history, along with a table of comics to give away. The vendors and artists were spread out as well. Instead of a handful of tables… A group of vendors that are slowly growing more and more numerous over the years, you could now find artists and vendors scattered throughout the library. There are tables around the length of the entrance, and then spread down below the atrium, and then even more nestled in between the bookshelves and rose and valleys of the library. It’s a fascinating set up, and the library actually went out of its way to draw attention to them by issuing kids a “passport“ where they can get stickers from each booth… Trying to collect them all, and thereby visit all of the guests. This is all in addition to the art show that was going on on the ground floor, one that you could vote  in for People’s choice award… And constant panels and games going on in the two conference rooms in the atrium. Indeed, the overlap was so great, that we always seem to be running from event to event, particularly towards the end when we were coming out for the costume contest lineup. Maddie was none too pleased to have to leave her panel to get in line. “They were going to give away BOOKS at the end!” She lamented.

Still, despite all the challenges, as we drove home, Maddie and I agreed this may just have been the best convention we went to this year. Being so program driven just makes for a far more entertaining experience, and is exactly the sort of thing that will keep Maddie (who’s convention attention span is usually about 2 to 3 hours) completely occupied for over five hours. It’s also a great place to make new friends, something that kiddo is discovering and taking full advantage of.

Here’s the thing, the festival bills itself as a mini comicon? I don’t think so. There’s things I’m much fuller convention experience than a lot of the ones that we pay much more money to get into. It’s also become one of our favorites, and will be back next year.



Geekfest returns!

Conman33964517_10157530851806038_2124974063704080384_n34159311_1951802858197461_3212246190032683008_nYou 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 34191598_1951802971530783_4569578043093286912_nas 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.

34410123_10157539842251038_3511230782041489408_nOver 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 10487229_802705293107229_7390790298135417683_nthe 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.


Geekfest 2016

Conman13962718_10208201314848594_7279551393247332504_nThis 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.

13902698_1242129529164801_3217902076110587464_n13902769_10208201319568712_3781085851439025846_nInstead 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.

13962719_1242128632498224_5384249158409158302_n13907076_1242128572498230_5777644878861227020_nThe 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

13876342_1242128279164926_7430050654836883339_n13900350_1242129012498186_5609667721775681367_nAnother 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!

13872711_1242129519164802_4328410292115861384_nWe 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 13873060_1242128479164906_2650997931369026188_nsomething 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!

Geekfest 2015


I almost wish that this had been the first con I took my kids to. It’s a 11046883_870505629696347_4447852656717970403_ngreat 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 11695865_1012573048787118_6533438551950881638_nthe 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!

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Today at the Akron-Summit County Public Library

(60 S High St, Akron, Ohio 44326) We’ll be there for what they’re calling a mini-con; a very good description for this event.  The fun begins at noon and goes until four. Admission is free and last year they had crafts, art, performers  and costume events (check out our write up  – ). It’s really a marvelous event for families and possibly the most suited for my girls of all the cons I take them to!
We’re dressing up, Lydia has  a new costume and Maddie finally has the sidekick she’s always wanted.
Gotham City Villians
Today, the Bat doesn’t stand a chance.