West Virginia University at Parkersburg is teaming up with local businesses to host its second annual Parkersburg Pop Con at the College Activities Center on Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parkersburg Pop Con is a celebration of popular culture comics, sci-fi, gaming, costuming (cosplay), cyber culture, music, film and more.
The event will showcase national and local pop culture figures, including authors, publishers, designers, and artists. Highlights of the event include video game tournaments, table games, podcast panels, and cosplay panels.
New to Pop Con, this year is an event called B-Roll inspired by Mystery Science Theater 3000. Audience members will be able to tweet comments about the movie and see them show up on the movie screen. Also, Exploding Tarantula Entertainment will be screening “Big Terror Film Festival” top selections that will be featured at its Oct. 1 film festival.
Pop con attendees will have the opportunity to meet industry professionals:
- Jeremy Ambler, a West Virginian actor, director, and writer with acting roles in AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” Adrian Moat’s “Killing Lincoln,” and James Franco’s “Child of God.”
- Tim Shinn, a freelance illustrator originally from Elkview, W.Va who has created artwork for Hasbro, Mattel, Topps, Disney, DC Comics, Dark Horse, IDW, Valiant, Alterna, Dynamite, and Upper Deck.
- Rusty Shackles, an illustrator from Dayton, Ohio known for the Hardcore Gaming 101 cover illustration, retro gaming arts on Paletteswap and InsertQuarterBin, as a veteran contributor to ComicsAlliance, 1up, GameSpy, Oni Press, Antarctic Press, MonkeyBrain, and numerous Nerdcore music acts.
Over 50 vendors from West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky will be at the convention. Several will be industry professionals, actors, writers, artists, selling comics, toys, food, video games and more.
“We’re offering a lot more than we did last year,” said Peshka Calloway, program specialist for Alumni Relations at WVU Parkersburg, “I’m looking forward to seeing our attendance grow and to our community having a blast.”
According to Calloway, who leads the event with the help of many volunteers, 600 people attended the convention in 2016, and she expects as many as 1,000 to attend this year.
The schedule of events is as follows:
10 a.m. – Doors open for VIP ticket holders (80 additional VIP tickets will be available at the door).
11 a.m. – Doors open for general admission ticket holders, and Parkersburg Pop Con begins.
11 a.m. – noon – Wilson’s House of Cosplay panel: 11 a.m.–12 p.m. – Panelists Anthony Wilson, owner of Wilson’s House of Cosplay, Amanda Fisher, and WVU Parkersburg student Ashton Buzzard present “Cosplay 101” which will focus on props, costume creation, and makeup.
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Tabletop gaming will be presented by Industry WV Games.
11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Indie film festival screening will be presented by Exploding Tarantula Entertainment.
Noon – 1 p.m. – Live podcast will be presented by The Dueling Ogres and What’s Going On? w/ Cash and Joel and the Freebird.
1 – 2 p.m. – Judging for youth cosplay contest takes place. Guests can register for this event at the door.
1 – 2 p.m. – Video game tournament “Super Smash Brothers” for Wii U will be presented by River City Rumbles. Registration opens at noon, and the entry fee is $10. Only 16 competitors per game will be permitted, and the winner takes a cash prize.
2 – 3 p.m. – Judging for adult cosplay contest takes place. Guests can register for this event at the door.
3:30 p.m. – Cosplay panel begins, featuring Bunny Bombshell, Miranda Fitzjurls, and WVU Parkersburg alumnus Justin Williamson as “Mr. J.”
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.– Video game tournament presented by River City Rumbles – “Injustice 2: Gods Among Us” for XBOX One. Registration opens at noon, and the entry fee is $10. Only 16 competitors per game will be permitted, and the winner takes a cash prize.
3:50 – 5 p.m. – B-Roll Cinema presents a “Mystery Science Theater 3000” inspired movie showing. The audience will be able to tweet comments about the movie and see them appear on the movie screen.
4 – 5 p.m. – Cosplay contest awards ceremony takes place. Top Cosplayers will be awarded in categories of Best Hero Male & Female, Best Villain Male & Female, Best Youth Hero, Best Youth Villain, Best Prop, and Most Creative.
Adult general admission for this event is $5, and VIP admission is $20. Children 12 and under will be admitted free with the purchase of any adult ticket. For more information about the Parkersburg Pop Con, visit http://parkersburgpop.com/ or contact Peshka Calloway, WVU Parkersburg Alumni Specialist, at 304-424-8395 or ude.puvwnull@yawollaC.akhseP.