Hundreds pop over to WVU-P for comics convention
PARKERSBURG — Hundreds of people with interests in popular culture turned on Saturday for the fourth annual Parkersburg Pop Con at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
The convention was a celebration of popular culture, including comics, costuming (cosplay), sci-fi and fantasy, gaming, and film, and featured a variety of authors, publishers, designers, artists and vendors. There were also panels, gaming and trivia contests and other activities, along with cosplay contests for youth and adults.
Doug Anthony, chief information officer at WVU-P, was co-chairing this year’s event with Jackie Bennett, a professional technologist at the college. He said some new additions to Pop Con included trivia contests and a focus on crafts with panels and activities.
“I think it’s very important because there is a community of creators,” he said of the convention. “Thankfully, this isn’t the only opportunity. About four times a year in this local area we have events like this where people can gather and see what everyone is creating. It’s just a real fun time for everyone. They learn stuff,” he said.
Anthony said the event is supported by the WVU-P Foundation and proceeds benefit the college’s community childcare center, the Center for Early Learning. Proceeds will provide needed learning resources, playground updates, and childcare scholarships to cover childcare costs for WVU-P students’ children while they attend classes and to the community.
Kat Hubley, of Parkersburg, brought her family, Aiden Hubley and Olivia Owens, to the convention as she has every year since it started.
“We like seeing the costumes and buying comics and seeing what they have. It’s a pretty good thing for kids,” she said.
Kip Creel, of Parkersburg, had a booth at Saturday’s where he displayed and demonstrated his pencil and ink work. This was his second year at the convention as a guest and his fourth time attending.
“I think it’s a very good small town-type easy-to-talk-to-people convention. It’s very welcoming,” he said.
Bryan Auxier, of Paintsville, Ky., was attending his second Parkersburg Pop Con with a booth for his family’s Ace Comic Books business. The whole family is interested in collecting comics and Auxier said they also like to buy and sell comics. He travels about one weekend a month to events like Parkersburg Pop Con to set up a booth to sell comics.
“It’s fun, it’s a good time. If you enjoy comic books and pop culture it’s a good place to spend a Saturday afternoon,” he said of Saturday’s event at WVU-P.
Mark Setzer, of Albany, Ohio, was attending the convention with daughters Emmalee and Annalyn, “just to have a good time.”
“It’s awesome. It’s small enough to be pretty enjoyable and large enough that we get to see plenty of cool stuff,” Setzer said.
Wayne Towner can be reached at email@example.com.