We’ve been dipping our toes in the waters of traveling for the past year, and it has been quite a lot of fun. Our first ever attempt was with these same coordinators last August when they put on the Marietta Comics & Creator Convention, so when they announced that they were putting on something similar right in our own backyard, with the new plans on the drawing board, I jumped at the Yes!
So this is my Captain’s Report from the Gallipolis Comics & Creator Convention (The GC’s!), and what a First Ever Event Like This In My Small Town looked like from a local’s perspective.
A Whole New World
It was so much fun to see so many of my neighbors, everyone from people who had become Shop Regulars over the last two years on Court Street and people who had never approached anything quite this “nerdy” before, come out and see what this whole “con” thing is all about!
Living at least an hour from anything remotely like this, it was a lot of visitors first time, and the overall vibe was fantastic! We heard a lot of neighbors, acquaintances, and coworkers run into each other with excited bouts of “I had no idea you were into this kind of thing!” It was lovely to see our community come together and find out that they weren’t alone in the realm of geeky things.
This is what we put together with what we had from the shop, and it was wonderful to tell people that everything we had was made by someone on our crew. Colbie’s dragons, Denise & Jasmynn’s chainmail creations, Jasmynn’s alchemy, and even my “Wondrous Items” were a joy to share with people, because every single thing on the table had a story.
And, as there is always at least one, I got to delight a young Harry Potter fan, who was eager to ramble about her Wizarding World knowledge and was excited that I, too, was a Ravenclaw.
“I live three places. My Mom’s house, my Dad’s house, and The Wizarding World,” she says proudly to me as her dad smiles awkwardly beside her.
“Oh yes, dearie, I too live in more than one world. It’s quite common in places like this. I just left my Muggle clothes at home,” I reply with a wink.
I’m quite sure she’ll be leaving her Muggle clothes at home next time.
We’ve participated in a couple of events this size now, and been to several more, and in case you’re one of those “A Whole New World” types, this is pretty much the norm. In my brief runs around the room, everyone there had amazing work they were sharing. 2D artists, magnificent crafters, indie authors, and unique collectors were all represented. Vendor Halls at these things are a treat to explore.
One of my “Best Customers” from Court Street, a young lad who goes by Zeke, approached us decked out as a “Post Apocalyptic Desert Survivor” character of his own creation, lifting his mask with holes cut out for his Rogue Crusade goggles. He was clearly just as starry eyed as ever at all the wondrous things in the room. This kid visited our booth at least five times, which was 100% unsurprising from what I know of him from his shop visits, and the next to last time said that he was thinking about buying a Steampunked Up Nerf Gun from one of our friends that was a few tables down.
He said so almost apologetically, but even if Maria hadn’t been my friend I’d have encouraged him to go for it. He came back to show off his new treasure and I celebrated with him. Happy kid with the perfect prop for his costume + a fellow crafter who was just supported for her outstanding work? I’ll take that any day of the week.
We heard a lot of people use phrases like “Next time I’m gonna save up my money!” and “Next time I’m gonna have a costume!” Thanks to people like our friends Colbie (@shadowdancercosplay on Instagram) and James (@justsomenerd1 on Instagram) who’ve been doing the Cosplay thing for a long time, I think a lot of people’s eyes were opened to the possibilities. Seeing happy kids and happy adults acting like kids upon seeing their takes on these characters was definitely one of the best parts of the event.
We will definitely be signing up for this one again. Supporting these grassroots events in their often rough and tumble beginnings is what keeps them around for the long-haul. And we will 100% always support positive nerdy things to do in this town. Big thanks to Justin, TJ, Seth, and the rest of their crew for having us, and we look forward to helping it grow. <3