Comic convention coming to Murfreesboro
Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 8:00 pm
By NANCY De GENNARO
Daily News Journal
MURFREESBORO (AP) — Self-avowed “geeks of the world” will unite May 19-20 for the first-ever ShowCon, a pop-culture and comics convention that will be held at the Mid-Tenn Expo Center, 1209 Park Ave.
“We call ourselves the epicenter of geekdom,” said Brian Ross, one of the ShowCon organizers.
Idea for ShowCon grew out of a local Inernet/podcast called, “The Show,” hosted by Ross, along with pals Adam Pewitt, J. Patrick Tinnell and Ernest Harper.
“We talk about nerdy things like movies, comics, horror, anime and cartoons,” Ross said. “We wanted to visually represent what we talk about, so we came up with the convention.”
Now the idea — the dream of having a local comic convention — has been transformed into an ever-growing event for comic book collectors, sci-fi fans, Dungeons and Dragons gamers and video game junkies, just to name a few potential types of people who will be attracted to this event.
“Some people have sports they’re into. We’re into games and comics,” said J. Patrick Tinnell, “The Show” co-host and ShowCon organizer. “When we (friends) are all together, this culture is what we talk about.”
Fans of this genre are likely familiar with Comic-Con, an internationally known comic books and pop culture convention held in San Diego. Now these types of events are held across the country, and next month, Murfreesboro will have its own version.
“We are having comic books, vendors, artists, special guests (from) TV, movies, big name comic artists and others,” Ross explained.
“We are going to have video game tournaments, costume contests, panels and prizes. We have are going to have video games to play, and there will be trading card game tournaments.”
Show guests include Amanda Dyar from BioGamer magazine; Samantha Newark, who voiced the 1980s cartoon character, Jem; Kimberly Dunaway, a sketch card artist; Sam Flegal, zombie portrait artist; Showtime All-Star Wrestlers; Ari Lehman, the first Jason Voorhees from “Friday the 13th” movie series; and Dirk Benedict, TV star from “The A-Team” and original “Battlestar Galactica.” ShowCon will also feature the replica 1967 Chevy Impala “Hunter” from the TV series, “Supernatural” and its weapons cache, along with The Fright Zone, an indoor “haunt.”
Since beginning the process of organizing ShowCon, it’s even outgrown the original event space.
“It’s the ripple effect. If you drop something in the right place, you will see an effect,” Ross said.
While cartoons, games and comic book heroes may seem child’s play, there’s a wide age range of fans, Tinnell said.
“I look at it like comics are almost like modern-day mythology. I don’t want to say Shakespeare. But there’s some really great storytelling and that’s what draws me,” Tinnell said. Stories are good enough that many a blockbuster movie have been based on comic heroes — from Superman to Iron Man and X-Men. Even “The Walking Dead,” a popular TV show about zombies, is a comic book series.
Comic books and superhero flicks are also indicators of popular culture and “what’s going on in the world today,” Tinnell said.
Escapism is another reason Tinnell is a fan. “Who wants to watch the news? I’d rather be reading a comic, playing a game, or getting lost in a hero movie,” Tinnell joked.
ShowCon isn’t just for the male species, either. There’s a draw for the female gender as well.
Although ShowCon costume director Brooklyn Hinson admittedly doesn’t read comic books, she’s a fan of the characters themselves and creates her own elaborate costumes. “I can be Poison Ivy and nobody knows it’s me. It’s the whole thing of having a secret identity. Superman was Clark Kent, who wore glasses, and he was a nerd. But on nights and weekends, he was flying around, saving the world,” Hinson said.
Beyond comics is the realm of video games, which holds its own immense fan base and cast list of characters. Once again, there’s something for all ages. And Ross promised that ShowCon is appropriate for all ages. Parents need not worry about taking their children.
“I want our show to be upscale and classy,” Ross said. “We want to represent Murfreesboro in a positive way. We want it to be perfect.”
But even if you don’t have children as a guise for your interest in comics, collectibles and supheroes, you won’t be alone, Hinson said.
“People get to come out and play,” Hinson said. “It’s going to be awesome. We’ve put a lot of time and work into this. (You can come out and say) ‘I’m a geek and I’m going to embrace it.”
Published in The Messenger 5.02.12