Episode 16 – Fandomfest 2016
In this episode, we talk with Ken Daniels and Chris Rowe of Fandomfest 2016. We talk about the history of Fandomfest, mistakes made, and how the convention continues to grow and improve. This year the convention has a huge selection of celebrities, events, panels, and gaming to participate in, including the Stan Lee Experience where you can meet the comic legend himself.
- What is Fandomfest?
- Origins of Fandomfest
- Fandomfest expansion
- Louisville as the “possibility city”
- Martial Arts Combat & Steroids
- “Matt McCloud is a great guy” but his underbelly…
- Mistakes at past Fandomfests and straightening those problems out
- Nerdy Planet – the Fandomfest Store
- Ken loves Andy’s Definitive Guide to Gaming Stores in Louisville
- Stan Lee
- Stan Lee loves Ken’s wife and her calming voice
- Acquiring Stan Lee
- Gene Simmons & visiting L.A.
- Gene Simmons’ nerddom
- “Life’s a Game”
- The Stan Lee Experience
- Least expensive convention
- Louisville and being local
- Events at Fandomfest
- Cosplay competitions
- Pokemon Go! at Fandomfest
- Fandomfest charity work
- Gaming at Fandomfest
- Analogue Gaming
- The size of Fandomfest
- Backstreet Boys & Nsync private show
- Movie props at Fandomfest
- Ken’s salary
- How awesome Nerd Louisville is
- Passion and labor of love
- Stranger Things on Netflix
- Where to buy tickets for Fandomfest?
- Nerd Louisville Secret Marvel Unveil
- Fandomfest Ticket Giveaway!
To buy tickets to Fandomfest, visit their website. As noted, Nerd Louisville is also giving away a pair of Saturday passes to the convention to a lucky winner. Find us on Facebook, like our page and share this post!
- Mike Pfaff
- Matt McCloud
Lexington Comic & Toy Convention 2016
by Matt McCloud
The Lexington Convention Center was a writhing miasma of random fandom on March 11th-13th at the biggest event of the year, the Lexington Comic and Toy Convention. Three floors of nerd mayhem rocked throughout the weekend as caped cosplayers mingled with gamers, comic fans, celebrities, and more. Stars like Karen Gillan, three former Doctor Who actors, AMC’s Comic Book Men, and many others got up close and personal with their favorite geeks and gawkers in a thrilling weekend of revelry.
There were two, count ‘em, two packed dealers’ rooms on two different floors; aisle upon aisle, reeking of comic books, boxes, backboards, and bags, along with a plethora of plastic playthings. All stacked next to comic greats, Neal Adams and Bob Layton, and across the aisle from cosplay queens, like Yaya Han, Jessica Nigri and AniMia!
In addition to the many visiting celebrities and vendors, local nerds also had their wares out for display. Acriss Crabb, owner of Crabb Creations makes headdresses both feathery and leathery and even made a TARDIS backpack in anticipation for the convention. It’s a striking resemblance to the familiar, blue call box, with a zipper top and plenty of room to store your con swag. Acriss had a bustling day with all the convention madness, but said she was having a great time at her second appearance here.
“I’ve met a lot of nice people and just really enjoy the atmosphere,” Acriss said. “We have some amazing celebrities, including three of the original Doctors. I mean, oh my gosh. I make a TARDIS backpack.”
Acriss wasn’t the only local nerd showcasing her wares. Meredith Thornton, who owns Nerdy Things and Geeky Dreams, had the most visual display. It featured old school comics made into geometric collages, drum heads, and even a plastered acoustic guitar, most of which she finds from thrift stores and then uses in her art.
“I decided I might as well take what I learned in art school and combine it with my passion for weird and nerdy things,” Meredith said. “Part of the reason I came here as a vendor was because the first time I came I had so much fun.”
Meredith should know. She’s been going to conventions since her dad took her to a Star Trek convention while she was still in a stroller. She compared Lexington Comic & Toy Convention with others she’s gone to, like Fandomfest.
“I feel like this is a bigger convention and there is more variety here,” Meredith said. “The guest list here is insanely long. And, you’ve got people from Doctor Who, Star Trek, Z Nation, Power Rangers, and Yaya Han shows up. So, the guest list is really good.”
Nerdy nicknacks and celebrities weren’t the only thing attendees could check out. The gaming room at the convention was a semi-darkened ballroom with table after table of casual and not-so-casual gamers hunkered over games of Splendor, Magic: The Gathering, Sentinels of the Universe, and many more.
Kimberly Aileen, a convention attendee and fan of Magic, Everquest, and Dungeon & Dragons (her cousin, it turned out, is Jeff Grubb of D&D fame), was among the gamers in the hall and played a game of Exploding Kittens (don’t ask). Kimberly said she was happy to see such a busy game room at the convention and taught some other nerds (us) the merits of fireball being the first and last answer on being an elf mage.
Straight out of a game, two cosplayers in detailed, hand-made Borderlands cosplay were also at the convention. Brittani and Josh Ginoza, spouses, found the hobby together and often travel to conventions together in costume. They both participated in and won the cosplay contest at the convention.
All in all, the Lexington Comic & Toy Convention has thrown down the infinity-jeweled gauntlet in showing they lead the way in huge, nerdy events that happen in Kentucky. The convention gave locals an opportunity to meet the Paragons of Nerdom, interact and game with other nerds, dress up as their favorite characters, and buy some nerdy treasures. If this year’s turnout is any indication, next year should be another amazing event.
Did you miss the Lexington Comic Con but want to go to an upcoming convention? Check out our list of conventions in and around Louisville.
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