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Comic Con coming to Pocatello

January 5, 2017 GMT

AP file photoBy Shelbie Harris, sharris@journalnet.comIf you self-identify as a geek, nerd or simply consider yourself a fan of comic books, Harry Potter or pop culture in general, you might want to sit down for this.

Comic Con is coming to Pocatello.

“Boise has like five conventions and Eastern Idaho doesn’t have any,” said Tanglwyst de Holloway, one of the owners of Snake River Comic Con. “It’s not like there are fewer geeks in Southeast Idaho, we’re everywhere.”

So from Sept. 29 through Oct. 1, Snake River Comic Con will be taking over the Red Lion Hotel, the Clarion Inn and the Mountain View Event Center.

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If people get tickets to the Salt Lake Comic Con for the entire three days, a hotel room and food and travel expenses, it can cost up to $500 for a person to attend, de Holloway said. He adds it’s the same for those going to Boise.

“We thought there was no reason for people in Southeast Idaho to pay that much or travel that far,” de Holloway said. “There’s plenty of interest here and all of us have decades of experience putting events together.”

She started costuming with the Utah Shakespearian Festival in 1985. Over 30 years later, de Holloway’s repertoire includes more than 500 Comic Con appearances and 200 costume competitions that she’s judged.

Though still eight months away, several quests have already agreed to attend, including Cat Rambo, who lives, writes and teaches atop a hill in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200-plus fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Also attending is Russ Adams, an award-winning special effects artist familiar to worldwide audiences for his work on Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge, the highly-rated SyFy Channel reality series; Christine Taylor-Butler, the author of more than 80 books for children and young adults; David Vincent, a voice actor in such iconic shows as Bleach, Fate: Zero and Kill la Kill, and he’s voiced several video games like Fire Emblem: Fates, Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive and Star Wars: Battlefront; Steve Warky Nunez, an award-winning singer, lyricist, composer, letterer, editor and actor for video games, film, audiobooks, and more.

Fresh off the set of Hulu’s Chance series with Hugh Laurie, Nunez is taking a moment to breathe by attending the Snake River Comic Con.

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Nobody in Pocatello in this generation has been to a convention in this area, de Holloway said.

“The last time there was a fan-sponsored convention was a science fiction event in the ’80s,” she added.

An exact event schedule is not yet available, but the Red Lion Hotel will serve as the main events center.

Some of the main events include a rave with electronic dance music, a rock concert headlined by local talent including The Relics and Hot Pursuit, a costume contest, a nerf gun war, numerous workshops, costume and prop making panels and life lesson panels for various issues, such as people handling depression.

The Clarion Inn will serve as the steampunk and literary events center. Here attendees can find books about “Harry Potter,” “Doctor Who” or anything Steampunk.

Additionally, there will be another 18 and older show, a Victorian ball, murder mystery, panels on writing and word building and 90-minute Victorian Tea parties. (This includes a slight additional charge, but you get food, drink and entertainment the entire time, and a chance to eat fancy cakes and little sandwiches).

Both the Red Lion and Clarion have pools, so de Holloway said mermaids will be making an appearance.

The Mountain View Event Center will serve as the vendor hall and gaming area.

“Here there will be Star Wars costume groups, medieval costume groups and podcasting groups doing podcasts and panels on what podcasting is and how to do it,” de Holloway said. “Also, we are looking at hooking up gaming consoles to a really big TV to host speed run panels.”

Speed run panels is where gamers play a video game and have to complete it as fast as they can, de Holloway added.

“There are a couple games you can finish in less than four minutes and it’s amazing to watch it happen,” de Holloway said.

Also at the Mountain View Event Center are the photo ops — complete with a green screen as the backdrop with whatever guest attendees pose with. There will also be guest autograph tables, body painting and a gaming area for Magic the Gathering or tabletop games.

Current charities include the Trevor Project and Bannock Humane Society.

“Both of those will have tables there and we’re hoping we do well enough to cut those people and animals a check with those organizations,” de Holloway said.

The costume contest is based off the International Costumers Guild guidelines. Different skill levels range from novice to master, and competitors can create ideas from existing characters or create their own take on their favorite comic, superhero or pop culture icon.

“Another thing that is different about this style is you sign up for a judging time slot in the day,” de Holloway said. “You actually get to spend one-on-one time with the judges. You can talk to them about the costume, the thing you were proudest of, what you learned and what you would have done differently.”

Having that opportunity gives the judges a chance to get to know competitors and their costumes and gives competitors the chance to get expert advice from people who have been in this industry for decades.

“It makes the entire process of competition less threatening and much more beneficial to each costumer,” de Holloway said.

Pre-sale tickets are available online at snakerivercomiccon.com/pre-registration. A standard 3-day pass is $35, three-day VIP passes are $80 and youth tickets age 8-15 are $15. Kids 7 and under are free and same day tickets go up to $50 for regular three-day and $120 for VIP. Individual day passes are $20 for Saturday, $20 for Friday and $10 Sunday.

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