I think Winkler even surprised itself with how wonderful a host they were to all who attended the first ever Winkler Comic Con!
While I can only speak for my experience, attending as an artist in the vendor area in the Garden Valley Collegiate gymnasium, I have to say I was thrilled to engage with all the local fans who came out in swarms.
Where Did Everyone Come From?
I loved chatting it up and asked where everyone was from, here were some of the responses I received:
- "We're from Manitou"
- "I'm from Morris"
- "We're from Manitou"
- "Out from Plum Coulee"
- "I'm from right here in Winker, wasn't sure what it would be like, thought I would walk in and it would be like just one table with some comics on it. But it is full of people, this is GREAT!" -NOTE-this was echoed a lot by the Winkler locals, so it was super fun to congratulate them on a job well done by themselves, and their organizers, for hosting an awesome event!
- "We're not from here, we're from Morden" This is funnier if you know where Morden is...if you don't, get a map...lol
- "We're from Manitou"
- "Out from Starbuck"
- "Came from Altona"
- We're from Manitou"
So, I think ALL of Manitou came out for the event, or just really loved the stuff on my table!
It was fantastic to connect with other local, rural geeks, as when they too learned that I was in St. Jean, they were surprised that they could order stuff from me for birthdays and Christmas and didn't have to go very far to find it anymore!
Were They Dressed Up?
YES! Cosplay did happen, though there were some butterflies about coming out in costume.
One lovely gal in grim reaper cosplay, as well as others, did admit they loved cosplay but were unsure if others in the area would don their costumes. But upon arrival, she found many were dressed up as their fave characters and then the butterflies soon disappeared!
Another two battled it out in my booth as the Red Power Ranger and the Winter Soldier-awesome to the max!
The costume contest happened around 4 pm in the gym had quite a few contestants and they were all quite good, from adorable to scary and you could tell folks worked hard at them! There were categories from teeny tiny to experienced. Well done folks, well done!
Did They Shop?
YES! While having geeks purchase my lovely handmade geekery is part of the reason I attend these type of events, I also love to geek out with them while they do so. I was not disappointed!
From Potterheads to Whovians and Supernatural fans to Aliens fans, they were eager to discuss why they loved the things they did as well as their costumes they crafted.
I was thrilled to engage with everyone about their favourite fandoms! I also loved to field questions about 3D printing and was overjoyed with folks who were so generous with their enthusiasm over my handmade geekery!
I also had geeks from previous Cons and events visit my booth, which is the greatest part of belonging to this type of community!
You get to see each other and catch up at each event! I cherish those interactions and really enjoy showing them new things that I'm making, getting new pattern ideas, or just geek out over a new show or movie! It's so much fun.
Do I Hope They Have Another One?
YES! It was a marvelous time and many of the folks I spoke with said they would love to have another one next year!
I think it did justice to what we would call a "Con" and holds up well in terms of giving local geeks a place to congregate, talk nerdy stuff and feel welcomed. A place for them to collect something prized or nerdy from more local businesses. They will work on more guests in the future.
Some of the folks whom I spoke with also can't handle the large crowd's and this was a kinder option for them. Others were using it to introduce friends to a Con crowd atmosphere in preparation for the large Con in October, ie "Con Training", believe it or not!
It is also an option for others from outside the area to attend a Con event, especially if they may have missed the ones in Winnipeg due to scheduling issues, and want to just geek it up for a day and snag some art from a favourite artist that is attending.
Thanks For Everything!
This post wouldn't be complete without a round of thanks!
For their first year, the organizers did a great job! At initial set up and tear down, they were always asking how they could assist me and had volunteers on hand to do so. I'm very grateful for their assistance! I do have a few suggestions to make it even better that I will be sending along, but they are off to a great start and I'd love to return next year!
Thanks to everyone who came out to the event to support geeks in the community! You have every right to meet up and talk about what you love! It was awesome to meet you and I hope we get another chance to meet again down the road, either at this event next year or at other events throughout the year!
Thanks to the folks who supported my handmade geekery and took a piece home with them! Again, I can't thank you enough for enjoying a piece of my weird, wonderful world of textile art and practical geekery!
I shall leave you with a virtual high five because you are all awesome!