The first WVPopCon to be held this weekend
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 08:10
Pop culture gets the Morgantown spotlight this weekend with the inaugural WVPopCon at the Mylan Park Expo Center.
Featuring movies, video games, costumes and general entertainment, show organizer Jon Hayes says there’ll be something for everyone to explore, but more importantly he sees it as a chance to bring a stronger attention to the interest of entertainment in the state of West Virginia.
“I think the area has grown to a point where an event like this is wanted and needed,” said Hayes. “For years, chain restaurants wouldn't come to the area because the population density of the area is spread out. That doesn't mean that West Virginian's don't come out and support their own. Several of the guests are from WV and are WELL respected in the industry. I don't think that has been well expressed to date. I hope to change that.”
Hatched last summer, the idea for WVPop started to really take shape in March, and ever since Hayes has been full-steam-ahead prepping the show.
He’s been busy, though. Hands full with a full-time job, Hayes also owns Comics Paradise Plus, a comic book store located in Fairmont.
Hayes mentions that his engineering degree has helped him during this crunch time leading up to the show, and he’s grateful for his ability to break things down and organize.
“You have to be someone that can take a complex issue and break it down into its elements and tackle each one,” said Hayes. “You also need to be someone that can think outside of the box. Issues will come up that need to be handled, and there isn't always a straightforward way. “
It should also be noted that Hayes plans large events as part of his day job, so this isn’t his first go-about.
But, he hasn’t been in it alone. Aiding the WVPop effort are a collection of local businesses: Four Horsemen Comics, Gary's Comics and More, The Illusive Skull and the Game Exchange.
“I wanted them to contribute,” said Hayes.
And they did. As he says, it’s about the group effort, and he hopes it’ll be enough to change the picture of pop culture in W.Va.
If anything, Hayes efforts poked a small hole in the West Virginia University campus Thursday afternoon. Students walking by Martin Hall could easily spot he and a Stormtrooper garbed compatriot tossing out show programs.
Hayes looked excited to be on campus and smiled at each passing body.
You could tell he really believed in what he was selling.
“I love pop culture because it is today, and what it is today may not be what it is tomorrow,” said Hayes. “It’s popular culture for a reason. It could be about the latest flashing fad, or it could be long standing items like comics or Star Wars. Who knows?”
“I just hope that WVPop continues to grow with wherever those elements take us.”
For the show itself, it kicks off Saturday morning, and it will feature a number of industry professional comic book writers and filmmakers.