Fort Leonard Wood’s Bruce C. Clarke Library will hold its inaugural comic convention — Warrior-Con — on Saturday.
“This is something we’ve never done before,” said Tina Chaney, supervisor librarian and chief coordinator of Warrior-Con.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., attendees will be able to meet more than 20 local and area authors, comic-book writers, artists and dealers, attend workshops and panels hosted by gaming and cosplay groups, take photos with professional cosplayers, participate in a variety of activities, games and more.
The event is free and open to the public.
“We’ll have authors and vendors inside the library, and (visitors) will be able to purchase books and other items from them,” Chaney explained. “We’ll have two escape rooms going on every 20 minutes. We’ll have a food tent set up outside if they want to relax. Everything we’re doing is new for all of us.”
It’s no secret that sci-fi and fantasy fan bases have grown across the country in recent years, along with an increased number of comic conventions. Long since expanding beyond comic books and superheroes, today these events encompass a wide range of genres and mediums, from live-action and animated movies and TV shows to books, graphic novels and manga to all types of games, from traditional board games to role-playing games to video games.
Many of Warrior-Con’s activities follow a specific theme, Chaney said, including the escape rooms.
“We’re going to do ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ for one of them, and we’ll have a second one that’s called, ‘Stranger Things,’” she said. “You use different puzzles and information you are given to perform a series of tasks to eventually get out of the room. You might have to complete some type of puzzle using wooden puzzle pieces, for example, or solve a riddle. We use a lot of different things. Everyone who goes through will get a laminated ticket.”
Outside the library, “Harry Potter”-inspired Quidditch games will be held for kids in two age divisions: 6 years old and older, and 5 years old and under. Weather permitting, the games will begin at 1 p.m., according to Tiffany Hollenbeck, library technician for the children’s library.
“It’s a field game that’s kind of a cross between soccer, dodgeball and basketball on one field,” Hollenbeck said. “There are seven players per team and a lot of different positions, just like the movie. Everyone gets a small, toy broom that they have to keep between their legs the whole time as they’re running around.”
Younger players will play a simplified version of the game, Hollenback said.
“The 6-and-older players will play the actual game; anyone 5 and younger — we’ll have goals out for them, and they can play freely,” she said.
Children of all ages can enjoy Geeky Story Time, which will take place at 10:30 a.m. and again at 11:30 a.m.
“We’ll have some nerdy stories and give our attendees some crafts to do afterward,” Hollenback said. “That will be happening in the back of the storytime room. Storytime is for all ages — we never put a limit on it.”
Warrior-Con is the grand finale of the library’s month-long “Fantober” campaign, which highlighted several fandoms with a different activity each week in October.
During Warrior-Con, visitors are encouraged to show up in costume, dressed as their favorite fictional characters.
“We will have professional cosplay people who will come in dressed as different characters. We are also encouraging (visitors), if they want to dress up in costume, as well, to do so,” Chaney said.
All library services will be closed the day of the event.
Parking is available around the library, although the main parking lot will be closed off for the food tent and outdoor activities, Chaney said.
Lanyards and pins will be given out to the first 475 patrons to arrive.
For more information about Warrior-Con, call the library at 573.563.8154 or visit https://leonardwood .armymwr.com/ calendar/event/warrior-con/3545670/44142.