Fandomonium Brings Out the Geek in Everyone

On Saturday, the Library Headquarters is hosting the third annual Comic Con event, which will include a costume contest, guest speakers, panel discussions and many activities for young and old alike.

Spoiler Alert: There will be at least one sighting of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock and Capt. James Kirk on Saturday at the Alachua County Library District Headquarters. There will likely be many other characters from your favorite movies and TV shows roaming the building.

Most of them will be participating in the costume contest that is one of the featured events during the third annual Fandomonium, Gainesville’s small-scale version of Comic Con, the massive convention held each year in San Diego to celebrate the world of science-fiction and comic fandom.

Fandomonium will take place from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. throughout the library facility at 401 E. University Ave. as well as outside in the courtyard behind the building. Festivities will include guest speakers, panel discussions, games, demonstrations, exhibits and crafts. There will also be food trucks and other vendors in the courtyard.

“It’s a free, family-friendly comic convention at the library,” said Angela Hassebroek, co-chair of the event along with fellow librarian Helena McNeer. “This is geared toward all ages — from young children to senior citizens.”

To get into the spirit of the event, Hassebroek will dress up as James Kirk, captain of the Starship Enterprise from the Star Trek TV series and movie franchise. McNeer will become the pointy-eared Mr. Spock. As library staffers, however, neither will be eligible to win the costume contest.

Those who do choose to participate in the costume contest are required to register upon arrival at the library to be eligible for judging. Contest winners will be announced at 3 p.m.

Fandomonium will feature special appearances by graphic novelist and illustrator Andre Frattino at 10:30 a.m., Young Adult author Kami Garcia at 12:30 p.m. and musician Brian Ross at 2 p.m. All will take place in Meeting Room A.

Frattino is creator of the Flagler’s Few, a graphic novel series based in St. Augustine. He will take his audience through the history and production of comic strips, comic books and graphic novels. Frattino also will lead a mini-workshop on comic creating.

Kami Garcia

Garcia is a New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Creatures, The Lovely Reckless and The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos. She will share how she went from teacher/fangirl to best-selling novelist as well as the role fandoms play in her novels.

Ross is a member of the band Draco and the Malfoys, whose songs about Harry Potter are from Draco Malfoy’s perspective. His band was formed in 2005 as a “one-time joke” only to become in-demand at Harry Potter-themed conferences.

Fandomonium begins at 10 a.m. with an Artist Showcase where attendees are invited to vote for their favorite artwork. Demonstrations will follow related to Dungeons and Dragons, Gainesville Tabletop Board Games, Society for Creative Anachronism and Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW).

Meanwhile, there will be panel discussions on the topics of “Girl Power: Feminism and the Magical Girl Genre,” Remaking Culture: The Power of Fanfiction” and “Cosplay, Make Up!”

There will also be an R.U. Game? Retro Game Room where attendees can play an assortment of vintage video games. Other events include a Geek Battle and Live Action Pac Man as well as ongoing crafts.

“We’re trying to celebrate all fandom,” Hassebroek said. “For people who might not be able to go to one of the big Cons, this is a good taste of it.”

In conjunction with Fandomonium, the Hippodrome Cinema will be screening the anime classic Spirited Away throughout the weekend. Response has been so good that a second screening was added on Saturday night. Fandomonium guests can receive complimentary popcorn by showing a hand stamp from the event.

For further info, visit the Fandomonium webpage.