Friday June 7 was an absolute wonderful start to what would end up being incredible three-day convention. Sci-Fi Valley Con in Altoona, PA, was filled with nostalgia, nerd pride, creativity, and a feeling of community.
While Saturday definitely brought the biggest crowd, Friday was filled with families and friends milling about both floors of the convention. It was quite impressive to see the amount of cosplay. Every single one, including my personal favorite, a screen-accurate Supergirl, was detailed and thought-out.
Just like the amount of cosplayers, the amount of vendors was absolutely impressive. Not only did the booths fill two large rooms, but they trickled outside the rooms as well. There was something for everyone!
Several artists sold their prints and products to con-goers. Everywhere you looked, talent stood out. One artist, Brandon Colyer, took advantage of the celebrity guests and created a print of a Pinky & The Brain and Supernatural crossover.
Supernatural was certainly a major draw amongst vendors. From 42 Nerdtastic Place, Dark Feather Enterprises, Atomic Bombshell, Thor the Impala, SPN Survivors, and Random Acts, all the amazing products and information available were sure to bring out the fan in you.
Even beyond Supernatural, you could find creative products for The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, Game of Thrones, and a myriad of other pop culture favorites. From art prints, to glassware, to figurines, there were comic book vendors, authors, and folks selling games and toys. Even the t-shirt brand TeeTurtle could be found on both levels! It almost had the feel of a large farmer’s market, but replaced with everything nerdy and fun!
A fun part of the weekend were the charity quick sketches. I managed to catch one on Friday. Taking place on the main level of the convention center in a little sitting area, folks gathered round for an hour to watch as the artists at the convention drew quick, fun, and unique drawings. Those watching got to suggest themes, like the Avengers as donuts (which turned out quite cute and humorous).
As the drawings were finished, the audience got to bid on their favorites. All money raised went to the Children’s Miracle Network, a non-profit organization focusing on kids in need by donating to hospitals. It was fantastic art for a fantastic cause!
Speaking of the art available, movies, television shows, and video games took center stage. The popularity of Captain Marvel produced a few drawings, both movie and comic-inspired. An amazing Spider-Man artwork that looked like it was ready for a comic book cover was bid on. A fun take on Ryan Reynolds’ characters morphed into a Deadpool/Pikachu crossover (Pika-pool?). There was a humorous Spongebob Squarepants drawing in a shirt too big. And there was an incredible drawing of a Doctor Who-esque plague doctor that was quite a hit with the audience.
And there was some surprise news shared Friday evening — the surprise being Momento Con, to be held in Pittsburgh in May of next year. From what we attendees heard, Momento Con will hopefully be the same vibe as Sci-Fi Valley Con (nostalgic and very laid-back), but on a much larger scale.
And while it will technically not be a Supernatural convention, the lineup promises an impressive list of Supernatural actors. Going forward, there may hopefully be actors from other fandoms, as well. Game of Thrones was hinted as a possible interest.
Overall, Friday was the perfect day to get acquainted with the convention and everything Sci-Fi Valley Con had to offer. The day allowed attendees to walk around, see where everything was located, get a feel of how the panels were, and be prepared for the next two days. It was an absolute blast of a first day!