Superheros and villains laid aside their differences this weekend as they filled the Ramada State College Hotel and Conference Center for the fifth installment of Nittany Con.
The two-day event, which caters to lovers of comic books, video games, Anime, science fiction, pop culture and art, featured some of the most prolific names in the industry. Legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont, who helped co-created characters such as Rogue, Psylocke and Mystique, was one of the convention’s special guests. Others included horror publisher DarkSide Media, independent comic artist Jason Lenox and central Pennsylvania natives Jody Fallon, a surrealist painter, and letterer Dave Sharpe. The event gave fans the chance to mingle with their comic heroes, get autographs and take photos.
“This is our fifth year and it’s great. Every year we try to reach out to new contributors and have a diverse offering for fans to enjoy,” said Jason Lenox, event organizer.
In addition to celebrity guests, the weekend featured cosplay, a “most epic” beard contest and question-and-answer panels for fans to learn more about the craft of comic design. The walls were filled with toys, memorabilia, retro video game systems and rare and collectible comics. Attendees shared stories of their favorite issues and their most collectible items with each other and vendors.
“This is my second year at Nittany Con and it’s a blast,” said an attendee who identified himself as The Flash. “I travel around to a lot of cons, but it’s nice to have one in my hometown. It’s fun to get dressed up as your favorite hero and forget yourself for the day. It’s a fun community.”
Comic book conventions have been around since the 1930s, but came into prominence in the early 1960s when the Academy of Comic-Book Fans and Collectors became the first official organization led by enthusiasts and historians. Currently, the largest North American convention is the San Diego Comic-Con International, which reported an attendance of 167,000 in 2015.
NittanyCon will return to State College in fall 2018.
Dusty Sipes: 814-235-4648