Spring is in the air, and with it we welcome Huntsville’s newest convention, the Huntsville Comic and Pop Culture Expo. Rocket City Mom sits down with founder Jeremy Long to discuss the inaugural event. Be sure to read to the end – there’s a ticket giveaway waiting for you there!
When/Where is the Expo? How much are tickets?
The Expo is at the Jaycee Community Building on March 19 from 10 am – 5 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 5-12, and free for kids 4 and under. If adults come in costume they will get in half price.
This will be your inaugural convention right? Tell us what motivated you to start this event and how the planning/organizing process has been going.
Yes, this is the first year. I started setting up at shows as a comic vendor about two years ago and absolutely love it. I would go all over (Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Sheffield to name a few) and enjoy it but every time I had to drive home I would think of ways it could have been better. About a year ago I did a small show south of Nashville and on the way home just came up with a ton of ideas. When I told my wife about it she said “Is it something you just need to do yourself?” From there I got the green light to proceed.
I decided to take everything I love about doing shows as a vendor and combine that with everything I love about going to shows as a fan. This has been a huge undertaking and a giant leap of faith since I am completely funding this myself. I have been doing all of the planning and organizing on my own with my wife doing all the graphic design work. We have been thrilled by the overwhelming support and enthusiasm of the community and as a result we completely sold out of all vendor spots three months prior to the show. Our Facebook page has grown quicker than we had ever imagined thanks to a lot of help from the geek community. This is just year one and we have been blown away by the results so far. Our plan is to make the second year a multi-day event at a larger venue.
What programs/special events/guests do you have? Do you have an event schedule?
There will be live music as well as interactive stage events. We will also have discussion panels with various topics going on such as “Getting into Dr. Who” and “Cosplay 101”. We have a lot of local and regional artists, including some who have worked on some major comic titles.
I see that a portion of the proceeds will benefit the charity “Kids to Love”? Can you tell us a little about them and why you choose to partner with them?
My family goes to Willowbrook Baptist Church and as a church we participate in the annual Kids to Love Christmas campaign, giving foster children a better Christmas. Lee Marshall is an amazing person and has done great work with her charity so I immediately thought of them when coming up with this idea. I wanted this to be more than just a show. I wanted it to mean something and hopefully make a difference. So a portion of ticket sales and 100% of money raised from the silent auction will go directly to them.
Will you be having kid friendly programs or events?
The entire show will be kid-friendly. We have two boys (2 and 6) and I wanted this to be something they could come to. We will have a lot of various characters in costume that kids can get their pictures with. Where else can you go and see Star Wars characters and Super Heroes side by side? We will have a kids costume contest, Dr. Osborne will be doing amazing balloon sculptures, there will be awesome specialty vehicles (influenced by Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, and Scooby Doo) outside, and more. There will also be Family Cosplay!
Are you accepting Volunteers to help out with the convention?
Yes. We are still looking for volunteers. We have all sorts of jobs to do, small to large!
Will you have food trucks on-site?
Yes! One thing I have never enjoyed about comic shows is the food selection. It’s usually a cold slice of pizza or bag of chips. We will have:
- I Love Bacon Food Truck
- Rollin’ Lobstah
- Café on Wheels Neon Lilly (with Vegan and Vegetarian options)
- Doctor BBQ
- Sugar Belle Cupcake Truck
When/where is the after-party?
It will be at Straight to Ale brewery at 8:00 pm on March 19th. We will have live music, another costume contest and I Love Bacon will also be there serving up their delicious dishes. View the Facebook Event here.
The Huntsville Comic and Pop Culture Expo Giveaway
A lucky RCM Reader will win a family 4-pack of tickets to the Expo – all you need to do to enter is to leave a comment below. Tell us which characters you’d love for your family to cosplay if you had the chance. (Mine? Hobbits & Elves, of course!)
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Sam Chow was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta. A 5th grade field trip to Space Camp started his lifelong love of technology and engineering. He juggled working in Huntsville while studying for his engineering degree at Mississippi State and moved here full-time in 2001. He and his lovely wife Connie were married in 2006 and currently have a five year old and a two year old, a dog, and a cat. In his spare time he enjoys training and watching mixed martial arts, watching old foreign films, reading, and video gaming.