Geek Fest is the creation of Richard “Gonzo” Soligny. “Gonzo” took notice that a lot of the attendees at comic conventions is college students. He also figured that the majority of college students can’t afford some of the pricier cons, so he’d bring an affordable convention to them. Setting up the first Geek Fest at Florida Atlantic University’s Boca campus, he also gave any college student free admission to the show.
Geek Fest had a pretty nice guest lineup of local comic artists, including Golden Age Marvel artist Allen Bellman and Marvel artist Greg Horn. Also in attendance were Creature Entertainment, Lazaro Suarez, Greg Kirkpatrick, Cosmic Times and more.
It wasn’t just comic guests at the show though, the 501st Legion Costuming Organization along with other expert costumers had tables showing off their work. Pow Wow Show were in attendance broadcasting their radio show live from the convention. WXW Women’s Champion Kimberly was also at the show, taking pictures and chatting with fans.
If you’re into video games you could play an awesome version of Asteroids on a projection screen or one of the popular dancing games.
If you wanted to watch a fan film, there were playing all day. Including films by guest Ginnungagap Filmwerks.
The final event was a superhero karaoke contest at the campus bar & grill.
While a couple of vendors weren’t able to make the show for various reasons, the vendor tables were still impressive. Con veterans The Fine Print Shoppe were printing their shirts in person. Comic vendors CJ’s Comics, Docking Bay 94, Phil’s Comics & new to the area Heroes & Villains comics were selling comics, graphic novels & toys. G.I. Joe Irving brought an impressive amount of action figures. There were also craft & clothes vendors like Undead Ed’s Art & Kitsch & Crossbones.
For a brand new show I was surprised how many great costumes there were. The prize winning Doctor Doom from PalmCon returned with his son as a miniature version of Doom. There were a lot of multiple costumes with pairs of Deadpools, Jokers & Banes. Some of my favorites included Crossbones, the female Vulcan & the Scarlet Witch.
The show featured a costume contest hosted by Jim Logan (as Tony Stark the entire show). Wanting to make an immediate impact on the convention circuit, Geek Fest made sure the contest was a big one with a ridiculous amount of prizes.
I had my doubts but FAU’s Grand Palm Room was a pretty good location for a convention. Things weren’t cramped since The Palm Room was very spacious. Unlike most local shows, there was also plenty of parking. If you wanted to grab a bite the campus had a convenience store down the hall and their own bar & grill.
There were plenty of staff walking around the show to make sure everything went smoothly (and it did). Everyone we dealt with was very friendly and super helpful.
Overall, Geek Fest was a pretty great show. I love the return of smaller cons in South Florida, it’s nice not having to wait once or twice a year for a larger show. The high attendance also further proved how many comic fans there are in Palm Beach County.
With how much of a success the show was, there’s already talk of Geek Fest returning to FAU in November 2013.
Visit Florida Geek Scene on Facebook for more pictures from the event.