In northwest Louisiana, August means the summer months are winding down, if not cooling down, but it also means it’s time for the geeks to come out to play.
For the fifth year, Townsquare Media and Margaritaville Casino and Hotel are presenting Geek’d Con, billed as the area’s biggest comic and pop culture event, Aug. 16 through 18 at the Shreveport Convention Center.
Greg Atoms is the live event coordinator for Townsquare Media and the guy responsible for pulling off these three days of comics, characters and costumes. “This is our biggest year ever. It’s our fifth anniversary, so we really want to do something big for number five. We’ve doubled our talent budget. We’re bringing bigger stars than we ever have before.”
According to Atoms, they’re also putting up more attractions inside the convention center than they have before. There will also be a raffle that will include signed items and memorabilia from the first four Geek’d Cons. Every 15 minutes during the day on Sunday, attendees will have the opportunity to win some of that memorabilia as well.
Prizes are not the only geeky things on the menu. There are a lot of familiar names and faces on the schedule. Celebrity guests currently slated to attend 2019 include personalities like Commander LaForge from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Levar Burton. His other credits include the PBS show “Reading Rainbow” and “Captain Planet.” Michael Rooker, who is familiar to visitors of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Yondu, as well as Merle Dixon of “Walking Dead,” will also be on hand.Trish Stratus, who is a WWE Hall of Fame member, will appear with another WWE alum and Hall of Famer, Kevin Nash.
Old-time geeks will recognize actor Barry Bostwick from his starring role in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Spin City.” Lori Petty of “Tank Girl,” “A League of Their Own” and “Orange Is the New Black” is also slated to appear. The Night King from “Game of Thrones,” Richard Brake, will be on hand, as will Samantha Smith from “Supernatural” and “Transformers.” Two familiar faces from “The Office” are on the schedule: Oscar Nunez and Kate Flannery.
The list goes on and may change before the event. For the latest information, you can check out the roster at https://geekdcon.com/2019-geekd-guests/.
In addition to celebrity guests, Geek’d Con will include a variety of vendor booths: comic book stores, cell phone retailers, video game outlets, book stores, hobby shops, artists, writers and more.
Atoms said, “We will probably have this year our most vendors ever. We get over 100 different ones from all corners of the country. We have people from New York, Iowa, Florida, Georgia. We have a lot of Texas-based vendors who’ve been here every year.”
Atoms explained that these vendors travel across the country for 30 to 40 weekends a year to attend these shows. “We’ve had vendors skip Boston and Connecticut shows, even when they are in the Northeast, to come to our show because they like how our show runs. And they like how much money they make,” Atoms said.
Year five is critical, according to Atoms, because the event is at a crossroads. “We want the event to continue, but in order for that to happen, we have to get bigger,” he said. “We really want to make this a longterm staple in Shreveport. Looking at the landscape of all the comic cons, there are so many of them across the country at this point. There’s two a weekend somewhere in the country.” He noted that several similar events had popped up in recent years in Shreveport and Bossier City but have not been able to continue.
Atoms said they have made the extra effort with Geek’d Con to keep it viable and to make it a continuing success. “But for that to happen, we have to get bigger. We have to make the event profitable,” he says.
Atoms noted two shows come to the New Orleans area that are larger events than Geek’d Con put on by traveling companies that are not from Louisiana. “Wizard World is a traveling company. They’re not from Louisiana. There’s another company coming into New Orleans in November to do it called Big Easy Con. These companies come out of the Northeast, set up shop for the weekend, do their thing, and then they leave town,” he explained. And that means the money leaves the state as well.
If you’ve never been to a comic con event, Atoms says Geek’d Con is a “safe space” for you. “Our main goal is to prove to everybody they’re a little geeky. In today’s modern world, and even five years ago when we started this thing, everybody is into something that otherwise appears to be considered geek. And geek used to be like a negative thing. It was something that wasn’t necessarily mainstream. But at this point, geek has become so mainstream everyone is a little geeky.” He said that geekiness stems
from a person’s passions about their interests. For example, Atoms says that if you’re a “Lord of the Rings” aficionado, head for the movies to catch the latest Marvel ® release or rearrange your Sunday to make it home in time for “Walking Dead,” you’re a geek.
“There’s so much mainstream stuff now that is so geeky that it touches almost everybody,” he noted.
Prices to attend run from $5 to $55, but parking is free all weekend, with kids 5 and under free.
Details are online at www.eventbrite.com/e/geekd-con-shreveport-2019-tickets.
Also on the schedule to attend are comic book artists, cosplayers and professional cosplay groups. Geek’d Con will also host, and is encouraging the superhero or actor at heart to participate in, a full-scale cosplay competition. For rules for the cosplay competition, write to geekdcon@gmail. com.
August signals the season to let your geek flag fly in SBC, and Geek’d Con 2019 is gearing up to bring the geekiness to town.
Characters on cover
Richard Brake (The Night King seasons 4 & 5 GoT)
2. Michael Rooker
(Yondu Udonta from Guardians of the Galaxy)
3. Levar Burton (Geordi La
Forge from Star Trek: The Next Generation)
4. Samantha Smith (Mary
Winchester from Supernatural, Transformers)
5. Bumblebee (Transformers)
6. Krillin (DragonBallZ) Sonny Strait
7. Kevin Nash WWE
Barry Bostwick (Brad Majors from Rocky Horror)
9. Bulma (DragonBallZ)
10. Lori Petty (Tank Girl)
11. Hercule or Mr Satan
(DragonBallZ) Chris Rager
12. ChiChi (DragonBallZ) Cynthia Cranz
Oscar Nunez (The Office as Oscar)
14. Videl (DragonballZ) Kara Edwards
15. Kate Flannery (The Office as Meredith)
16. Supreme Kai (DragonBallZ)
17. Miko Hughes (Gage from original Pet Sematary)
Trish Stratus (WWE Hall of Fame)
19. Majin Buu (DragonBallZ) Josh Martin
For price ranges go to: www.eventbrite.com/e/geekd-conshreveport-2019-tickets
Free parking all weekend long!
Kids 5 and under free all weekend!
Friday (Vendor’s Night) – 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday – 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday – 11 a.m.-5 p.m.