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Pop into Pop Con
Local businesses come together to celebrate pop culture

By Kira Doman

GREEN BAY – After a brief hiatus due to COVID-19, the Brown County Library is once again teaming up with Powers Comics, Gnome Games and Lion’s Mouth Bookstore to put on the 4th annual Pop Con from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Brown County Central Library to celebrate comics, costumes and role-playing games.

Formerly presented as Comic Con, the event was broadened to include a wider variety of pop culture and renamed Pop Con, according to Andrea West, adult services manager of the Brown County Library.

“We really just wanted to portray that the event is about pop culture and bringing people together for whatever they’re a fan of,” West said. “And what’s so lovely about the event is we literally see friendships forged one year, and those same teenagers come the next year together in a group.”

West and Gillian Dawson, teen services librarian at the Central Library, look forward to planning Pop Con every year.

They were disappointed when COVID brought things to a halt in 2020, but after staying apart for approximately two years, West and Gillain said this event is all about bringing people together.
While this year’s event will be the same size as past Comic Con productions, West said they plan to expand quite a bit next year.

“We have a lower-level space (at the Brown County Central Library) that’s being renovated in the next couple of months,” West said. “And that’s going to open up this whole wide area that we can expand our Artist Alley and make it even bigger than it has been in the past.”

The artists and local businesses involved in Pop Con help to elevate the event to a level West and Dawson could have only dreamed of.

“We’re really dependent upon the incredible local partnerships we have with artists,” Dawson said. “We have artists that come to Artist Alley, but a lot of our artwork has been donated, including the incredible donation of time and talent from some local artists for our posters and our logo. Carolyn Paplum, who is an artist from De Pere, has done our logo and is on board for whatever we need to do.”

The art that is displayed at the event not only comes from the comics and posters for the event, but also from the dedicated and excited participants in attendance each year.

“Kids and teens come in with their own original characters they’ve made into costumes, and we’ve got a strong community of RPG (role-playing games) LARPers (live-action role players) with the amp guard, who will also be here for the event,” Dawson said. “They’ll be doing a fighting demo, which is always one of my favorite parts.”

The 4th annual Pop Con will celebrate costumes, comics and crafts from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Brown County Central Library. Submitted Photos

For these impressive cosplayers, there are five different costume contests they can enter for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

The categories include adult, teen, child, group costumes and first-time cosplayers.

“This event really levels the playing field for people who maybe have never been to a kind of Comics Convention before,” Dawson said. “There’s no cost of entry, everything is always free. So this just really allows people to kind of dip their toes in if maybe they will never make it to one of the big city conventions. They can kind of find their local connections here and do it at a place where they can just meet the people they want to meet.”

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