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Pop in to Pop Con

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Brown County Library brings in the spooky season with R.L. Stine

By Avery Wageman

Contributing Writer

Autumn is officially upon us and Brown County Library is welcoming the spooky season with Pop Con on October 7.

A group of cosplayers posing on stairs

A day of art, board games, costume contests, music, and more, the library’s 6th Pop Con will even feature interviews with R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series.

The event is intended to emulate pop-culture conventions in a more accessible setting.

“This is kind of a free introduction for folks who would like to go to Comic-Con-like events,” said Andrea West, Brown County Library’s Adult Services Manager and organizer of Pop Con. “That way anyone–families, teens, adults–who have never been to any kind of comic convention before can experience it for the first time and find people that have like-minded interests.”

Patrons can meet new friends playing board games provided by Gnome Games, try out role-playing games “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Pathfinder,” pick up new comic books from Power Comics, and explore and shop from local artists at the Artist Alley.

Attendees play giant Catan
Attendees of last year’s Pop Con event play giant Catan, provided by Gnome Games. Submitted photos

They can also sit in on three interviews and live-recorded podcast episodes hosted by Dr. Bryan Carr, Associate Professor in the departments of Communication, Information Science, and Women and Gender Studies at UW-Green Bay for his podcast, Serious Fun.

Dr. Carr’s first interview will be with the band, The Shake Ups. The midwestern power-pop band will also be performing some of their cartoon-inspired songs later in the day.

“Horror for Youth: An Interview with R.L. Stine” will be conducted by Dr. Carr, as well as “Gamechangers: The Video Games That Made Us.” The latter will be a conversation with Dr. Chris Williams and Dr. Juli Case of UW-Green Bay’s Center for Games and Interactive Media about their favorite video games and how they’ve been inspired by the games’ design and storytelling.

A second interview with Stine will be conducted by Brown County Library Director, Sarah Sugden at Washington Middle School. Both interviews with the author will be followed by book signings.

“We are incredibly excited because he is intergenerational. There are people who are excited who had their own kids that are of the age to read R.L. Stine books. That’s how long he’s been writing,” said West. “He made generations of readers by showing them the joy of reading, so that’s one of the many reasons we are so excited to have Mr. Stine join us.”

Children putting together Pokemon crafts
Attendees put together Pokemon crafts in the youth services department at last year’s Pop Con event.

Cosplaying, or “costume playing,” as your favorite pop-culture character is encouraged as well as entering into the cosplay contest.

Valerie Meachum, writer, actor, and award-winning cosplayer will present “The Art of Cutting Corners: Making the Most of Your Cosplay Budget, Time and Skill Level.”

Three people posing
From left, Robb Mommaerts (artist), Dr. Bryan Carr and Lori M. Lee (author). Mommaerts and Lee spoke at last year’s event, interviewed by Dr. Carr.

“The panel actually happened because I had made what for me I consider a quick and dirty version of Doctor Strange’s cloak for my husband last year. I say ‘quick and dirty version’ [because] I only spent 48 hours on it. Somebody looked at one of the process pictures on my Instagram, and said ‘I’ve thought about making this, and I was really intimidated but this makes me think I might actually be able to do it.’ The panel is really about being able to break [soplay] down in a way that you can do the thing, the best you can do with your resources, and not having to settle.”

Meachum has spent between 48 and 450 hours on her cosplays, and through her presentation, hopes to make the craft more accessible and less intimidating to people of a range of skill levels.

“Find the way that is most fun for you, about making it, about wearing it, about where to wear it. That applies to all of those things. If you’re not doing it for fun, what’s the point?” said Meachum.

Pop Con will be hosted from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Oct. 7, at Central Library in downtown Green Bay. The second interview with R.L. Stine will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Washington Middle School auditorium.

For more information, cosplay contest guidelines, and full event schedule, check out https://www.browncountylibrary.org/popcon/.

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