Harry Potter Day at the Aldrich Library

Barre’s Aldrich Library is hosting a Harry Potter Day on Saturday, November 10th between 12:30 and 4PM.

Young witches and wizards, are you ready for the next Fantastic Beasts movie? Come celebrate the magical world of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series with games, crafts and activities, including wand-making, magical beasts trivia, house badge-making, a monster book craft, and more! Then watch the first Fantastic Beasts film while munching wizardly treats. A magical time is guaranteed for all!

Come in a Harry Potter themed costume for a chance to win a copy of the audiobook “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and other marvelous prizes!

This weekend: Carnage 21!

This snuck up fast: Vermont’s premier gaming convention, Carnage 21 is taking place this weekend in Killington at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel.

From the looks of things, it’s busy this weekend:

Marvel profiles Rutland’s Halloween parade

Rutland’s Halloween parade has an out-sized reputation in the comics industry, thanks to a couple of long-standing fans over the years, and has even been featured in comics — it got a nice shout-out in Avengers #83 back in the 1970s.

Marvel.com has posted up a nice profile of the parade, and its roots in comic history:

The heroes—Vision, Black Panther, Quicksilver, and Goliath—hit the out-of-the-way city on Halloween evening to chase down reports of a kidnapping plot, and were welcomed enthusiastically by the parade’s organizer, Tom Fagan, who’d invited them to ride on one of the many colorful floats being readied for the event. The Avengers smiled and played along, keeping vigilant watch on the throngs of the costumed attendees who lined the Rutland streets.

Read the entire profile here. The parade is actually taking place at 6:30 PM tonight, after being postponed due to the weather last night.

Pulp Culture Comic Arts Festival and Symposium

This Friday and Saturday: there’ll be a Pulp Culture Comic Arts Festival & Symposium taking place at UVM, put on by the Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, and the Vermont Folklife Center.

Guests will include Stephen R. Bissette, Jon Chad, Glynnis Fawkes, Julia Gfrörer, James Kochalka, Rachel Lindsay, Eric Shanower, Rob Walton, Craig Yoe, and others. There’ll also be a pair of keynote presentations by Jaime Hernandez and Julian Chambliss on October 26th and 27th, respectively.


New comics show: Catamount Comics & Collectables Expo

Another comic show has popped up in the aftermath of the demise of Vermont Comic Con: the Catamount Comics & Collectibles Expo, which will be held next year on September 14th at the Dudley H. Davis Student Center at UVM.

According to the Facebook event page, it’ll be a single-day show featuring “artists, comic book creators, writers, comic books, and anything collectable. Admission will be $5 for adults, with kids 12 and under free

A one day show highlighting artists, comic book creators, writers, comic books and anything collectable. With a family friendly admission price of just $5 for adults and kids under 12 free, come check out local and regional artists, see awesome costumes, and maybe pick up back issues of your favorite comics, or get that toy your parents never bought you as a kid.

The event is currently working to fill its tables, saying that vendors can purchase a spot for $100. You can RSVP / remind yourself about the event here

There’s been a handful of new events pop up in recent weeks as organizers work to fill the void of the central gathering point that VTCC grew to become in the last five years. The biggest such event thus far has been the Vermont Sci-Fi & Fantasy Expo, which will take place at the Champlain Valley Expo next April.

Vermont Sci-Fi & Fantasy Expo: Next April

With Vermont Comic Con melted down, there’s been numerous questions for Vermont SF/F and comic fans: what will replace the event? A contender appears to be the Vermont Sci-Fi & Fantasy Expo, which will be put on by event outfit Vermont Gatherings,. It’ll be held next year on April 27th and 28th at the Champlain Valley Exposition.

The group just launched a website and Facebook Page for the convention, and describes it as an event that will host “authors, artists, gamers, cosplayers, fan organizations, comic enthusiasts, vehicle displays, prop makers, fight demos, vendors and much more.”

There’s no other details just yet, but it looks like it could easily fill the void left by VTCC, which ran for five years in Burlington and Barre. What’s more, Vermont Gatherings has a pretty good track record for these types of events, and has steadily added to their portfolio in recent years, encompassing the Vermont Renaissance Faire, the Vermont Living History & Militaria Expo, and the Vermont Steampunk Expo. Hopefully, it’ll put a priority on the local creators and groups in the area.

Vermont Gatherings isn’t the only group  eyeing the state: a Facebook page popped up for Vermont Pop-Culture Con, although no date has been announced as of yet.

Norwich University Writer’s Series: John Crowley

Norwich University has a major author stopping by today: John Crowley, who’s written books like Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr, and others. The series was founded in 2012, and brings major authors to speak at the school about writing.

Crowley has written a number of SF/F works beginning in the 1970s, andKa: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr is his latest. I haven’t personally read it, but the friends of mine who have have raved about it.

Here’s what the book is about:

Dar Oakley—the first Crow in all of history with a name of his own—was born two thousand years ago. When a man learns his language, Dar finally gets the chance to tell his story. He begins his tale as a young man, and how he went down to the human underworld and got hold of the immortality meant for humans, long before Julius Caesar came into the Celtic lands; how he sailed West to America with the Irish monks searching for the Paradise of the Saints; and how he continuously went down into the land of the dead and returned. Through his adventures in Ka, the realm of Crows, and around the world, he found secrets that could change the humans’ entire way of life—and now may be the time to finally reveal them.

Crowley will be speaking at the Chaplin Hall Gallery at 4PM on Norwich’s Northfield campus. The event is free and open to the public.


Tolkien in Vermont Conference 2019: Horror in Middle Earth

The University of Vermont has announced the 16th annual Tolkien at UVM conference. Run by Christopher Vaccaro, it’s a small academic conference devoted to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. This year’s conference is titled Tolkien and Horror, and will be held on April 6th, 2019.

The conference is currently accepting abstracts and session proposals (those re due by January 15th, 2019), and this year’s keynote speaker will be Professor Yvette Kisor of Ramapo College.

Details / RSVP can be found on Facebook.

Vermont Comic Con is ending

In a Facebook Live video this afternoon, Jason Moulton and his partner Natasha Durand announced that they were retiring from the convention business, and that there won’t be a Vermont Comic Con in 2019. “Effective as of the show, we had to make a decision, and the long and short of it is, we’re going to retire.”

A 2019 Vermont Comic Con and Green Mountain Comic Expo had not been announced.

“The difficult part of that is the fans,” he said. “We really have done a lot of soul searching, and we’ve done a lot of debating over the last few months, and we really felt the need to move on with our personal lives — you don’t have a personal life when you’re a promoter.” Durand said that “while Vermont Comic Con and our other shows are definitely coming to an end,” they will remain part of the convention world, and that stepping back will allow them to pursue other interests, like writing comics, and a “memoir of his time as a promoter.”

Moulton founded Vermont Comic Con in 2013, holding the inaugural event in Burlington for four out of the five years. In recent years, he’s expanded his range of shows to include the Green Mountain Comic Expo and Vermont Horror Con, which was held in 2017 and 2018 in Barre.

In recent years, however, a number of groups, stores, guests, and individuals began skipping the show, citing problems with the con’s management and volunteers. Last year, Moulton announced that Vermont Comic Con would move to Barre’s Civic Center, citing lower costs and flexibility as opposed to its former Burlington location. The pair heavily promoted the show this year, hoping that its more central location would bring in more people from around Vermont, but it seems that this year’s convention didn’t pull in the traffic that was needed for it to continue.

What this means for Vermont Comic Con isn’t clear, but Moulton’s outfit isn’t the only group that hosts Geek-related conventions and events in the state. Vermont Gatherings hosts the Vermont Renaissance Faire, the Vermont Living History & Militaria Expo, the Vermont Steampunk Expo, and others, while Springfield Vermont has hosted the Springfield Steampunk Festival in recent years. There’s also the long-running Bakuretsu anime convention, which will be held in October in Colchester.