For the sixth consecutive year, Kilgore’s Geekend brought fun and fans of comics, superheroes and more to the City of Stars.
Held at the Texas Broadcast Museum on Main Street, Saturday’s event drew young and old fans alike in a shared appreciation for all things geeky and nerdy.
“The event went smoothly overall and attendance was good,” said Rick Custer, Geekend organizer.
“The discussion panels had an increased attendance this year, so that was encouraging.”
Panels included professional voice actors sharing information about their career, including East Texas native Joshua Passmore, founder of StarMan Studios in Dallas.
The event also featured vendors selling everything from comic books to superhero-themed art and costume accessories. Vendors set up outside the museum to offer their wares as live music played and guests, some costumed, took in the sights.
“I’ve been part of it every year that it’s happened,” said artist Brett Mitchell, who was manning a booth featuring artworks by him and his daughter Julia.
The duo’s art features characters from popular culture, including superheroes, anime and video games.
“It’s doing fine. We’ve had a good turnout,” he said of this year’s event, adding the convention was initially delayed because of bad weather, preventing vendors, musicians and food trucks from setting up outside the museum.
Bill Necessary, of Tyler, visited with guests and other cos-players near the museum entrance Saturday, clad in the garb of the Caped Crusader of Gotham City.
He said he’d appeared as the Dark Knight before but he’d altered his costume for this year’s convention to reflect an important milestone in the character’s history.
“I’ve been Batman for many years,” Necessary said, who regularly attends events in Tyler in costume.
“This is a new variation of Batman. I’m kind of like Tyler’s Batman.”
Necessary’s costume was in the style of the 1960s live-action television series starring Adam West but Necessary added a cane and an “old man” persona to give a nod to The Bat’s 80th anniversary. He said he’d been a fan of the superhero since childhood.
“I first saw Adam West at 3. I do Batman, Superman, the Green Hornet, the Lone Ranger. I do a lot of old-school heroes. I just love to bring them to life. This is my spoofy tribute to Batman at 80.”
Necessary regularly attends conventions and events in Tyler but was thrilled to visit Geekend at the Texas Broadcast Museum.
“This is the first time I’ve been in this museum. This museum is incredible,” he said.
Custer praised his assistant for helping arrange the event, which raised money for charity and was set in the museum for the first time.
“My assistant, Melissa McGinnis, did a fantastic job this year finding interesting guests, including a couple last minute replacements for ones who couldn’t make the rescheduled date. She deserves a lot of credit for the events continued growth. We raised some money for Heroic Inner Kids East Texas, which is always one of our major goals. People seemed to enjoy the museum venue as well,” Custer said.
Heroic Inner Kids arranges meetings between children struggling with health issues and visitors portraying their favorite superheroes, including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
The historic atmosphere of the museum was a fitting backdrop for the presence of a local rock ‘n’ roll legend.
“I was also excited to welcome Jerry Haymes as our new indoor MC. Jerry has a fascinating history in the music business dating back to his work at Sun Records in the 50s,” Custer said.
Haymes, originally from Vernon, TX, spent his decades-long music career playing with rock and country artists from Johnny Cash to Roy Orbison.
2019’s Geekend offered something for everyone but Custer is already looking forward to the next geek-centric event while enjoying the success of the most recent convention.
“Overall, I was very proud of this year,” he said. “Now it’s on to working on Geekmas Dec. 14th.”