Skip to main content
Main Penn College Website

Penn College Hosts Third ‘Wildcat Comic Con’


The third time for Wildcat Comic Con went beyond charming into the realm of enchantment, as presenters and the public bonded over graphic novels, cosplay, gaming and other common interests. The event, held across Pennsylvania College of Technology’s main campus on a gorgeous fall Saturday, put a unique educational spin on popular culture – and left hundreds upon hundreds of attendees already anticipating a fourth installment.

– Photos by Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday and Dalaney T. Vartenisian, student photographer

The fun (and fashion) of Wildcat Comic Con
The fun (and fashion) of Wildcat Comic Con

Veteran Wildcat Comic Con presenters welcome their keynoter colleague; from left are Jerry Craft, Barbara Slate and Jamar Nicholas.
Veteran Wildcat Comic Con presenters welcome their keynoter colleague; from left are Jerry Craft, Barbara Slate and Jamar Nicholas.

Voice-over artist/musician Eric Stuart, whose presentations took listeners into the auditory "theater of the mind," unwinds in the vendor area.
Voice-over artist/musician Eric Stuart, whose presentations took listeners into the auditory “theater of the mind,” unwinds in the vendor area.

Devon Parker captured top children's cosplay honors as The Weeping Angel from "Doctor Who."
Devon Parker captured top children’s cosplay honors as The Weeping Angel from “Doctor Who.”

The mascot for whom the event is named (portrayed Saturday by Dakotah J. Hewston, a renewable energy technologies major from Dingman's Ferry) is escorted through the Hall of Merchants by superhero Caleb J. Maenza, of Sayre, a pre-occupational therapy assistant student.
The mascot for whom the event is named (portrayed Saturday by Dakotah J. Hewston, a renewable energy technologies major from Dingman’s Ferry) is escorted through the Hall of Merchants by superhero Caleb J. Maenza, of Sayre, a pre-occupational therapy assistant student.

Thomas E. Ask, professor of industrial and human factors design (assisted by daughter Elayna), popularly presented on low-cost "Model Making, From Cosplay to Props" ...
Thomas E. Ask, professor of industrial and human factors design (assisted by daughter Elayna), popularly presented on low-cost “Model Making, From Cosplay to Props” …

... that included literal hands-on instruction as participants made casts of their fingers.
… that included literal hands-on instruction as participants made casts of their fingers.

Daniel Delgado, as Ezio Auditore from "Assassin's Creed," was the cosplay judges' overall favorite.
Daniel Delgado, as Ezio Auditore from “Assassin’s Creed,” was the cosplay judges’ overall favorite.

Fashion designer and "Project Runway" alumna Pamela Ptak, who would later judge the adult cosplay contest, helps her audience embody fictional characters with real-life proportions.
Fashion designer and “Project Runway” alumna Pamela Ptak, who would later judge the adult cosplay contest, helps her audience embody fictional characters with real-life proportions.

Barbara Slate, who knocked down doors and tackled relevant topics once inside.
Barbara Slate, who knocked down doors and tackled relevant topics once inside.

Dorothy J. Gerring, associate professor of architectural technology – AKA Agatha from "Girl Genius" – models her cosplay attire during a lunch break in the Keystone Dining Room.
Dorothy J. Gerring, associate professor of architectural technology – AKA Agatha from “Girl Genius” – models her cosplay attire during a lunch break in the Keystone Dining Room.

Commercial illustrator Chris Ring opens his toolbox and his portfolio in a two-decade overview of his work ...
Commercial illustrator Chris Ring opens his toolbox and his portfolio in a two-decade overview of his work …

... and meets fans in the Field House.
… and meets fans in the Field House.

John Shableski, director of library sales for iVerse Media – affiliated with the Wildcat Comic Con from its start – provides helpful tips on getting published. Among the pointers? A writer's best friend or family member makes a lousy editor!
John Shableski, director of library sales for iVerse Media – affiliated with the Wildcat Comic Con from its start – provides helpful tips on getting published. Among the pointers? A writer’s best friend or family member makes a lousy editor!

As the site of registration, the Hall of Merchants/Artist Alley and other attractions, the Field House is a popular and accessible base of operations.
As the site of registration, the Hall of Merchants/Artist Alley and other attractions, the Field House is a popular and accessible base of operations.

A well-attended session by the Minecraft YouTubers details the creation of online videos – and the Internet communities formed around them.
A well-attended session by the Minecraft YouTubers details the creation of online videos – and the Internet communities formed around them.

The Tardis from "Doctor Who," among the day's many reminders of the series' enduring popularity.
The Tardis from “Doctor Who,” among the day’s many reminders of the series’ enduring popularity.

Pamela Ptak's husband, Scott Hanna, leads a start-to-finish tutorial on "Drawing Superheroes," as an overhead projection vividly brings to life one familiar face ...
Pamela Ptak’s husband, Scott Hanna, leads a start-to-finish tutorial on “Drawing Superheroes,” as an overhead projection vividly brings to life one familiar face …

... after another.
… after another.

Paging through the day's giveaway comic books, a young girl makes an empowering find.
Paging through the day’s giveaway comic books, a young girl makes an empowering find.

Just as she inspires Penn College's gaming and simulation majors, Anita R. Wood, assistant professor of computer information technology, challenges her audience: create a simple video game in an hour within the Microsoft Windows environment.
Just as she inspires Penn College’s gaming and simulation majors, Anita R. Wood, assistant professor of computer information technology, challenges her audience: create a simple video game in an hour within the Microsoft Windows environment.

Local artist/author/actor Beau Schemery, of Hed-Bon Studios, gets down to work in Artist Alley.
Local artist/author/actor Beau Schemery, of Hed-Bon Studios, gets down to work in Artist Alley.

Renowned game-design consultant Ernest Adams conducts a mini-workshop in College Avenue Labs.
Renowned game-design consultant Ernest Adams conducts a mini-workshop in College Avenue Labs.

Cassidy Patrick Lutz, as Lloyd Garmadon from Lego Ninjago, took second prize in the children's cosplay event.
Cassidy Patrick Lutz, as Lloyd Garmadon from Lego Ninjago, took second prize in the children’s cosplay event.

Carl Gropper (left), CEO of the Will Eisner Estate and nephew of the industry legend, greeted visitors to the Brodart display.
Carl Gropper (left), CEO of the Will Eisner Estate and nephew of the industry legend, greeted visitors to the Brodart display.

Williamsport attorney Austin White, a specialist in intellectual-property and technology law, counsels an audience of budding artists on protecting their work.
Williamsport attorney Austin White, a specialist in intellectual-property and technology law, counsels an audience of budding artists on protecting their work.

Presenters say the Penn College event gives them something they don't get just anywhere: the opportunity to swap knowledge with one another. Williamsport Area High School teacher and perennial WCC booster John Weaver (left) talks with Jerry Craft about "Text Complexity and Comics" – measuring graphic novels' length of sentences and depth of language to help educators choose appropriate titles for their classrooms.
Presenters say the Penn College event gives them something they don’t get just anywhere: the opportunity to swap knowledge with one another. Williamsport Area High School teacher and perennial WCC booster John Weaver (left) talks with Jerry Craft about “Text Complexity and Comics” – measuring graphic novels’ length of sentences and depth of language to help educators choose appropriate titles for their classrooms.

Brian Mayer engages his audience in a discussion of nondigital game design ...
Brian Mayer engages his audience in a discussion of nondigital game design …

... and demonstrated a 32-square-foot version of his award-winning board game, "Freedom: The Underground Railroad."
… and demonstrated a 32-square-foot version of his award-winning board game, “Freedom: The Underground Railroad.”

What's a Comic Con without an instantly recognizable representative of the "Star Wars" universe?
What’s a Comic Con without an instantly recognizable representative of the “Star Wars” universe?

Jamar Nicholas discusses "How to Populate Your Comic Book and Stay Sane" during his return to Penn College.
Jamar Nicholas discusses “How to Populate Your Comic Book and Stay Sane” during his return to Penn College.

Zac Lehr, whose Awoken Titan from the "Destiny" video game, wins second prize in his first cosplay attempt.
Zac Lehr, whose Awoken Titan from the “Destiny” video game, wins second prize in his first cosplay attempt.

A caricaturist captures a cosplayer in Artist Alley.
A caricaturist captures a cosplayer in Artist Alley.

Montoursville Area High School student Sarah Peterson won a Batman-themed cooler filled with Pepsi products (Caped Crusader included).
Montoursville Area High School student Sarah Peterson won a Batman-themed cooler filled with Pepsi products (Caped Crusader included).

More "Doctor Who" fans at the family-friendly event
More “Doctor Who” fans at the family-friendly event

Involving the audience for a third year, Alex Simmons talks about personification of objects – even a soda cup – in pursuit of storytelling.
Involving the audience for a third year, Alex Simmons talks about personification of objects – even a soda cup – in pursuit of storytelling.

The Wildcat congratulates Drake Probst, whose "Slender Man" folklore costume won third place during the children's competition in Penn's Inn.
The Wildcat congratulates Drake Probst, whose “Slender Man” folklore costume won third place during the children’s competition in Penn’s Inn.

There's more than comics to the Wildcat Comic Con, but their influence can't be ignored.
There’s more than comics to the Wildcat Comic Con, but their influence can’t be ignored.

Children's cosplay participants
Children’s cosplay participants

The Pennsylvania National Guard, an event co-sponsor, once again brought along its gaming trailer for attendees' enjoyment.
The Pennsylvania National Guard, an event co-sponsor, once again brought along its gaming trailer for attendees’ enjoyment.

Joann L. Eichenlaub, assistant director of library services at Penn College and member of the Wildcat Comic Con steering committee, introduces keynoter Barbara Slate ...
Joann L. Eichenlaub, assistant director of library services at Penn College and member of the Wildcat Comic Con steering committee, introduces keynoter Barbara Slate …

... who took the audience on an anecdotal adventure through her "life in comics."
… who took the audience on an anecdotal adventure through her “life in comics.”

Armed with his Wildcat Comic Con tote bag, a Titan Pilot strides confidently toward the Field House.
Armed with his Wildcat Comic Con tote bag, a Titan Pilot strides confidently toward the Field House.

Eric Stuart's body language accents his storied voice.
Eric Stuart’s body language accents his storied voice.

To the crowd's delight, scores of adult cosplayers fill the ACC Auditorium stage.
To the crowd’s delight, scores of adult cosplayers fill the ACC Auditorium stage.

Making his third campus appearance is veteran comic-book inker Mark McKenna, whose body of work over 29 years (and counting) maintains its drawing power.
Making his third campus appearance is veteran comic-book inker Mark McKenna, whose body of work over 29 years (and counting) maintains its drawing power.

A rebel with a costume, young Princess Leia defends the alliance.
A rebel with a costume, young Princess Leia defends the alliance.

Roberta Schwenk, a circulation services assistant in Madigan Library, distributes "swag bags" to a a pair of Comic Con registrants.
Roberta Schwenk, a circulation services assistant in Madigan Library, distributes “swag bags” to a a pair of Comic Con registrants.

Greg Wilson talks about the game-changing way that Kickstarter and other crowdfunding resources can turn an artist's vision into reality.
Greg Wilson talks about the game-changing way that Kickstarter and other crowdfunding resources can turn an artist’s vision into reality.

With an intensity mirroring the work that went into cosplayers' creations, the tabulations are checked by (from left) John Shableski; Nicole S. Staron, Madigan Library operations public services coordinator; and Tracey Amey, library director.
With an intensity mirroring the work that went into cosplayers’ creations, the tabulations are checked by (from left) John Shableski; Nicole S. Staron, Madigan Library operations public services coordinator; and Tracey Amey, library director.

Wearing a costume born of her background in corset-making – and of the Frankenstein boots in her spouse's closet – Pamela Ptak thanks cosplayers for bravely exhibiting their creations. The top three winners' prizes included free sessions at the Arts and Fashion Institute owned by Ptak and husband Scott Hanna.
Wearing a costume born of her background in corset-making – and of the Frankenstein boots in her spouse’s closet – Pamela Ptak thanks cosplayers for bravely exhibiting their creations. The top three winners’ prizes included free sessions at the Arts and Fashion Institute owned by Ptak and husband Scott Hanna.

Repeat presenter John Gallogly, who introduces his audience to career opportunities in the voice-over field, talks with a "Con" attendee.
Repeat presenter John Gallogly, who introduces his audience to career opportunities in the voice-over field, talks with a “Con” attendee.

Third-place cosplay honors went to Cody Emery, dressed as The Oracle from "Atomic Highway."
Third-place cosplay honors went to Cody Emery, dressed as The Oracle from “Atomic Highway.”

Joseph E. LeBlanc, assistant professor of physics at Penn College, offers a lively primer on the common pictorial sounds in Japanese manga.
Joseph E. LeBlanc, assistant professor of physics at Penn College, offers a lively primer on the common pictorial sounds in Japanese manga.

After a full day as multiple presenter and cosplay judge, Eric Stuart – who has toured with Ringo Starr and Peter Frampton – performs an acoustic set in Klump Academic Center.
After a full day as multiple presenter and cosplay judge, Eric Stuart – who has toured with Ringo Starr and Peter Frampton – performs an acoustic set in Klump Academic Center.

Mario, portrayed by 2013 plastics and polymer engineering technology graduate Joshua Rice, acknowledges the crowd's reception ...
Mario, portrayed by 2013 plastics and polymer engineering technology graduate Joshua Rice, acknowledges the crowd’s reception …

... and his fiancee, 2014 graphic design alumna Crystal J. Broscious wins a prize package that includes Frito-Lay snacks and a HON chair.
… and his fiancee, 2014 graphic design alumna Crystal J. Broscious wins a prize package that includes Frito-Lay snacks and a HON chair.

Monitors reflect the work of webcomic creators Thom and Kambrea Pratt, sharing their digital world at Comic Con for the third year.
Monitors reflect the work of webcomic creators Thom and Kambrea Pratt, sharing their digital world at Comic Con for the third year.

Joseph A. Rudy IV, who claimed top prize in last year's adult cosplay competition, shares his winning ways.
Joseph A. Rudy IV, who claimed top prize in last year’s adult cosplay competition, shares his winning ways.

The lows and highs of Barbara Slate's historic career are marked by a collection of rejection letters ...
The lows and highs of Barbara Slate’s historic career are marked by a collection of rejection letters …

... and times when the jangling phone brought welcome employment.
… and times when the jangling phone brought welcome employment.

Event co-sponsor GameStop is among the vendors.
Event co-sponsor GameStop is among the vendors.

With the contest judges on either side, the adult cosplay winners prepare to take another bow.
With the contest judges on either side, the adult cosplay winners prepare to take another bow.

Wildcat Comic Con allows participants to paradoxically be themselves while channeling a pop-culture character.
Wildcat Comic Con allows participants to paradoxically be themselves while channeling a pop-culture character.

Related Stories

Events
‘Closer to Home’ series to reopen CAC stage
Read more
Ana Coste pins gold bars onto the uniform of her son, Andrew Placencia, of Reading, during his commissioning as an Army second lieutenant in a Dec. 12 ceremony at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Events
Graduating automotive major commissioned as Army officer
Read more
Events
Online exhibit highlights globally inspired architectural designs
Read more