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Con you dig it?

The 23rd installment of SoonerCon features a dazzling array of niche, genre-oriented fare.

Eric Webb June 25th, 2014

SoonerCon 23
10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
Reed Conference Center
5800 Will Rogers Rd., Midwest City

SoonerCon storms Reed Conference Center in Midwest City for a three-day celebration of creativity and fandom across film, television, comics, games and literature. Now in its 23rd year, the convention will feature panels, screenings, contests, an art show and huge gaming and exhibition halls.

“SoonerCon is brought about each year by a dedicated crew of volunteers who give thousands of hours to make it happen,” SoonerCon co-chair Leonard Bishop said. “It’s a gift to Oklahoma that helps diversify and enrich our cultural landscape.”

Aided by efforts of the University of Oklahoma’s Animation Society, this year’s convention includes a big expansion of anime programming at SoonerCon with guests like Matt Greenfield, a writer-director and co-founder of ADV Studios, and OU alum Jamie Marchi, best known for her work on Witchblade. Voice actors Tiffany Grant (Neon Genesis Evangelion) and Vic Mignogna (Fullmetal Alchemist) will also be on hand.

“Vic is a rock star in the anime community, having worked on over 150 titles,” Bishop said.

Mignogna will also be on hand for the premiere screening of “Fairest of Them All,” the newest episode of Star Trek Continues, the web-based series that picks up where the original 1960s series left off. Mignogna serves as a writer, producer and director on the series while also delivering an uncanny Shatneresque performance as Captain Kirk.

Technically a fan-made series, Star Trek Continues involves many respected industry professionals in front of and behind the camera and has earned the respect of fans and Trek alumni since launching last year.

“Vic loves to interact with his fans,” Bishop said, “so we’ve got him very busy all weekend.”

Mignogna will be doing panels about his video game work and the cultural impact of Star Trek and participating in autograph sessions. Oklahoma native and Trek expert Larry Nemecek, who has co-written episodes of Star Trek Continues and played Dr. McCoy in some of the episodes, will join him for screenings of the new episode.

If you’re feeling inspired after watching “Fairest of Them All,” try your hand at crewing a starship in Artemis or avail yourself of tabletop, collectible card games, role-playing games and more.

SoonerCon boasts the largest genre-art show in the region, highlighting sci-fi-, fantasy- and pop culture-themed work from nearly fifty artists.

“[SoonerCon] gives folks with a broad spectrum of interests a central gathering point to meet,” Bishop said. “The Internet is a great starting point for finding your niche of interests. But face to face, in an immersive environment, it’s a whole different level of experience.”

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