AnchorCon gone! Clayton Rotary hopes to build on the success of the first comic book convention | arts and entertainment
CLAYTON – The second annual Clayton Rotary AnchorCon has been streamlined to build on last year’s success, with organizers responding to tips and recommendations from inaugural year attendees.
Co-organizer Tanya Roy said one of the things the organizers learned was that AnchorCon attendees wanted the ability to go off-site — to get away from Cerow Arena for a while and wear their wings, cloaks, Batman… To stretch ears, flippers and various other costume (cosplay) accessories.
One result is a Comic-Con convention highlight that promises to be a party boat for the ages: a VIP cosplay karaoke sunset cruise on the evening of August 20 with the karaoke aspect hosted by WWE wrestler Dewey Murray , aka “Real Mutha Trucka.”
Participants aged 21 and over can also meet with AnchorCon celebrities for dance, food and a cash bar on the cruise, which sets sail at 6:30 p.m
“We decided to do something outside of the arena this year, so we’ve teamed up with Clayton Island Boat Tours,” Ms. Roy said. “We like to say we bring all the great things of a big city convention to our little Clayton convention. One of the things we learned from last year was that people really wanted to go out in the evenings. We asked, “What do we have that no other Comic-Con offers?” We have the St. Lawrence River.”
Hosted by the Clayton Rotary Club as a fundraiser, the annual AnchorCon, held August 19-21, supports efforts ranging from digging wells in underdeveloped countries to funding local scholarships for youth.
“It’s important for Rotary to give people the opportunity to enjoy the area as much as possible, in addition to the convention,” said Ms. Roy. “So doing something off-site gave us a chance to show Clayton and the St. Lawrence River a little bit.”
The river cruise is for adults, but AnchorCon 2022 is building on its reputation as a family-friendly event.
“We have lots of activities for children like crafts, puppet shows and workshops,” Ms. Roy said.
There’s something for everyone in the full AnchorCon schedule: games, special celebrity guests, vendors, cosplay competitions, special performers, discussion boards, and even a chalk creation and class hosted by the Chalk Twins. With so many choices and activities to choose from, the organizers want to make it easy for attendees to plan their visit.
“We have a packed schedule that is available online and will also be available in print when people come to the convention so they can walk around with the key to where all the vendors are located and the schedule in hand have,” said Ms. Roy. “We always have three or more entertainment programs.”
The area for providers has been expanded for AnchorCon 2022.
“We’ve doubled the number of vendors and community organizations and things like that in our storefront,” Ms. Roy said. “We also learned that last year: people are willing to work for it. The shopping and entertainment options on the floor are important for convention goers. We also made a lot of contact with community organizations.”
gaming attractions will consist of video and tabletop options.
“The video game space was something we didn’t have last year,” Ms. Roy said. “We didn’t have a place to play video games, so we went to a company that specialized in that.”
This company, Elite Gaming, is based in Syracuse. “They gave us a schedule for the weekend, so you can try a console as a newbie. If you’re a veteran, you can enter a tournament,” Ms. Roy said.
Also in the video game space is Massena-based Ethical Esports Ltd., a non-profit organization that opened last spring. Other attractions include the Syracuse University Libraries, which houses a virtual escape room.
Watertown-based Knights of Thorn Games will handle the arena’s mezzanine for tabletop gaming options.
“It’s a very welcoming environment for both newbies and veterans at one of these table games,” said Ms. Roy. “They will be showcasing three new tabletop games developed by people in upstate New York.”
cosplay events includes adult competitions in three categories and a children’s cosplay parade at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday 21 August.
“We just wanted to make sure there was something for everyone, no matter what you’re going to a convention for, including getting your photos taken,” Ms. Roy said.
Photo opportunities include pictures with special guests and vehicles. Josh Herdman, best known for playing Gregory Goyle in all seven Harry Potter films, will be at AnchorCon next Saturday and Sunday, signing autographs, taking selfies, guesting at an 11 a.m. Sunday panel, and on the Sunset Cruise attend AnchorCon. Mr. Herdman is now an amateur mixed martial arts fighter in England.
Vehicles at the convention include the Slime-Creating Ecto-1 stunt vehicle from the famous Ghost Busters film, whose driver creates slime, and a fandom car replica of the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am from the Smokey and the Bandit film.
“We learned last year that people want their picture taken and we wanted to give them every opportunity to do so,” Ms. Roy said.
A green screen will improve these possibilities this year.
“If someone shows up for a specific fandom, like ‘Smokey and the Bandit,’ they can have their car photographed and we can put a background from the film digitally,” said Ms. Roy. “You stand in front of the green screen, the computer takes your photo, and when that photo is sent to you, it looks like you’re in the movie.”
There is no charge for these types of photo ops, Ms Roy said. “With a few exceptions, everything is included in the ticket price.”
Exceptions are photos with the mucus-forming Ecto-1 and photos with celebrities.
“Anything that isn’t included in the cost is very clearly marked on the floor key,” Ms. Roy said.
a classic start
Clayton Rotary AnchorCon 2022 begins Friday night with an interactive screening of the 1971 cult classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Peter G. Ostrum played. On Saturday he is scheduled to meet with the public, sign autographs, be available for photos (for a fee) and be a guest at a Q&A panel. “He will also have gold tickets for people to buy and sign,” Ms Roy said.
The congress floor is not open on Friday evening. Tickets for the film starting at 8 p.m. are $5. The film is jointly sponsored by The Butler Did It Players and The Thousand Islands Library Group. Ms. Roy is a co-founder of the interactive theater company and will be one of the two actresses in the performance. She will play bratty Veruca Salt while James Goodenbery will play Willy Wonka.
“She’s incredibly fun to play with,” said Ms. Roy. “I enjoy playing them and it gives me a chance to interact with the audience and convention-goers because I’m so busy on Saturdays and Sundays.”
At the beginning of the film, the players explain the prop bags that will be given out to the film’s guests.
“For example, when Charlie and Grandpa float to the ceiling, people blow bubbles,” Ms. Roy said.
Patrons are also encouraged to sing along and call out familiar lines from the film.
Friday night’s film is also a way for guests to get a preview of Comic-Con, Ms. Roy said.
“So maybe if you don’t know if you want to attend the convention, you can come by for the movie, take a look at what the floor is like with all the booths lined up and all the cars brought in, and go to the movie, you’ve got one.” great time and influence you to come back saturday or sunday.
n WHAT: Clayton Rotary presents the second annual AnchorCon, a non-profit, multi-fandom comics and gaming convention.
n WHERE: Cerow Arena, 615 E. Line Road, Clayton.
n WHEN: 19.-21. August.
n COST: Adult weekend passes are $32. A family weekend pass (two adults, two children) costs $52. A child’s weekend pass purchased with an adult ticket costs $24. A VIP ticket costs $87 and a VIP Plus ticket costs $150. VIP Plus status includes a ticket for the Saturday night celebrity cruise. Separate cruise tickets can be purchased for $50, but attendees must also have an AnchorCon ticket. Tickets for Saturday and Sunday only are $22 for those 13 and older, $17 for military members and seniors, $12 for children 6-12, and free for children under 6. Tickets for the Friday night screening of the interactive film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory are $5.
n MORE INFORMATION, ORDER TICKETS: Go toanchorcomicon.com. Tickets will also be available at the box office.
n NOTE: Convention proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Clayton, founded in 1925 and part of Rotary International, which drives change in the local community and around the world.