By ASHLEE HADDIX
Times Staff Writer
Powell County’s first ever Comic Con event, affectionately named Pow!Con, was held July 20 from 12-4 pm at the Stanton Elementary Gymnasium. The event was originally founded by youth service librarian Amy Ashley and then bookmobile/adult services/genealogy librarian Elizabeth Short last March when they were attempting to find ideas to get more men involved with events at the Public Library. Short states that it was a group effort of library staff as well as the library’s youth program. Both Short and Ashley have always enjoyed Comic Con events in the past and enjoyed being able to bring that to Powell County. The event was mainly advertised by word of mouth and Facebook along with the youth program members but rendered a pretty good turnout for its first ever event. Pow!Con featured tons of local artists and Comic Con enthusiasts such as Spiderman, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Harry Potter.
Local, C. Ann Cunningham, a paint pour artist from Stanton. Cunningham has been doing paint pours for the past year and teaches others to do it a well. Darrell Ashley, who was born and raised in Powell County but moved to Florida in his 20s to attend and graduate Tampa Art School. Ashley has worked at Disney Studios in the art department as well as South Florida University as their Web Master. Ashley plans to offer art classes at the public library in Stanton soon and says those classes will be on Monday’s. Elizabeth Short, who used to teach crochet classes for two and a half years was present with her crochet work featuring some adorable Star Wars themed items.
A former resident of Powell County, actor Lewis Wright, was also in attendance and Pow!Con. Wright can be seen in films and TV Shows including Mice and Men, The Walking Dead, Smoketown, The Undead from Space, The Calling of Lizzie McBride and more. Wright can also be found in Jumanji 2 and Zombie Land 2 coming out later this year. Wright shared some advice for Powell County saying, “If you have something you really want, go after it and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.” Wright notes that he received many no’s when apply for parts and states you just have to keep pushing for your dreams.
Seth Elliot, a Powell resident since 2015 who originates from Alabama attended. Elliott showcases his work at SRE Studios and is currently working on making a graphic novel. His inspiration for his art comes from Stan Lee. Also included in the lineup was photo manipulation artist, Heath Fraley from Lexington who showcased some of his recent work.
Several other vendors as well as food trucks, lazer tag, a cosplay contest, Q&A’s, a cosplay makeup tutorial and presentations rounded out the first ever Comicon event for Powell County. At this time, there are no plans for Pow!Con to return next year but Short says that could change with more involvement from the community.
Event leaders would like to thank all the attendees, volunteers, Friends of The Public Library Group and vendors for making this event successful with a very special thanks to Isadora Wise for her exceptional work to bring this event to life.