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The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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HerdCon Draws in Local Creatives

The+sixth+annual+HerdCon+took+place+in+the+student+center+and+Drinko+Library.%0APhoto+Courtesy+of+HerdCon%2FAbigail+Cutlip
Abigail Cutlip
The sixth annual HerdCon took place in the student center and Drinko Library. Photo Courtesy of HerdCon/Abigail Cutlip

Getting people involved with HerdCon by finding people who are interested in the same comics, games, and shows is a great way to build community, said a member of the library staff.

“I see this as an amazing recruitment tool,” said Michelle Alford, a coordinator for the pop culture convention. “It’s an amazing way for us to show off what our students and faculty are doing. “We’ve got a huge, nerdy population around here and a huge creative population.” 

The sixth annual HerdCon took place on March 29 and 30, bringing together Marshall, local Huntington and Tri-State communities. Marshall alumnus and creator of the popular comic ‘Wynonna Earp,’ Beau Smith, appeared as a special guest at this year’s event.

Alford served as a coordinator for the first HerdCon in 2018. She said the convention has slowly expanded its venue over the years, and her goal is to get as much of Marshall’s campus involved as possible.

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HerdCon traditionally features numerous booths and tables hosted by university staff and students, offering free items and games for attendees. This year, the Housing and Residence Life table sent participants on quests for prizes. Meanwhile, the WV Autism Training Center hid QR codes around for students to scan and solve puzzles while simultaneously learning about Autism Spectrum Disorder in exchange for Star Wars and sensory themed prizes. 

Some booths also sold homemade treats and Girl Scout cookies, and the Memorial Student Center’s food court remained open for the event.

Meanwhile, the cosplay contest this year had five categories: juniors for those 12 and under; novice for those over 13 with little experience; journeyman for cosplayers who are over 13 and have participated in contests before; and Master for experienced cosplayers. Additionally, the Exhibition category provided a noncompetitive space for all ages and skill levels. 

Arcsilva Cosplay won the masters category, cosplaying as Lucifer Morningstar.

Sponsored by the University Libraries every year, HerdCon began in 2018 with over 1500 attendees at its first event. Monica García Brooks, the dean of libraries, said she had the idea to put on a convention at Marshall after attending several other comic conventions. 

HerdCon is made possible year after year by the library staff.

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