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Notre Dame to hold first-ever comic book convention

| Friday, February 1, 2019

While attending a book signing with his friends, senior Patrick Krog joked about having a comic book convention at Notre Dame, never imagining it as an actual possibility. Yet, in a complete twist of fate, Student Activities Office (SAO) reached out to him with a proposition to turn his idea into reality.

“We went to a book signing by Brandon Sanderson in Chicago, and we were just like ‘Oh, how do we get him to come to Notre Dame?’ and he said that he only really attended cons and we were like, ‘Oh, then we should plan a con and then he’ll come,’” Krog said. “Then we got back to campus and we got busy with things, and we didn’t really get on with planning it. But then we were contacted by SAO, and they were like ‘Hey, we want to throw a comic-con,’ and we were like ‘Same,’ and this was during finals week of last year.”

After merely four weeks of preparation and hard work, LepreCon, Notre Dame’s first very own comic book convention, will take place on Friday in the Dahnke Ballroom from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Set up as a typical convention, LepreCon will have booths for the various participating clubs, an artist alley for displaying Notre Dame’s artwork, panels for discussing several topics, SMASH tournaments, cosplay contests, prizes and free food for all.

“I am most excited about the giveaways and the food,” Saint Mary’s senior Alicia Twisselmann said. “We’ve got lots of food. There’s going to be Chick-fil-A, bubble tea and Rise N’ Roll donuts. All free for students who show up. … We also have really cool prizes. The winner of the cosplay contest gets a ticket to New York Comic-Con.”

The event is a melting pot of various Notre Dame clubs including Mustard, League of Legends Club, LEGO Club, Hearthstone Club, Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), Flipside, Science Fiction and Fantasy Club, Role Playing Games (RPG) Club, Japan Club and Risk Club. The clubs will all have their own booths where they will be able to showcase their group and sell merchandise to attendants.

“Notre Dame stresses a liberal arts education, so learning a little bit about everything, and sort of collaborating with people from other fields [is part of that],” senior Rachel Fisher said. “I feel that this can also be translated to clubs in collaborative aspects, especially if you didn’t know a club existed because you didn’t see it on the webpage or on Activities Night. So, people who have a certain interest on one club can come and learn about all of these awesome opportunities that might interest them and be passionate about and come up and network with them.”

For the organizers, LepreCon represents an alternative outlet for interests that are not typically exhibited at Notre Dame.

“We’re such a sports and activity-oriented school, that sometimes the more geeky side is not really shown. … There’s more to the student body than what Notre Dame puts out, I guess,” sophomore Maggie Stephen said. “Notre Dame kind of draws this stick image of what a Notre Dame student looks like, that is really two-dimensional in some way, and we are trying to give people some more depth of that you can be somebody who really likes athletic stuff, but also somebody that plays video games and watches a lot of nerdy TV shows.”

At the end of the day, the organizers are hoping to provide everyone with a great time and, hopefully, establish LepreCon as a Notre Dame tradition for generations to come.

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