“Dwight was a writer who crossed many genres, published in the old pulps starting in the ’30s and ultimately ended up as one of the pillars of the OU School of Journalism’s Professional Writing Program, where he published several books considered mainstays of the working writer,” Bishop said. “His publishing career spanned six decades. He will be posthumously inducted, with his widow Joye Swain accepting on his behalf.”
Appealing to fans
The show welcomes writers and artists of all types and has an extensive art show and gaming area. The show also has a popular masquerade.
“Film, costuming, comics or whatever aspect of fandom appeals, there’s an outlet here,” Bishop said. “And if you want to see more of something at the next SoonerCon, just talk it up to some of the committee, volunteer — make it happen.”
Fantasy and comic conventions continue to trend up in attendance. SoonerCon has done likewise. The original iteration of the convention took place from 1986-1997. The convention returned in 2006. Since then, according to organizers, attendance has increased each year, with about 2,200 attendees projected for this year.
Increased attendance led SoonerCon to expand its hours this year, with a full day of Friday activities. Additionally, active-duty military personnel get in free on Friday, or can get in for the entire weekend for the cost of a day pass.
For Oklahomans living elsewhere, like Marchi and Nemecek, the local convention is a chance to come back home.
“Oklahoma is my background,” Marchi said. “I tell ya what, being from Oklahoma City and having graduated from OU, SoonerCon, a hometown convention, can’t not be special.”
Bishop said the success of SoonerCon indicates that Oklahoma City has a growing geek culture.
“It’s a great time to be a geek in metro OKC. There are so many new things happening, if only you look for them,” he said.
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IF YOU GO
Comics columnist Matthew Price will appear at multiple panels at SoonerCon: