Reno Pop Culture Con: Even the Big Bad Wolf can smile

The three-day Reno Pop Culture Con was held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
Amanda Jacobs / Tahoe Onstage photos

Celebrities flocked to Reno for the Biggest Little City’s first Pop Culture Con. The Reno Pop Culture Con was produced by the same team behind the Denver Pop Culture Con. The event featured the best in pop culture entertainment, from comics to television series.

Attendees had the opportunity to meet comic artists and writers, authors and celebrity guests. The Reno gathering is a program of the Colorado-based nonprofit Pop Culture Classroom. Their mission is to “inspire a love of learning, increase literacy, celebrate diversity and build community through pop culture education.” The proceeds of this convention benefited Pop Culture Classroom’s overall educational endeavors.

The three-day event featured informative panels such as self-publishing a novel, as well as celebrity panels where fans could ask some of their favorite actors about the characters they play. These celebrity panels provided an amazing opportunity for fans to hear great stories from behind-the-scenes of their favorite shows while getting insight and tips into the workings of the entertainment industry.

Celebrities weren’t the only characters in attendance. The Reno-Sparks Convention Center was filled with fans dressed as their favorite characters. The cosplay costumes were as creative as they come, from anime characters to unique spins on traditional characters like Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus made an appearance, reminding us of the holiday season just around the corner. Multiple Ariel characters from The Little Mermaid prepared to see Jodi Benson, the original voice of the red-headed Disney princess. Big and little Raven characters from Teen Titans were excited to take photos together.

A couple of Ravens from Teen Titans flock at the Reno Pop Culture Con. Raven voice actor Tara Strong spoke during the event.

If you couldn’t make Saturday’s Costume Celebration to see all these cosplayers and more, the showroom floor was the place to find costumed attendees. The exhibitor room offered a variety of visual artists and collectible dealers with novelty fandom items for sale. Revision Brewing, a popular Reno based brewery, offered four beers at the convention: a red, a blond, an IPA, and a special beer brewed just for Reno’s first pop culture con. Followers voted and the name for the event’s beer was “What we drink in the shadows.” The convention’s special event brew was definitely my favorite. Hopefully, Revision brings it back for future years of Reno’s Pop Culture Con.

Revision offers special suds during Reno Pop Culture Con.

The Pop Culture Classroom kids’ lab provided a fantastic area for families. This space was designed to engage kids in STEAM activities and provide educational, youth-based programming. Activities allowed young creators to work directly with professionals from the comic book and animation industries.

The main event for Friday was the Opening Night Ceremony featuring Murray Langston, better known as The Unknown Comic. During his career, Lanston appeared on hundreds of television shows and movies. He retired several years ago and rarely makes live appearances, so it was a treat to see his performance. Whimsical and full of clever one-liners, the Unknown Comic’s act was centered in visual comedy pertaining to his bagged persona. Every minute of the set captivated viewers’ attention. The Unknown Comic garnered a lot of new unknown fans.

There are no sad sacks when The Unknown Comic is onstage.

A fun event for a great cause bringing creative cosplayers and entertainment celebrities to Reno, this convention is one you’ll want to plan to attend next year.

Learn more about Pop Culture Classroom:

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— Amanda Jacobs

Tara Strong is the voice of Raven in “Teen Titans.”

About Amanda Jacobs

Amanda Jacobs owns 17 musical instruments and enjoys living in beautiful South Lake Tahoe. She loves going to festivals and talking with artists about the message behind their music.

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