NerdCon captures pop culture fun

Spiderman…Mangle…Harley Quinn…Zelda & Link and…The Phantom. These were just some of the cool cosplay characters who turned out at the sixth annual NerdCon at the Sault’s Quattro Hotel and Conference Centre, Saturday.

Alex Mazzuca is Spiderman. Alex says he got a great fit by providing RTC studios with his measurements. Four months later, he had costume from shoulders down. He picked up the shell for the head on Instagram and then deftly glued the mask fabric to have the complete Spidey.

Hundreds of attendees poured in for this year’s show, many in costume of their favourite movie or video game characters.

From left, Jason Gregoire (Collector) Gabby Brockbank (The Beat Down) and Justin Reinke (Spec). “It’s awesome here,” said Reinke, adding his character is loosely based on Star Wars. “A lot of people showed up and everyone’s having a great time.”

At left, Bella Grawbarger, a Caretaker for the Grim Reaper, and April F., The Shadow Lady. I make sure the Grim Reaper doesn’t hurt anyone and he makes sure I don’t get scared,” says Grawbarger. “I’m a dark demon lady, kind of floating around, observing,” says April F.

Jennifer Moore (Zelda) and William Moore (Link) from the action-adventure game Legend of Zelda. Attending his first NerdCon, Moore was impressed with the huge turnout. On dressing up for the event, Moore says, “People who dress up are approachable. We just come here to have fun.”

From left, Madison Conway, as Giyu Tomioka from Demon Slayer, and Ren Moreland, as Mangle from Five Nights at Freddy’s.

After attending the first Nerdcom, Helena Lampe was thrilled to return after a five-year absence. Lampe cosplayed Harley Quinn – The Joker’s girlfriend – of Batman/DC Comics lore. “I’ve finally been able to make it back,” says Helaina,“I’ve had to work and Covid got in the way, but I’m excited to say I was able to make it this year and I’m so happy to be here. I’m glad to see how much it’s grown.” Organizer Mike Turcotte says just over 40 vendors set up 75 tables selling toys, t-shirts, video games, prints, comics, movies and a host of other collectible items. More than 35 per cent of the vendors were from out of

Leah Scotland is the Plague Doctor. “He’s my comfort character,” says Scotland.

We really like the venue,” said Turcotte, the event’s organizer and co-owner of the Vintage Games ’N Junque. “In the past we’ve done it at the Bushplane Museum and this is 100 times better. More open space, more accommodating. All positive thoughts.” Turcotte says he was slightly concerned space might get tight but now feels he had sufficient space for still more vendors. An original driving force behind NerdCon locally, Turcotte likes the direction the event’s growth has taken. “You see a lot more cosplay which I think I is really cool because I don’t have the guts to dress up, I wish I did because I fully respect it.”
Vendors were naturally pleased with strong turnout.

Prezton Callon is the Phantom of the Opera, unmasked.

“It’s been a great day so far. It’s been busy,” says Justin Hykel, owner of the Paranoid Android in the Sault. “Lot of people, tons of great costumes, which is always awesome.” Hykel says with Covid in the public’s rear-view mirror, it’s a relief to see attendance at social events and shows getting back to normal.
“Everyone’s out and about again and we have people out in costumes, little kids, big kids, older ‘kids’. All kinds of different stuff here. No one seems to have much of the same thing, which really makes for a great
show,” says Hykel.

John MacLean as Shorty from Killer Klowns From Outer Space, with Kathleen Scotland, as Shorty’s girlfriend.

“This is one of my favorite shows,” says Mitchell Smith, owner of Diadem Cards & Hobbies of Sudbury. “Vintage Games ‘N Junque always puts on a really good event. Two years I started coming out to these and I’ve never been disappointed.”

Luca and Hollie Howson

The Sault’s Luca Howson and her mom, Hollie worked Beelzebabs’ table. The Howsons were clearly having fun and Luca said she was thrilled with the community’s strong support of the show.

“It’s super, super fun,” says Luca. “I love when everybody can come out to support local businesses, local artists. You have to support local in order for these things to keep happening.”

Many of the cosplayers at Saturday’s show had their photos taken to enter a contest for prizes. The pics will be posted on Facebook and Instagram, likely Sunday. Winners in various categories will be determined by online voting.

“We like it that way because in the past it (judging) was left up to me or my wife, but then you feel biased,” said Turcotte. Turcotte says it’s too early to know if the show will return to Quattro next
year but adds he would have absolutely no issues if it did.


  • Ron Jokelainen

    Ron has returned to writing and reporting after 27 years with Ontario Lottery & Gaming. He began as a staff writer with OLG in 1994 before moving to Sports Marketing in 1997. He retired as a Senior sports analyst in 2021. Prior to OLG, Ron worked in radio and print journalism in the Sault and Simcoe. Folks may remember Ron "Williams" with CFYN-CHAS in the early 90s A graduate of Windsor's St. Clair College Journalism program, Ron lists drumming, gardening and walking among his favourite hobbies.

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