Thursday, July 7, 2016

First ever convention in Hattiesburg brings the fantastic to town

For the first time ever, the Mississippi town of Hattiesburg will host a convention aimed at fans of science fiction, fantasy, horror, steampunk, comics and cosplay. Southern GeekFest, a production by Rafe White and Tim Nicholas, takes place April 2 and 3 at the Forrest County Multi Purpose Center, 962 Sullivan Drive.

White and Nicholas attended many conventions over the years, making notes of what they liked and didn’t like about each gathering, as part of their research for planning their own. Both have volunteered, working behind the scenes of other events, to learn to hold a successful con. Southern GeekFest marks their first outing at the helm and they haven’t held back.

The two men seek to bring the pop culture world to Hattiesburg in a prism-like display of the many aspects of the genre. The town has previously hosted role-play gaming conventions, but nothing on the level of variety offered by Southern GeekFest.

Headlining the event is an appearance on April 2 by Star Trek: Voyager’s Tim Russ. The mellow-voiced actor/singer/voice actor has also worked in Fallout4 and Live Free or Die Hard, among others.

A screening of Mississippian Frank Ladner’s indie Southern mock-umentary “Max Peril” takes place during the conference, adding a local flavor to the fantastic worlds offered throughout the event.

Others on the agenda include actor/writer/director Jessy Hughes; actor/producer/director/writer Jeremy London; artist/illustrator/graphic designer Gavin Michelli; actor/cosplayer/John R. Mangus; actor/director Scotty Whitehurst; actor Jerrad Vunovich; makeup/effects artists Dark Water FX. Authors include JL Mulvihill, KD Wood, Rob Cerio and more. John Dell of Marvel/DC Comic brings another aspect to the mix.

Non-human representatives at the convention include many of the iconic vehicles of the genre, including Bela, a Great Thief, the North American black Impala which appeared in Supernatural.

With many of the guest artists crossing categories, nearly every aspect of the convention world will be represented. The lineup goes beyond those mentioned and continues to expand. The latest additions can be found on the convention website.

Watch for more stories from Southern GeekFest in the coming weeks.

Originally appeared 03/01/2016 at

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