The Lubbock Memorial Civic Center hosted the annual Lubbock-Con on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, at 10 a.m.

The Star Comics booth at Lubbock-Con. Lubbock-Con was held at the Memorial Civic Center on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, at 10 a.m.

On Saturday and Sunday, Lubbock-Con hosted its fifth annual event with everything from local artists to cosplay tournaments at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, located at 1501 Mac Davis Ln.

Attendees of all ages came to experience a welcoming atmosphere that had food, comics, board games and live music, among other things.

Brent Collins, an academic adviser for the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech, was helping register participants in the cosplay tournament. Collins said he has attended Lubbock-Con all five years it has been running.

“It’s not so much of a commercial thing, you know?” Collins said. “It’s more about the community.”

Collins said in larger cities, con events often become commercialized to a certain extent. Lubbock-Con, however, has consistently been a good way for local artists, businesses and citizens to come together.

“There’s a lot of charities, and it’s kid-centered and it’s family-friendly,” Collins said.

Local sponsors and organizations are an important part of Lubbock-Con, Collins said. The event has grown each year.

Julie Laughlin, Executive Director of Literacy Lubbock, ran a booth with free comic books and an area for children to read.

Laughlin said the volunteer organization has programs for dyslexic adults as well as English as a Second Language and general adult literacy.

“It’s just interesting; adults learn different than younger people. It takes longer and they’re busy,” Laughlin said. “They have lives, they have kids, they have the car breakdowns. It’s just more difficult for them to find the time to learn.”

While Laughlin said the local nonprofit focuses on adult literacy and one must be 18 years of age to participate, she said there is a program that supports child literacy as well.

“We do have an early childhood program where we distribute books at nine locations around town,” Laughlin said. “Because it’s very important for children to have books in their home.”

Attendants could learn about local organizations such as Literacy Lubbock or learn about how to play board games such as Dino Rush and Dungeons and Dragons.

The event was organized into different sections. Nonprofit and social organizations were in one area, vendors in another.

An arcade room with interactive video games from the classic Pac-Man to modern virtual reality games attracted many attendees. Cosplay scenes and participants were found throughout the venue.

The Lubbock-Con event offered a variety of events that engaged many different interests.  Local vendors sold comics, artwork, cosplay outfits and items, jewelry and food.

Emily Burke, a recruiting and student engagement coordinator, worked at the booth for the Tech college of media and communications. She said the college was a sponsor for the event.

Burke said the event gave the college a great way to show how individuals interested in video games, comic books and popular culture can be incorporated into their higher education.

“It’s just a cool way for us to kind of get out here and share information,” Burke said.

Many adolescents stopped by the booth and showed interest in the ability to combine their personal interests with a college education, Burke said. The event also provided faculty with an opportunity to give panel discussions about topics related to Lubbock-Con.

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