Gigi Toshou anyone? | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | July 14, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: July 12, 2017 at 10:32 am
Second comic book convention to be Aug. 5 at the Colleton County Library.
The second installment of The Low Country Gigi Toshou Con will take over the Colleton County Memorial Library on Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Last year was very successful. We had more than 1,000 people who came through last year,” said Library Director Carl Coffin.
“My vision is to show off the library as a place to come for kids to read and express themselves,” Coffin said. “Comic book conventions are great for that.”
“We saw people coming in and enjoying themselves. When is the last time you saw a library with a DJ music playing, people dancing and special guests like the Walking Dead?”
Coffin stressed that on Aug. 5 the library will not be open for its traditional functions and regular business. The only thing visitors can do is obtain a library card. “We hope the community will be understanding,” he said.
In the year following the first event, Coffin said the library has seen “a lot more participation in our young adult program. Other programs have seen an increase in teenager participation.”
Coffin reported that Children’s Librarian Shelia Keaise has been seeing over 100 children at each event in the children’s summer reading program. The recent super hero event had 160 children participating.
Coffin said the Low Country Gigi Toshou Con “is our last hurrah before the kids go back to school.” Keaise added “I look forward to seeing everyone come out — small children and big children.” Children under 10 need to have an adult with them at all times.
Coffin said, “Based on the feedback, we wanted to do it again.” The Friends of the Library is co-sponsoring the event with You-niversal Nerds, an events company formed by Omar Jeter during the year since last year’s first Low County Gigi Toshou Con.
In the six months that You-niversal Nerds has been in operation, Jeter said, “The buzz around town has been astounding. We got our humble beginnings here.”
Jeter said the event would not have happened without the support of Coffin. “He really took a big chance with us. A lot of facilities might not have been so open to the idea of a comic book convention.
“A lot of kids were exposed to different options and genres that they like to participate in,” Jeter said. They didn’t realize the library’s efforts in meeting their needs.
Coffin said the second installment will see some change with new guests participating.
One change, according to Jeter, will be improving the timing of the various events “to get a steady rhythm going.”
Two members of the cast of the Walking Dead will be visiting the event. Actor Jason Vail, who has appeared in a variety of films and television shows, will be put in an appearance.
The Signal, one of the largest community cos-play groups in the Southeast, will be coming to Walterboro from Columbia.
Jeter calls Thundercade “an event within an event.” It will provide a large arcade-video game experience for those attending. Visitors can play a casual game or get involved in a competitive tournament basis.
Jeter said Tekken 7 will be the big tournament. “We are expecting a very large amount of people signing up. We are taking sign ups on our Facebook page, You-niveral Nerd.
“There will be some surprises during tournament,” Jeter added.
Nicole Frank of You-niversal Nerd said this year’s event will have an anime room with Crunchy Roll, a streaming site, joining the event as a sponsor and providing streaming anime.
Also located in the anime room will be vendor Odd Eye from Charleston and Ernie Suggs, an artist based in Charleston.
Christine Brunson, a rapidly rising comic artist, will put in an appearance. Soundwave Comics of Summerville will be on hand selling comics, and Starlight Gaming of Ladson will offer current and retro video games.
Rebecca Eggers said Reapers’ Dungeon of Cottageville, will be also attend. Eggers works with Reapers’ Dungeon and is on the staff of You-niversal Nerd.
The Geeky Phoenix will be there with its nerd apparel.
Laura Drawdy will be in children’s room doing face painting.
Outside, local law enforcement show off their high-tech tools, and Toe-2-Toe dojo will conduct martial arts demonstrations.
Parking will be available in the parking lots of First Baptist Church, The Colleton Center, USC-Salkehatchie and Pinckney Park. There is also limited street parking.