SoonerCon 21, 2012
Jun 15 to Jun 17 in Oklahoma City, OK
Type of Convention: Anime, Art, Comic, Gaming, Literature, TV/Film
SoonerCon is a fan-run multi-genre convention held annually in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. SoonerCon was founded in 1986 but went dormant after the 1997 event. In 2005, a group of fans, headed by con chair Jerry Wall, re-established SoonerCon as the multi-genre convention in Oklahoma City. While originally created as a traditional sci-fi/fantasy convention, SoonerCon now crosses over to many different aspects of fandom including gaming, comics, literature, anime, miniature modeling, costuming, art, and film.
In 2007, SoonerCon hosted a variety of guests including author Stephen R. Donaldson, artist Keith Birdsong, publisher Selina Rosen, plus media guests Claudia Christian, Vaughn Armstrong, Casey Biggs, and Larry and Janet Nemecek. Activities included a large exhibitor hall, an art show and auction, film festival, dinner/theater, charity auction benefiting the local chapter of March of Dimes: Walk America, Rocky Horror Picture Show, SinnerCon, and performances from Tribal Stars - Tribal Fusion Bellydancers. Programming included hours of workshops on topics ranging from art to makeup and costuming, and discussions of 2007’s topic, “Visitors from Beyond,” including discussions on UFOs, other dimensions, and Space Brothers. Other panels included guest question and answer sessions, autographing, readings, and performances.
First held in June 1986 under founding chair Mike Hodge and mainly sponsored by the STAR OKC SF fan club and other individuals, SoonerCon became Oklahoma City’s fan-based sci-fi convention until SoonerCon 13 in 1997. (SC 2 and 3 were both held in 1987, in order to reset the date from summer to the pre-Thanksgiving weekend in November.) During those years, lots of headliner artist and writer guests of honor, from Tim Powers and Gene Wolfe to Brad W. Foster and Robin Bailey, were welcomed to Oklahoma City.
In 1991, a sister event, ThunderCon, was formed by STAR OKC member Larry Nemecek. ThunderCon was intended to be a local charity "media con" emphasizing genre TV/film, comics, gaming, model-building, anime and pop culture, with actors, designers, and other guests—especially from Star Trek. ThunderCon, named in honor of Oklahoma’s spring weather, its Indian heritage and the state's heroic 45th Infantry Division (aka "Thunderbird Division"), debuted in June 1991 (balancing SoonerCon’s November setting) and lasted for seven annual editions, often with staff and helpers working both events.
Then in 2005, a group of fans, with permission from the original founders to use the name, brought back SoonerCon to fandom. SoonerCon 2006 was held July 15-16 at the Bricktown Plaza in Oklahoma City with over 500 paid attendees and $1000 raised for a local charity, Citizens Caring for Children. SoonerCon 2007, now expanded to a three-day event, was held June 8-10 and has moved to the Biltmore Hotel. The 2008 SoonerCon was held June 6-8, 2008, at the Biltmore Hotel in Oklahoma City. With a theme of "Pieces of '08," honored guests included toastmaster Selina Rosen, author John Ringo, and artist Tom Kidd.
SoonerCon 2009 was held June 5-7, 2009, with featured guests Eric Flint and Selina Rosen. The announced theme was "Slideways in Time."
SoonerCon's sister convention is the fan-run "Halloween culture" convention, TrickConTreat. TrickConTreat was held October 3-5, 2008, at the Holiday Inn & Suites Oklahoma City North location, 6200 N Robinson Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73118. Activities included children's programming, hands-on makeup and costuming workshops, an art show, unique vendors and exhibitors, ghost-hunting information from local paranormal investigators, a charity auction to benefit The Bella Foundation, and what has been deemed the first ever Hearse and Shock-Rod Show in the state of Oklahoma. The 2009 event was cancelled with a promise of a return in 2010.
SoonerCon 21, 2012 Photo Gallery
SoonerCon 21, 2012 Video Gallery