Bowling Green hosts second annual Vette City Con

Stephen Logsdon, 33, is attending second year at the Vette City Con and plans to keep coming to them as long as they keep having them. Logsdon dressed up as Harley Quinn and had handmade almost everything from the bat to the hammer. Vette City Con will be held for their second year of performances and event venues at the National Corvette Museum on Saturday Jan. 27, 2018 and Sunday Jan. 28, 2018.

Nicole Ziege

The second annual “Vette City Con” took place at the National Corvette Museum Saturday and Sunday with 10 celebrity guests and about 20 artists and vendors.

The convention focused on pop culture, science fiction and horror, according to the convention’s website. Some of the celebrity guests included Charlie Classic, Tony Moran, Larry Elmore, Steve Dash, John Dugan, Hillbilly Jim, Eliza Jayne and Rocky Doll.

Susan Olsen and Mike Lookinland, who played Cindy Brady and Bobby Brady on The Brady Bunch, were two of the celebrity guests featured at the convention. Olsen and Lookinland shared a table at the event.

“I didn’t want to do these things,” Olsen said about attending conventions as a celebrity guest. “I thought they were loser festivals, but they’ve changed over the years, I think, because the economy has changed.”

Olsen said she changed her mind about how she viewed being a celebrity guest at conventions when she was asked to attend a convention for her friend’s animal rescue, Precious Paws. Olsen said Malcolm McDowell, who starred in A Clockwork Orange, was also a celebrity guest at that convention and was “a few tables down” from her.

“I thought, ‘Okay, if he’s not too cool for these things, then I’m not too cool for these things,’” Olsen said.

Olsen and Lookinland said they had never been to Bowling Green before coming to the convention.

“I like going to the heartland because people are so much more intelligent than they are in California,” Olsen said.

Broom Batkiewizz, 25, and Tyler Triumph, 25, said they were from Chicago and came to see Charlie Classic. The two men said they were off on Saturday and “had nothing better to do.”

The two men said they woke up at 4 a.m. Saturday morning to drive down to the convention. They said they had never been to Bowling Green before.

“Everything is really interesting,” Triumph said about the convention. “There’s a lot more here than I was expecting.”

The event also held an open floor for nearly 20 artists and vendors, including Spare Change Games, Primo Cardinalli and R and R Quilting.

Eric Lindgren, founder of Spare Change Games, said he works as a retail clerk at Walgreens in Bowling Green, but he has “gone to conventions for years.” He said this was his first year selling “at this type of venue with this many people.”

“I like experiencing the energy of the people that come by,” Lindgren said about selling at Vette City Con. “They see the cards, and they get excited.”

Primo Cardinalli, of Orlando, said he began drawing in his “mid-40s” and described himself as “an old dog with a new trick.”

Cardinalli said he drove 12 hours to sell his art at Vette City Con, and he said this was his second year selling at the convention. He said through his artwork he is able to “find that connection” with people.

“I’m able to share a shared moment of joy with a complete stranger,” Cardinalli said. “We all celebrate our differences at an event like this.”

Logan County native Robert Brooks, 38, founder of R and R Quilting, said last year he sold “some action figures he wanted to get rid of.” He said this was the first year that he sold his handmade shirts and quilts at the convention, and he said he began making the shirts over a year ago.

Brooks said he has gone to conventions for years.

“I’m just hoping people respond to them,” Brooks said, regarding his merchandise.

Other sellers included Heather Heines, 28, of Louisville, and Jake Rich, 34, of New York. Rich and Heines sold handmade decorative skulls at their convention booth, and Heines said she worked with Rich at his company. She said this was the second year they sold their skulls at Vette City Con.

“It’s cool to be back,” Heines said.

The Ohio River Valley Cosplayers hosted a cosplay costume contest at the convention. The contest was broken into categories for children and adults.

For the children’s contest, the two awards were “Best Costume” and “Best Performance.” The winners of the awards received a $25 gift card to Toys “R” Us. The Best Costume award winner was Peaches, who dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, and the Best Performance award winner was Draden, who dressed as Freddy Krueger.

For the adult contest, the awards included Judges’ Choice, Best Original Character, Best Craftsmanship, Best Special Effects Makeup, Best Performance, Best Props and Best in Show. Each of these winners won a venue voucher.

The five winners for the Judges’ Choice award included: Kim, who dressed as “Queen Aslaug” from Vikings; Stacy, who dressed as a fairy; Stephen, who dressed as a Star Wars X-wing pilot; Sasha, who dressed as “Hopper” from Stranger Things; and Cassie, who dressed as “Liv” from iZombie.

The Best Original Character award winner was Anthony Shofner, who dressed as a “punk rock Killer Croc.” The Best Craftsmanship award winner was Torrie S. French, who dressed as “Winged Victory Mercy.” The Best Special Effects Makeup award winner was Katelyn Mason, who dressed as the “Exorcist.”

The Best Props award went to Stephen Logsdon, who dressed as a male “Harley Quinn” from DC Comics which he named “Harlan Quinn.” The Best Performance award winner was Smiths Grove City Commissioner Bob Buehl, who dressed as KFC Colonel Sanders. The “Best In Show” award went to Mark Dubuisson, who dressed as Darth Revan from Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Dubuisson, 38, said he works in infantry at Fort Campbell, and he has been in the military for almost 20 years. He said this was his first year at a convention and he was “ecstatic” about his win.

“With all these other great costumes, I’m very honored,” Dubuisson said.

Dubuisson said he began to make his costume in October to “do something cool for Halloween.” He said he could only work on his costume on the weekends, and he said it took him a “combined time” of one month to complete it.

“Cosplaying is an opportunity to represent a personality within yourself or a person of inspiration to you,” Dubuisson said.

Commissioner Bob Buehl, who was the “Best Performance” winner, said this was his second year attending Vette City Con. He said he came to the convention with his son, Robert; his daughter-in-law, Katie; and his two granddaughters, Lexi and Harper. Every member of his family who came with him also dressed up.

Buehl said he chooses to dress in “older gentleman costumes” for conventions.

“People already told me how much I looked like Colonel Sanders, so it seemed to fit,” Buehl said.

He said he has “a lot of fun” coming to conventions like Vette City Con.

“I’ve enjoyed seeing the attention to detail that some people do with the costumes,” Buehl said.

Stacy Humphreys, 40, of Elizabethtown, dressed up as Daenerys from Game of Thrones at the convention, and she said it was her second year both attending the convention and attending with the Ohio River Valley Cosplayers, who hosted the costume contest at the convention.

“I’m really happy to be here,” Humphreys said. “It’s a great place to hang out with like-minded people.”

News reporter Nicole Ziege can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow Nicole Ziege on Twitter at @NicoleZiege