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5 Questions with ShockaCon creator Mike Winland

 WANT TO GO?

ShockaCon sci-fi/horror convention

WHERE: The Haunted Barn, 426 Beauregard St. (main venue)

WHEN: 4 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday, 12 p.m. Sunday

TICKETS: Friday $15, Saturday $15, Sunday $10 or weekend pass $30

INFO: Call 304-345-3674 or visit www.wvshockacon.com

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The ShockaCon sci-fi/horror convention returns this weekend for another round of early Halloween-spirited happenings. Aside from workshops, contests and the opportunity to meet actors who've appeared on AMC's "The Walking Dead," the three-day event, now in its second year, features music by Harrah, The Big Bad and The Renfields, plus appearances by The Wayward Girls School of Burlesque and Ohio's horror-themed dance troupe, The Monster Dolls.

Gazz spoke with convention founder Mike Winland to ask about last year's event and what sci-fi and horror fans coming out this year might expect.

Q: How was last year's convention?

A: Last year was awesome. It was really well received. We had many more attendees than we expected. People are still talking about it. Our vendor and celebrity tents were good. We had a lot of people go through over and over, which I think was due to a lot of great guests we had last year.

Q: What's different this year?

A: It's a lot different. It's a three-day event. It's not free like we did last year, and we have a lot more national celebrities from "The Walking Dead" and "Face Off." We have lots and lots of movies and classes, contests.

But probably one of the biggest things is we're holding it at the Haunted Barn, so we have an operational haunt going on upstairs. That's pretty neat.

Q: Was turning it into a three-day event always the plan, or did that come after the response from last year?

A: That was always the plan. Last year, we only had a couple of months to plan, and for a three-day Con, it can't be done in that short of time. So that's why I switched gears, just did the one day and paid for the whole thing. I wanted to introduce the concept to the area.

Q: How do you expect things to work out this year?

A: We're expecting it to be pretty awesome. We think we're going to get at least 2,000 people. And from me, I just hope everyone just has a really, really good time.

Q: Any plans for next year yet?

A: I have, but they're all in my head. I'll start really planning as soon as this one is over. Reach Bill Lynch at lynch@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.


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