Stormtroopers walked beside proton-blasing Ghostbusters, but weren’t catching ghosts or fighting the Rebels — they posed for photos alongside children and adults for the third annual AnaCon: Comics and Sci-Fi event at the Anaheim Central Library on Saturday.
This year’s special guests included David J. Peterson, the creator of the Dothraki language for HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, Tim Powers, a science fiction author and Cal State Fullerton alumnus and Mike Senna, a droid builder.
Thomas Sievers, one of the founders of Orange County Ghostbusters, decided to use his passion for the film as a means to give back to the community three years ago.
“We just spread the good vibes and the opportunity to give back if we can. We have the iconic look and logo, and the visual of being a Ghostbuster. We figure, why not give back?” Sievers said.
The Orange County Ghostbusters provided props that children could take photos with, including the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, the 2016 version of the Ecto-1 car and a science activity corner to learn about fungi and electricity.
As visitors stepped into the library, they were greeted by booths that consisted of local businesses, clubs and artists.
One of the participating bookstores at AnaCon was Fullerton’s Comic Hero University, where a plethora of comics were on display.
Enrique Munoz, owner of Comic Hero University, modeled his comic book store after the one his grandfather frequently took him to in the mid-80s that offered comics and arcade games.
“Spending a lot of time with the Maverick Theater, I got to know the city of Fullerton, the college and all that other stuff. I had learned that there was no comic book stores around that time I was there in Fullerton, and I thought to myself, ‘Man, it would be really cool if there was a comic store here,’” Munoz said.
Munoz opened his store in December 2012 at the Fullerton train station. He offers readers a selection of hard-to-find comics that are primarily modern.
Members of Cal State Fullerton’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Club held a panel on the history of science fiction, highlighting the history of zines.
The club also explored speculative fiction that derived from the West Coast — including works by Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury and Frank Herbert.
“We came here to just tell people and talk to people about (science fiction), gather stories, tell stories and just inform the general public about the awesome stuff that we have at Cal State Fullerton,” said Nicole Vandever, vice president of the club.
Artists of all experience levels filled the library to showcase a variety of styles for people to see.
Beverly Salas has been active in the Orange County art scene since 2013, and has drawn for as long as she can remember.
In high school, her passion for drawing gave her the reputation as “the binder art girl” and others started to pay for her work. From that point forward, Salas started to support her family by selling sunflower and female-centric art.
“I carry a sketchbook with me everywhere I go, fill it up within three weeks, and constantly write down things that inspire me. If I’m feeling a certain way or if I’m feeling down, I just lock myself in my room, listen to music and make something out of it, like dedicate it to something,” Salas said.
CSUF alumnus Tony Son took the opportunity at AnaCon to display his artwork for the first time. At CSUF, he majored in entertainment art/animation, but after graduating he took an interest in pursuing traditional art.
Son referred to his watercolor art he had for sale as a means of representing the new him and his new shift in expression, fueling his desire to find his own voice outside of conventional ways of valuing art.
Son’s art has helped him work through depression and considers it therapeutic, while his friends supported him through his internal struggle.
“I never thought of myself as technically brilliant, like painting like Rembrandt or something like that. But I started watching Bob Ross videos, and he’s really chill about it, and no one’s judging him for how good or bad his art is. I felt the same way, so I just started painting and painting,” Son said.