Galactic Con, the Middletown comic book and science fiction convention that has given the families so much fun over the last two years is coming back Saturday, March 18, and it will literally be bigger than ever.
Joe Manzo started Galactic Con at Everett Meredith Middle School in 2015.
“That was our first year, and we were expecting a small crowd, but it was bursting with people,” Manzo said. “So, the next year we moved to the MTown Sports complex, and had two days there.”
This year, Galactic Con will move to an even bigger venue – Appoquinimink High School. However, the event will be cut down to only one day this year, instead of the two days the event ran in 2016.
“That was tough on us, going two days, when it’s just a family-run event,” Manzo explained. “Luckily Appo High School let us go there, and I think that is probably the biggest venue to rent in Middletown now, plus the parking is great.
“This will be our biggest show yet, and it’s going to be great.”
Galactic Con will have use of the entire basketball court, and the front lobby.
“They’ll open up the bleachers, so we’ll have use of the entire gym” Manzo described. “Then we’ll have the front lobby, and that will be our cosplay room, right in front, where we’ll have the 501st Star Wars group, the Ghostbusters, and GI Joe.
‘Something for everyone’
Manzo also noted that they will have some gaming in that section as well, where demos for different types of games will be shown.
This year will also feature a Shopkins trading event, to help make the event a little more family friendly.
“A lot of times you have the a couple members of the family that want to go to the comic-con, and other don’t, or don’t want to stay there,” Manzo said. “So, with this we are trying to give them a reason to stay. We also have a lady who will be setting up a LuLaRoe shop, for any women who might want to shop around.
“Basically, there will be a little bit of everything. There will be something for everyone to do.”
In addition to that, artist Matt Stawicki and Cathy Wilkins will be exhibiting some of their work in the “Fantastic Stories and Creatures” from the Hudson Contemporary Gallery at the Gibby Center for the Arts in Middletown.
Renee Getty, who attended the event last year, and is looking forward to going back this year, had nothing but praise for the job the Manzo family did in hosting last year’s Galactic Con.
“It was a good family event, and unlike other comic-cons, it was very affordable,” Getty said. “We have four kids, and are a family of six, so going to a normal comic con isn’t affordable at all, but $10 for a family pass is.”
Getty said that her kids are all very excited, but that each has a very different favorite category than the other, noting that while she and a couple of her children are into anime, her youngest is “obsessed” with Ghostbusters.
“My oldest daughter loved all the anime groups that were there. My oldest son was excited about all the Star Wars things,” Getty said. “Plus, there were all kinds of little shops that had trinkets for each one of their ‘obsessions’ so we spent money there too, which you can afford to do because the tickets are so affordable.”
The family also enjoyed dressing up as different characters during the 2016, however Getty said the decision to was last minute. This year however, they have planned their outfits carefully, hopeful that they may take home some prizes.
“My youngest wants to go as BB-8, from Star Wars (The Force Awakens), while my husband and I will be going dressed up as Malcom Reynolds and I’m going to be Kaylee from the TV show Firefly,” Getty said. “One daughter wants to be Pikachu. The other, my oldest, wants to go as a character from Naruto”
Last year, despite putting together the costumes the night before the event, Getty’s oldest son placed in the top three in the 12-and-under category, dressing as Ash Kechum, from the TV series Pokemon.
Getty’s only qualm with last year’s event was that it seemed too crowded.
“I’m glad they moved it to Appo High School this year,” Getty said. “Last year it just seemed a little too crowded, so I’m glad they got to move it to a bigger place.”