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HerdCon - Marshall University's Pop Culture Convention: Master Events Page

HerdCon is Marshall University's Pop Culture Convention held at the MU Student Center. The 2020 convention will be held March 14, 2020 10:00a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Email or with questions.

Master Events Guide

Virtual Events


Film Screenings with Q&A 10am-1pm

Join us on Facebook for online screening and virtual discussion.

Links will post about 5 minutes before the start time for each screening and discussion.  Watch the film, then drop down to the comments section to join the discussion with the creators.


3/14/2020 10am-11am

Pure (2018) was the first original film created by the Marshall University Film Club. Filmed in Huntington at the Village apartments and the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity house, Pure follows Bailey as he visits a friend and goes to a party where things take a dark turn. Length 10:28




3/14/2020 11am-12pm

From Nothing (2020) follows Jack in his slow descent into insanity in a camping trip with friends. From Nothing was filmed at Barboursville Park over a weekend with a whole film crew and is our fourth original short film. Length 13:15





3/14/2020 12pm-1pm

Mirror (2019) was directed by Jason Lambert, the founder of the Film Club. This short film stars Trey Cobb in a masterful performance of Jack, a man grieving the loss of his significant other.  Length 8:25



Due to restrictions for other upcoming events, Cinesavage Films is unable to participate in a virtual screening of Conversation with the Devil and Undead Fred.  Like their page to keep an eye out for other opportunities to catch these titles, as well as their other films, such as Twelve Pole Manor, filmed locally.







Cosplay Competition

Come as you are, or as you want to be!  Cosplayers are encouraged to be a part of our cosplay competition.  Register at one of our featured cosplayer tables.  Contest begins at 2pm with prizes for each level!

Our cosplay repair room is conveniently located near the main stage area to provide our cosplayers a place to manage repairs or cosplay preparations.  See our Cosplay Tab for rules and more information on the competition. 



Outer Rim Praxeum Lightsaber School Workshop

Join instructors from the Outer Rim Praxeum Lightsaber School for the basics of light saber dueling.  Fun for all ages.



Final Form Fusion Performing

Final Form Fusion is a troupe of professionally trained belly dancers brought together by a longing to express their mutual love of geek culture through music and dance. Assembled in the autumn of 2016, their mission is to create electric productions encompassing multiple genres, including horror, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, video games, and more!

Fun event for the whole family!

Panel Room SRC


Plus Ultra: A My Hero Academia Experience

Presented by: Katherine Skipworth, Kai Burgess, Jay Jones, Alyssa Marzen, Bri Kemper, & Aurora Porter

The "My Hero Academia" heroes and villains band together for Q&A, Truth or Dare, and other surprises.


Alfie's Quick Draw

Presented by: J.R. Earls

I draw requests from the audience in 3 mins or less!!!!


Journalism & Comic Books -- Great Caesar's Ghost!!

Presented by: Bill Bissett

This presentation will explore how journalism has been portrayed in American comic books throughout the medium's history. Looking at radio, television and print journalism, as well as public relations, this presenter will not only show examples of journalism in comic books, but also provide a quick primer into the various aspects of mass communications as taught by Marshall University's W. Page Pitt School of Journalism & Mass Communications.


Social Justice Superheroes: Mutants for a Cause

Presented by: Krista Harris, Bradley McCoy, & Morgan Kinsey

Have you ever wondered how your favorite characters align with social justice, attitudes towards women, and personality? The X-men have often been described as the social justice superheroes and used as metaphorical allegories for outcasts and minority populations.  This panel will delve into how endorsement for different comic book characters, hero and villain alike, could be reflective of a variety of views towards activism and attitudes along with the Big 5 personality inventory.


Loss of Body, Mind, and Spirit: Cultural, Familial, and Political Trauma in Japanese Manga and Anime

Presented by: Erika Arivett, Hailey Bibbee, Morgan Byrne, & Zack Rakes

Through popular series such as Fruits Basket, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Japanese manga and anime present a wide array of depictions of and interactions with trauma. This panel aims to examine the ways in which trauma, healing, and the double wound influence both familial and political relationships.


Beau knows… gunslingers, demons, and the journey from comics to television.

Presented by: Special Guest Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a life long resident of WV and graduate of Marshall University with a degree is journalism.  In the 1980's he began his move into comic book writing, working with Eclipse, DC, IDW, Image, Dark Horse Comics and many more.  Many of you may know him from his work as the creator and writer of Wynonna Earp of comic and TV series.  Join Beau for a chance to learn how he got his start, about his journey from comics to television, and what advice he might have for those interested in entering these pop culture industries. 


Panel Room 2W22


D&D character and story development

Presented by: Daniel Frame, Kasey Kessler, M.A., Derek Fry, Sam Kessler, Rachel Frame, & Amanda Fry

Ever want to get lost in a fantasy world where you’re able to cast spells? Or perhaps raging and destroying NPC’s are more your fancy. This panel will discuss all of the how to’s for new players. We can give tips and answer questions on how to develop a character you’d enjoy to play. We have panel members who are well established in this world including being the Dungeon Master. Even if you’re not good at role playing, you can still have fun with this game made for all ages!


Visualizing your adventure: A beginners guide to tabletop gaming miniatures

Presented by: Jon Day-Brown, Ph.D., & Montana Richardson

This panel is an introduction to painting DnD/tabletop gaming minis. 


Forged in Fire: The Bonds of Heavy Metal and Pop Culture

Presented by: Montana Richardson

Larger than life and louder than hell, heavy metal draws inspiration from all that is truly epic. Psychology MA candidate, Montana Richardson, delves into the history of heavy metal music and its relationship with roleplaying games, tabletop wargaming, comic books, fantasy literature, video games, and cinema.


The Pop-Culture Personality Happy Hour

Presented by: Casey Collins, M.A. & Jake Bass, M.A.

Think about your favorite character - what makes them great? Traumatic deaths, a wild backstory, on-and-off again romance, or maybe..mental illness? Join us as we discuss how mental illness is represented through beloved characters of film and fiction, along with what draws us fans to certain characters more than others.


Starting from Scratch

Presented by: Jack Varney, April Fugett, Ph.D., & Michelle Alford

Mr. Jack Varney, Marshall Alumni and HerdCon Khal sponsor, will join Dr. April Fugett and Michelle Alford to share their experiences implementing a pop culture convention representing small, medium, and large events.  Learn more about Tekko, Tsubascacon, and HerdCon from the experts who have participated in various aspects of launching and marketing multifaceted events.  Panelists will allow for a Q&A session from attendees.


Individual mood states influence meme selection

Presented by: Jamie Ensey

It is hypothesized that individuals are attracted to images that reflect their mood state. In the case of social media, a person may be more likely to select Internet memes that closely reflect their mood, giving others deeper insight into the internal experiences of that individual.

1st Floor

Harry Potter Crafting Party 10am-6pm

The Cabell Co. Public Library will be hosting a Harry Potter party in the 1st floor Flexspace from 10am-6pm or until supplies last.  They will be making wands, book marks, and other Harry Potter themed crafts.  (The Flexspace is located on the west end of the building near the information desk and the bookstore)


Reaper Miniatures Paint and Take 10am-6pm

Josh Potter will be hosting a Reaper Miniatures Paint and Take in the flexspace.  Try your hand at painting gaming miniatures with an experience industry professional as your guide.  Your first miniature is free.  (The Flexspace is located on the west end of the building near the information desk and the bookstore)


Food Court East end of 1st floor

Live Music 12pm-3pm

We will have live music in the Food Court provided by The Secret Arrangement Band.  Enjoy live music during your lunch.  Grab food from one of our campus eateries, or bring in your lunch from one of our food trucks located on the Corbly Parking Lot.

Campus side Plaza 10am-6pm
The Battlearium will be onsite with their inflatable target shooting booth!  Come by and try your hand at some target practice!


2nd Floor

Red Cross Blood Drive (John Marshall Dining Room) 10am-3pm

Make a little bit of your con experience one of giving.  The Red Cross will be setup in the John Marshall Room on the 2nd Floor, just off the Vendor area.  Sign up online (link coming soon), or drop by between 10am-3pm to sign up and give.  A cantina will be onsite to provide you with post donation goodies!


Scholastic Book Fair (2nd floor room 2E10)

Remember the excitement of going to the school book fair?  Well, we're bringing it that feeling to HerdCon!  Just inside the Vendor Room, turn right down the long hallway and you're there.  In room 2E10, you'll be able to browse a selection of Scholastic Book Fair titles.  Proceeds from the sale will help us build up the Marshall University Libraries Juvenile Collection which benefits our education majors, the campus Early Learning Center, and more.


Twine Build A Game Session 3pm-4pm

Digital Humanities will be hosting a session on how to build your own games with Twine.  This session will run about an hour long, and your creations will remain on their training server. 


Room BE5-Game Descriptions & Times

D&D Adventurers League campaign – Dreams of the Red Wizards: Isle of the Abbey for Tier 2 Characters (levels 5-10)  A local mariners' gulld, would like to claim a small, strategically located island and build a lighthouse there. But so far. its representatives have not been able to land safely on the island-every attempt lo come ashore has been met by a horde of undead. The guild posts a lucrative contract offer in nearby coastal communities. seeking adventurers willing to secure the island and its burned-out abbey.  Game Master-Travis Fauber


Gallivanting familiars… A Pathfinder adventure.  Take on the role of a wizard’s familiar.  While the master’s away the familiars play.  What lie in wait for this unusual group of adventurers.  Max players 6. About 4 hours.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Kristin Cookson

11:30am-3:30pm  or 4:30pm-8:30pm

Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. Modern Day.  At the edge of sanity and nightmares, dark things lurk.  Will you investigate the strange and otherworldly, risking sanity and life to hold back the creeping darkness seeking to consume the world as you know it?  Max players 6. About 4 hours.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Scott Lambert of Cult of Chaos


Intro to Fantasy Flight Star Wars Game-Join Jacob from the Cabell County Public Library for an introduction to the Fantasy Flight Star Wars Game.  Max players 6. About 4 hours.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Jacob of Cabell County Public LIbrary

12pm-4pm  or 4pm-8pm

"A Walk in the Park" for Shadowrun 5th Edition - Premade Characters.  Your chance at the big time – a friend has tipped you off about a job opportunity to do some bodyguard work for a group of exclusive clientele. You have been trying to break into the Seattle shadow scene, and these are just the kind of people that can help. All you have to do is make sure that their meeting doesn’t get interrupted. It’s a simple walk in the park, chummer Shadowrun is a science fantasy tabletop role-playing game set in a near-future fictional universe in which cybernetics, magic and fantasy creatures co-exist. It combines genres of cyberpunk, urban fantasy and crime, with occasional elements of conspiracy, horror and detective fiction.!   (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Max 7 players, about 4 hours of game play.  Game Master-Teddy Claypool of Kanawha County Public Library

12pm-4pm or 4pm-8pm

The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Part 1 - Haunted House. Join Kyowva Gaming groups Game Master-Leiann Spence for this adventure.  Max players 6. About 4 hours.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Leiann Spence of Kyowva Gaming


Tower of Terror- can you survive the horrors of the evil wizard's spire? A 5th level D&D 5e adventure.  Max players 6. About 4 hours.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Damien Frees  of Kyowva Gaming


High Fantasy Adventure. 5E one-shot adventure set in a standard high fantasy world full of throwback encounters and fantasy tropes that are sure to be a great introduction to newbies and bring nostalgic joy to long time ttrpg players.  Max players 6. About 4 hours.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Josh Callahan of Kyowva Gaming


Boothill.  Set in a fictional wild west town in Northern Texas. Player's are traveling in on a train from out east to new expanded territory out west in the growing town of Boot Hill All characters have their motives for traveling. Maybe to find their fortune out west, or to run from an old past to start a new life. Perhaps some are returning to the lands they are familiar with and love. Players are encouraged to establish a reason for coming to boot hill. However, troubling times are looming in this new territory (bandits and wild bounty hunters gone rouge from lack of law presence) and the players must work together to find their way out of trouble and bring peace to Boot Hill. Max players 5. About 3 hours.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Brandon Kelley

12pm-3pm or 4pm-7pm

Toss a coin to your Witcher! Join the table and take part in an adventure set in the world of the hit game, books, and show of The Witcher, using the official rules from R. Talsorian Games!  Max players 6. About 4 hours.  (Suitable for most ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Anthony DeMinico of Kanawha County Public Library

12pm-4pm or 4pm-8pm

ALIEN Roleplaying Game by Free League, an adventure in Cinematic Mode, pregenerated player characters will be provided.  Max players 6. About 4 hours.  Game Master-Luke Styer


Warren Lords Tabletop Miniatures Game Demo-Walk ups welcome.  Come by and try out this tabletop miniature game of anthropomorphic rabbit warriors!  20-30 min per game, 2 players per board (2 boards availble)  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Jeffrey Cavender of the Gamers of Ashland


Shrine of Savras - A 5e adventure from the Essentials kit for 3rd Level characters. Max players 6. About 4 hours.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Chase Frees of KYOWVA Gaming (suitable for younger players and a great way to introduce your kids to gaming)

12pm-4pm or 4pm-8pm

Goblin Town. "You have recieved word that the town of Twin Rivers has been raided by goblins and are holding the town's people as prisoners. Will you fight for the people and cleanse the town of the goblin infestation? "  2 hours and max of 6 people.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Kyowva Gaming-Patrick Fillinger


Tower of the Mad Mage.  "You find yourself chosen as one of the elite few to enter the Mad Mage's Tower. Will you figure out its secrets or will it be your tomb?"  3 hours and max people 6.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Kyowva Gaming-Patrick Fillinger


Heist-Your job is to get a valuable item. How you do it is your choice. Plan, execute, bathe in riches. 4 hours and max people 5.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Game Master-Kyowva Gaming-Patrick Titterness

10am-2pm or 3pm-7pm

Marshall University Many Trading Card Game Club-Join this MU club for CCG free play.  All CCG fandoms welcome.  (Suitable for all ages and experience levels)  Club Representative-Vern Stapleton



Marco's-Game Descriptions & Times

Charcon Board Game Library-Join our friends from the Charcon Gaming Convention and check out their collection of board games.  Try a new game, enjoy an old favorite.  Learn more about Charcon's upcoming convention this summer as well!  Folks will be on hand to help you learn new games, clarify rules, and talk about area events.


HUGS-Huntington Unplugged Gaming Society will be bringing many of their board games.  Come by, try out a game, and find out more information about upcoming HUGS events here in Huntington!  Folks will be on hand to help you learn new games, clarify rules, and talk about area events.


The Charity Boardgamer-Come one come all for fun and adventure as we delve deep into the realm of tabletop games. There may be zombies lurking, spaceships in flight and epic battles along the way. Chris and Michael from TheCharityBoardGamer will be there to teach you these games. Family-Friendly


Andrew Stanley from Kanawha County Public Library-will be onsite with their Board game table: Ticket to Ride, 7 Wonders, Carcassone, Settlers of Catan, Bears versus Babies, Codenames, Chickapig,and more!


Extra Life- What's better than sitting down to play your favorite games?  Playing your favorite games and helping a charity at the same time!!!  Extra Life will be running games and taking donations for the WVU Women's and Children's Hospital.  Extra Life is a charitable gaming organization that runs events all over the country benefiting select Women's and Children's hospitals.  Come by their tables in Marco's and on the 2nd floor in the vendors area to learn more and have fun!


Critically Absurd TV-Our friends at Critically Absurd TV are returning with the podcast and will be running Absurdity: A game of deduction, mystery, and murder. Take on one of many roles in this unique spin on the cult classic party game, Werewolf. Includes demonstrations of the stand alone expansion Happy Lake.