Cleveland Geekster convention returns for sixth year

Cleveland Geekster convention returns for sixth year

All photos courtesy of Rob Alderman.

Local Cleveland residents and Lee students alike who find themselves interested in all things nerdy should prepare for this month’s Cleveland Geekster convention.

Cleveland Geekster is an annual local toy and comic show—the first and only of its kind—which attracts about 1,000 people per year with over 40 vendors, according to a press release. 

The event was founded by Ashley Raburn, Rob Alderman and Ryan Faricelli as a family-friendly place where people could discuss and enjoy their shared interests in different media.

Alderman—a Lee alumnus and founder of the Alderman Group, a local public relations agency—was inspired to help create Geekster after attending a similar event in Chattanooga.

“My connection to Geekster really started as Ryan took me to a convention in Chattanooga—I think we went to Con Nooga—and I was like, ‘Cleveland needs something like this’,'' Alderman said.  

From right to left: Rob Alderman, Ashley Raburn, and Ryan Faricelli, Geekster’s founders.

Alderman expressed his contentment with the gradual, positive cultural shift in how society perceives “geek culture.”

“I think being a nerd, or a geek or whatever—it used to mean something kind of unsavory, or that you’re not social,” Alderman said. “Now, it means more—just that you’re unashamedly into what you’re into…[a nerd is] anyone who just doubles down on their hobby, just double down on the thing that you love.”

Geekster not only attracts local Clevelanders—Lee students, alumni and faculty are among those that frequent the yearly event.

Associate Professor of Theatre Daniel “D-Buck” Buck is one notable fan of the event.

Previous Geekster attendees have included Lee alumnus and current Mayor of Cleveland, Kevin Brooks.

Adjunct Professor of Theology Michael DeBacker and Associate Professor of Theatre Daniel Buck also attend the event regularly.

“Geekster is a blast! It’s perfect for collectors, gamers, or just those that want nostalgic trips back to their toy box,” Buck said. “I go every year.”

Raburn, a coordinator of multi-media services at Cleveland State Community College, expressed excitement for this year’s convention. As a vendor himself, he actively participates in the convention once things are set up—alongside other vendors who sell games, toys, comics and more.

“If you’re interested in pop culture, then this is for you,” Raburn said. “I think this year is going to be great… it’s the best selection of vendors we’ve ever had.”

This year’s Geekster is set to occur on Sept. 21 from 10 a. m. to 5 p. m. at the Cleveland State Community College gymnasium.

The event will have a $5 admission fee for adults, while children age 12 and under may attend the event for free.

For additional information, visit the Cleveland Geekster website, or the event’s Facebook page.

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