Earlier this year, MystiCon — a science-fiction, horror and fantasy convention — drew 866 registered attendees to a Roanoke hotel to play games, meet celebrities and celebrate life as it never was.
Zombie prom queen Ren Stogner, 16, at MystiCon. Stogner says she plans for Halloween all year. “We’re the house that all the little kids run from,” she says. In the past decade, conventions aimed at the traditional nerd/geek demographic (gamers, and comic and anime collectors) have bloomed exponentially, with such events as the gaming con PAX East in Boston or Comic-Con International in San Diego. MystiCon, which held its first con last year, is one of two such events in Roanoke. The weekend before MystiCon was SheVaCon, in its 20th year. Matt McClain/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST Buy Photo