CORNER BROOK — Jeff Keeping has been interested in comic books and science fiction since the day he started to read.
“For me, it’s the ability to make the impossible possible,” said Keeping, co-director of Atlanti-
Con, a sci-fi/fantasy/comics/gaming and anime (animation) convention that will take place in Corner Brook in September.
“It’s taking it to the next level of your imagination, like life on other planets or time travel, or basically it’s just storytelling for me. I find that science fiction and fantasy and that kind of thing allows you to kind of open up your mind as to what’s possible out there,” said Keeping.
Keeping said 40 to 50 years ago “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry envisioned the technology we use today.
“Cellphones are no different than the “Star Trek” communicator, believe it or not. It’s kind of funny to hear it put like that.”
Keeping enjoys all that science fiction and comics have to offer so much, he was interested in sharing it with others.
Darren Hann, founder of the St. John’s-based Sci-Fi on the Rock, put Keeping in touch with Matthew Connolly. Keeping and Connolly share a mutual interest in science fiction movies and science fiction stories and from there Atlanti-Con was born.
The genre convention will promote science fiction and fantasy as an exciting lifestyle for all ages.
Keeping said Atlanti-Con picks up where Newfoundland’s West Coast Con, which organized conventions in 2009 and 2010, left off.
“While we wanted to pay tribute to NWCC, Newfoundland’s West Coast Con, we wanted to do something new and different and something that was ours.”
This past weekend the two co-directors attended the 2012 Sci-Fi on the Rock in St. John’s.
Keeping and Connolly set up a booth at the convention and were able to promote Atlantic-Con to an interested audience.
Connolly also conducted a 45-minute panel on what the pair have planned.
Peter Roy returning
The event also allowed them to network and make contact with some people in the industry, including actor Peter Roy.
Roy, “Star Wars” and “Dr. Who,” participated in a Newfoundland’s West Coast Con event and is eager to return to the city.
He plans to help promote the event through a letter to the media.
“It’s fantastic for industry and it’s fantastic for economic development when you have Hollywood types coming in to a relatively small area and they can go back to their studio friends and say if you’re looking for great scenery, if you’re looking for a great place to go to do some scenery shots or town shots, or whatever, this is the place you want to go is Corner Brook, Newfoundland,” said Keeping.
“It’ll be a great benefit for the economic and tourist industries as well.”
Atlanti-Con will be held on Sept. 29 and 30 at the Greenwood Inn and Suites.
Guests will include actors Christian J. Simpson and Nalini Krishan.
Simpson has had roles in “Star Wars,” appearing in episodes 1 and 3, “Batman Begins” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
Krishan has appeared in “Noise” and “Star Wars Episode 2.”
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland professors John Bodner, sociology and Marc Thackray, English, will present a condensed version of their graphic novel course.
Atlanti-Con will hold a meeting for volunteers, potential volunteers and anyone interested in the event at the Royal Canadian Legion Saturday from 1-3 p.m.
The event already has received support from the City of Corner Brook and information about its sponsorship packages is available at www.atlanti-con.com.
Keeping and Connolly are also planning two fundraisers for May.
On May 5, Atlanti-Con is teaming with The Lair on Broadway for Free Comic Book Day. Tickets for the convention will be available for purchase at The Lair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A little out of the sci-fi realm will be a salsa/tango day on May 12.
This event will be held at the legion and will feature salsa and tango lessons.
Tango lessons will be offered from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and salsa from 1:30 p.m. on. Tickets for the lessons can be purchased by contacting Connolly at 660-4226.
Later that night the group will host a Latin dance at the legion. Tickets will be available at the door.
— Jeff Keeping , 639-5050 or email email@example.com
— Matthew Connolly, 660-4226, or email firstname.lastname@example.org