Highlanders HeroCon

ComicCon logo

Highlanders HeroCon 2016 was a huge success for the museum.  Thank you to all of our sponsors:

Ashland Children’s Clinic-Batman

Phillip R. Dowdy, Jr. D.P.M. and Bellefonte Foot Care —Batgirl

All About Animals Veterinary Clinic-Hopemobile

McMeans Pharmacy-Costume Contest

Thank you to all of our In Kind Sponsors:

Alma’s Italian

Ashland Convention and Visitors’ Bureau

Boy Scout Troop 1100


Cinemark Movies 10

Community Trust Bank

Fat Pattys in Ashland

Friends of the Highlands

Ghostbusters: WV Division

Girl Scout Troop 983

iHeart Media

JC Penney at the Ashland Town Center

Kroger Midtown Mall

Kyova Theater

La Finca Mexican Restaurant

Mandalorian Mercs/Black Mountain Guard

Mary’s Kitchen Catering


Orange Leaf

Outback Steakhouse

Papa John’s

Pizza Hut

Pollack’s Jewelers

Ruth’s Cupcakes and Luncheonette


Subway-Winchester Ave

SuperHero Creamery

Sweet & Sassy Treats

The Ambassador

The Goblin Traders

Tri-State CW


The Highlands Museum would also like to thank all of the amazing vendors and exhibitors who were at HeroCon:

AMK Comics

Beau Smith

Cammie Eicher/Cat Shaffer

Canada Jack

Dave Pruitt

Derick Nida

Des Coveries Wild Animal Shows


Ghost Busters: WV Division

Kentucky Star Wars Club

Mandalorian Mercs

Mortal Paradox

Old World Comics

Page 4 Yeti

Snow Queen Elsa

Steam City Treasures

SuperHero Creamery

Sweet & Sassy Treats

The Goblin Traders

The Inner Geek

Tim Fuller-HooHa Comics

Time Warp Games & Collectibles



We are excited to announce that the parking garage located behind the museum will be open for Highlanders HeroCon.  The entrance to the garage is located on 17th Street.  We would like to thank Community Trust Bank for allowing us to use the garage.  Street parking is also available.  The city does not issue parking tickets on Saturdays.

Schedule of Events

10am Fantasy Fiction Q & A session with Cammie Eicher
11am Animal Show with Gary Bussa of Des Coveries Wild Animal Shows
12pm Guest Speaker Michael Mayne
1pm Cosplay Q & A session with Dave Endicott, Alicia Renae Lewis, and Sam Ash
2pm Guest Speaker Beau Smith
3pm-5pm Batman, Batgirl, and Hopemobile from Heroes 4 Higher
5pm Costume Contest

Want to pick up tickets to Highlanders HeroCon in advance?  Stop by the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center during regular operating hours to purchase pre-sale tickets.  Admission to HeroCon is $9 for adults, $6 for children 10 and under, and $5 for all museum members.  Children 2 and under are free!  We can accept cash, check, or credit card (Visa/MasterCard).  For more information call the museum at 606-329-8888. 

Heroes 4 Higher

heroes 4 higher logo

It’s official! Batman, Batgirl, and the Batmobile will be coming to Hero Con!  Stop by HeroCon at 3pm on September 3 to meet these superheroes from Heroes 4 Hire.  They are ready to share their inspirational “Be the Hero” message to the audience.  In a community and time with such issues as drugs and bad decision making, this is a needed message to help give the children motivation to overcome the temptations they may face growing up.  Heroes 4 Higher’s goal is to reach children when they are young to help make the community a better and safer place one child at a time!

batman and batgirl 2


We are excited to have Beau Smith and Michael Mayne as special guests for HeroCon 2016.

Beau Smith 


Beau Smith is the writer/creator of such comic books as Wynonna Earp, 200 People To Kill, Cobb, Parts Unknown, Lost and Found.  He is also the writer of Wolverine vs. Shi, Batman/Wildcat, Catwoman/Wildcat, Star Wars, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern Quarterly, Spawn The Undead, and hundreds more.  He has also spent 25 years as the Director of Marketing for such publishers as Eclipse Comics, Image Comics, McFarlane Toys and IDW Publishing. He is currently the Director of Marketing for The Library Of American Comics.  His comic book Wynonna Earp has been adapted into a television series of the same name on the SyFy channel.

Michael Mayne


Michael Mayne is an artist based in Portsmouth, OH.  He is the creator, co-writer, and artist on the comic series Bonnie Lass, published through Red 5 Comics. Since its release, Michael has also collaborated on or contributed to titles like Massively Effective, Skullkickers, and The Dreamer, among others. His art brings to life the lore behind the online video game Heroes of Newerth in a series of digitally released comics. When time allows, Michael also teaches art classes at Shawnee State University. His work is available at http://MichaelMayne.deviantart.com.

Highlanders HeroCon Costume Contest

Highlanders HeroCon will feature a costume contest with prizes offered in Adult (18 years and older) and Youth (under age 18) categories.  First place in each category will receive a $100 cash prize and a family membership to the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center, valued at $75. Second place in each category will receive a $50 cash prize and a family membership to the Highlands Museum & Discover Center.

Rules and Regulations:

Registration for the Highlanders HeroCon Costume Contest is from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on the day of the show, Saturday 9/5/15. There will be a maximum of 50 entries accepted. Entries are taken on a first come, first served basis. You may enter ahead of time by visiting www.highlandsmuseum.com and emailing, mailing or dropping off entry at the museum. For group entries, submit only one entry form per group. Group entries are limited to a maximum of six (6) persons. A parent/guardian must accompany all entrants under the age of 14.

All contestants must be able to get on and off the stage safely. If you require help getting on or off the stage because of your costume, you may have handler with you. Please make every attempt to notify us at registration if you are not capable of going on stage in costume.

All costumes may be modeled after comic book, manga, comic strip, TV, movie, anime, video game, RPG, characters or a custom character based on an existing property.

NO real weapons of any kind will be permitted. No real swords, knives or guns will be permitted in the building.  Non-firing toys or realistic prop weapons will be allowed. All weapons must be demonstrated to be non-functioning prior to the costume contest. Failure to follow these rules will result in immediate disqualification and / or eviction from the facility.

Please remember this is a family friendly event. All costumes must be in good taste. No nudity, inappropriate language or gestures, political or religious statements will be permitted in the contest. Violations of this policy will result in disqualification.

Prior to the contest, entrants will be divided into adult or child age groups and lined up based on the number given to them at registration. The contest will begin at 5 p.m.

The emcee will announce the entrant and may ask the entrant questions regarding costume creation and character portrayal. You may provide a short, typed introduction at registration if desired. Judges may also ask questions. You will not be asked to sing, dance, pose or participate in any humiliating or foolish behavior.

All participants must report to the pre-judging table before the competition so the judges can get a closer look at the costume. Participants must be still at the con during the competition in order to qualify for awards.

Costumes will be judged on a variety of criteria including originality, craftsmanship, overall design and presentation. The decision of the judges is final.

Thank you for being part of the show! Enjoy!

Cosplay Question and Answer Panel

Interested in learning more and becoming involved with the fascinating world of Cosplay?  We are excited to have three experts who will not only judge the costume contest, but share their knowledge and passion with HeroCon attendees during a question and answer panel.

David Endicott


Dave Endicott has been cosplaying for the better part of a decade and is a member of several national costume clubs and groups. He co-founded the Outer Rim Brigade Star Wars Costuming Club and the West Virginia division of the Mandalorin Mercs. Dave specializes in building cosplay armor and props.

Alicia Renaé Lewis

Alicia Renae Lewis

Alicia Renaé Lewis of Kiss a Frog Cosplay has been cosplaying for 4 years. She is from Charleston, WV And has won awards for Best Original Cosplay, and Best Female Cosplay at Tricon Columbus, and Midoricon. She’s been featured as a guest at IndyPopCon, Mountain State Pop Expo, and was featured on AFROPUNK’s wildly popular Facebook page and festival website.  Check out the official Kiss a Frog Cosplay page here.

Sam Ash

kesra cosplay

Sam Ash, also known as Kesra from Kesra Cosplay, has been involved with Cosplay in some way shape or form for almost twelve years. She has won several local cosplay awards in competition and has experience working with sewing, armor, wigs, and props. She has also recently begun work doing cosplay commissions.  Check out the official Kesra Cosplay page here.

Queen Elsa

Be sure to bring the kids to the museum’s Discovery Center for meet and greet and pictures with Elsa.  She will be coming to the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center all the way from Arendelle to hang out with the kids and take pictures.


Fantasy Fiction Question and Answer Panel

cat photo

Want to hear about what it is like to write fantasy fiction from a published author?  Local author Cammie Eicher will be at HeroCon to talk about her experiences and offer advice to those interested in getting their works published.
Cammie Eicher is a native Buckeye, transplanted from northwestern Ohio to northeastern Kentucky theoretically because of a job change but actually  because she couldn’t take one more Lake Erie winter.  A graduate of Ohio’s Bowling Green State University, she edits a weekly newspaper and is a columnist for its sister daily.
Raised in a household with a teacher grandmother, poet father and teacher/historian mother, Cammie grew up on tales of local and family lore, including learning her ancestors had once been serfs in Transylvania, and that a tombstone in the town cemetery was a drop-off point for local booze during prohibition.
Cammie now lives with a rambunctious dog who herd and a tabby cat who doesn’t take orders from anyone (especially not a dog).  She also frequently visits her two grown children in order to leave the lights on and the refrigerator door open, all the time sighing, “Ah, revenge.”
Wild Animal Show
gary 1
Be sure to check out the animal show brought to you by Des Coveries Wild Animal Shows. Gary Bussa is excited to bring along the Wild Bunch to entertain the crowd and teach them about animals.  Bussa is an experienced animal husbandress who trained under Suzie Rapp at Jack Hanna’s Columbus Zoo and worked for the Museum of Discovery and Science in south Florida.  He will perform for HeroCon guests as Dr. Des Coveries, a Indiana Jones-like character he wrote in his educational shows for schools while in Florida.  Dr. Des Coveries is excited to share his passion for animals and exploration with the region’s youth!
Card Tournament
The Goblin Traders
The Goblin Traders will be sponsoring tournaments beginning at 11am and will last throughout the day.