By Leah Vanden Bosch
Sioux Falls has built a reputation for having a lot to offer, and Brian Broekemeier is strengthening that expectation. After searching the Internet for a comic-con nearby and finding nothing in the area, the Sioux Falls transplant decided to assess what locals thought of the idea. He created a Facebook event page in April of 2015, and a short year later, is finalizing the details of SiouxperCon, a three day fan convention filled with gaming tournaments, exhibits, panels, and guest artists.
Without any intention of actually chairing the event, Broekemeier began to put together a team of experts, each specializing in an aspect of the weekend. His friend and former coworker Brandon Smith was the first to get on board, after coincidentally posting to Broekemeier’s Facebook event page without knowing it was his. The two were brainstorming over drinks when they spontaneously decided to ask the opinion of people sitting at a table near them. They introduced themselves to Josh Jurgens, who would end up designing the event’s website. Broekemeier enlisted the help of another former coworker, Cassandra Nixon, who brought in proficiency in anime. Longtime friend Shane Gerlach utilized his networking skills in booking big name artists, while Joe Ektnitphong and fiance Dani Franseen overlooked the event planning and organizing. With the group growing naturally and their diverse, creative expertise collaborating effortlessly, the potential in SiouxperCon began to exceed Broekemeier’s initial expectations.
“The experience is what we’re pushing for this year,” he said, in anticipation of this first-ever event. “Our biggest focus is making sure that everyone has a good time. We want this to be unlike anything Sioux Falls has ever experienced.” The event is on track to accomplish that, with a schedule listing big name artists and an exclusive, customized comic book designed by local artist Marc Wagner.
The three day event is starting off on Friday, April 15th, with the Siouxper Brawl gaming tournament headlining Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros 4, and Mario Maker Relay Challenge. The gaming is scheduled to continue throughout the weekend, while Saturday and Sunday are filled with appearances, featuring artists Phil Hester (The Wretch, Swamp Thing, Green Arrow), Eric Gapstur (The Flash, Wyatt), Tom Nguyen (Ghostbusters, Batman, Green Lantern), Gordon Purcell (Star Trek, The X-Files, Fantastic Four, Avengers, The Flash), and Sean E. Williams (Fairest, Vampire Diaries). Special guest cosplay includes the singing voice of Sailor Moon, Jennifer Cihi, while two local artists intend to release online comics during the event panels – Clayton Summers of And Once Again and Chris Biewer of Cosmic Rage.
Read the full article in the April issue of 605 Magazine or click here.