Steel City Con brings the star power

Local Annual convention includes Shatner and Schnieder


Photo courtesy of The Steel City Con Facebook Page

Steel City Con brings notable stars from cult classice films and shows.

Ivan Weis-Palacios, North Campus Editor

Last month, Steel City Con returned to the Monroeville Convention Center. The regular event is one of the biggest comic cons in the country and broke attendance records this year.

15 minutes away from downtown Pittsburgh, and held concurrently as Tekko, the anime convention, the three-day convention hosted comic book and pop culture fans wanderng the halls of the Convention Center alongside Harley Quinns and Captain Marvels (probably the most common costumes there).

This year was particularly star-studded, with the biggest celebrity being Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. Shatner has been doing a circuit of conventions this year with Steel City Con being among them. Walter Koenig, who played Pavel Chekov in the original Star Trek franchise, was also in attendance.

For fans of the American television series, “The Office,” attendees met five of the staffers of Dunder Mifflin Paper Co.: Brian Baumgartner (Kevin Malone), Kate Flannery (Meredith Palmer), Creed Bratton (Creed Bratton), Leslie David Baker (Stanley Hudson) and Oscar Nunez (Oscar Martinez).

Another big pull was the star of the film Tank Girl, Lori Petty. The post-apocalyptic, punk-themed, cult film still remains popular in conventions where many cosplayers will dress up as the titular Tank Girl.

Many people believe the film and its comic represents the underground nerd-dom that still makes the base of convention-goers, alongside flashier superhero and sci-fi remakes.

More than just superheroes and sci-fi, however, the convention celebrates pop culture in general and especially cult films and television in particular. “The Goonies” stars Corey Feldman (Clark “Mouth” Devereaux) and Ke Huy Quan (Richard “Data” Wang) also appeared during the convention. Also in attendance was Barry Bostwick (“Rocky Horror Picture Show”), Denis O’Hare (“American Horror Story”), Dwight Schultz (“The A-Team”), Judge Reinhold (“Beverly Hills Cop”), Laura Vandervoort (“Supergirl”), Rob Schneider (“Deuce Bigelow”), Tom Berenger (“Major League”) and more.

For those not interested in meeting movie stars, this year’s convention-goers had the opportunity to become ones themselves.

The upcoming movie “Tributaries” was filming a scene at the convention utilizing Steel City Con as the film’s set for the sci-fi convention where the two main characters meet. Filmmakers were asking for extras to fill in the background while the two main characters interact for the first time.

Over 650 vendors gathered to sell or show their wares. From collectibles, to art prints, to authors and artists trying to break in the industry; there was anything you could desire at a comic convention.

A local artist, Samantha Mack, was there dressed as an apocalypse survivor (a popular cosplay theme).

“It’s a great place for people to bond over shared interests and celebrate art and culture; there is a sense of reveling in share nostalgia that gives the event and a really exciting atmosphere,” said Mack.

Steel City Con will return on August 9th-11th.