WhidbeyCon draws fans of the magical and monsterous

The magical, mythical, super and monstrous converged in one, free and family-friendly celebration of fandom over the weekend.

Oak Harbor Library Saturday hosted its third annual WhidbeyCon, previously known as Whidbey Island Comicon. The “geek fest” included expert-led panels, a board gaming room, arcade gaming room, scavenger hunt, artist and “nerdy business” vendors and even a quidditch demonstration.

“It’s an opportunity to expose kids to geek culture for free,” said librarian and organizer Jessica Aws.

The littlest padawans had activities like “geeky story time” and a “geek training room,” where they could make origami Yoda, comic envelopes or paper airplanes.

“We love it” Adriane Herrera said of herself and her three sons.

Full-grown geeks had plenty of opportunities as well. Over 1,000 people attended this year’s event, Aws said. Sno-Isle staff from every library on the island came to the city to help with the event because of its popularity and high attendance the last two years, she said.

Vendors, most of whom were local, offered everything from Star Trek communicator patches to books and art and handmade wooden wands.

Experts in a number of fields gave presentations such as noted comic book expert T. Andrew Wahl’s on the relationship between comic books and the real world, which was sponsored by Humanities Washington. Other presentations focused on cosplay, illustration, Dungeons and Dragons and more.

“It’s been nice to have a convention actually in Oak Harbor,” said Eric Vargas, an Oak Harbor resident, freelance illustrator and comic book artist.

Characters such as the Swamp Monster, Pikachu, a two-foot tall Rey from Star Wars, and more could be seen walking the halls of the library and Skagit Valley College.

Fiona Macian journeyed to the north for the second year in a row. She spoke behind a hand-made monster mask of her own design and creation.

“I just love seeing all the costumes here and seeing the creativity,” she said. “I do like to show off my costume design skills as well.”