Genre Con: The Sequel


Isabella Athanasiou, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Genre Con is back with authors, artwork, and costumes!

A new edition of a beloved series has been released with great success: Farmingdale High School’s second annual Genre Con event. The event took place on Thursday, March 23, 2023 and being the sequel of a new, well-received event from 2022, there was much excitement for this year’s Con. This event originated at Howitt Middle School, but Farmingdale High School’s library staff felt as if the celebration should be accessible to older and more mature readers as well. The Commons was filled with literature-loving students, and it was a greatly diverse environment. So what is Genre Con?

Genre Con is a convention that celebrates and promotes the diversity of literature, art, and pop culture. In doing so, the goal is to expose attendees to new genres, styles, and categories of not only literature, but other media as well. Sparking new interests in people is also a factor that plays into the success of the gathering, with each booth having a different focus. The booths are run by different clubs and organizations within Farmingdale High School, ranging from the Playcrafters to the History Club, and even the newly founded Farmingdale Fandoms club. The name Genre Con derives from the well-known Comic Con, a convention with a primary focus on comic book-related culture. However, Genre Con raises the bar in that it focuses on a range of genres and media, making room for the interests of all attendees regardless of age or preferences.

Genre Con began at Howitt Middle School, gaining popularity for its variety of activities and opportunities, with attendees always anticipating the next year’s celebration. In the past, there have been appearances from guest authors and illustrators, such as Chris Soentpiet sharing his award-winning artwork with the middle school attendees in 2020. Also in 2020 were activities such as a lesson on different shading techniques to produce unique, distinctive art. These components have continually brought attendees back to the middle school to participate in the function, and were key factors that played into the Farmingdale High School library staff bringing the convention to meet more eyes.

Farmingdale High School’s second annual Genre Con was a new genre of fantastic taste. The function was filled with attendees that participated in a range of activities from trivia games to character creation. There were also appearances from authors such as Melissa Kuch, Trevor Firetog, and Claire Ahn. With these authors, there were several sit down Q and A’s in which attendees could ask burning questions about what it means to be an author, and about the literature they have written. It was also an opportunity for attendees to hear how far literature can take someone, and how published stories have inspired so many. It was this that got the attention of many participants, and was surely a highlight of the event as a whole. Another highlight of the convention was the presence of Backroom Comics, a group of talented authors and illustrators who just happen to be Farmingdale High School alumni. They hosted a workshop for attendees where they explained how to develop a character, with Noah Kramer (class of 2018) providing an illustration to go with it. They were also commissioning personalized sketches that were done right in front of attendees. New attendee and Farmingdale High School student Courtney Cameron stated, “My favorite booth was the Backroom Comics booth, it was so cool. What’s better than a comic book artist at Genre Con?”

There were also appearances from professional costume experts, and photo ops took place with Darth Vader, Tusken Raiders, and Troopers from the 501st Legion. Attendees also arrived in costumes of their own, with characters ranging from Corpse Bride to Harry Potter, displaying a truly creative and unique environment. Also taking place in this environment were raffles where an abundance of prizes were given out and a costume contest was held. So much planning went into putting on such a spectacular function. Farmingdale High School Librarian Ms. Jennifer Bleicher was on the Genre Con committee, and stated, “The Genre Con committee planning was extensive. We had to coordinate with the building, with our special guests and we had to coordinate with a range of Farmingdale clubs. It was a big collaborative Farmingdale effort that involved community, school, and special guests.” The effort and dedication of those within Farmingdale High School and the Farmingdale community as a whole is what made Genre Con 2023 so remarkable, and it is what makes people highly anticipate next year’s event.

The excitement and anticipation for next year’s convention started the moment this year’s Genre Con ended.  In regards to the success of this year’s event, Ms.Bleicher stated, “I am super happy with the way everything went this year, and I am looking forward to even bigger and better events in the future. We are learning each year and we are getting more involvement each year.” With that, it is safe to say that the greatness of this event will continue to reign at Farmingdale High School. 

* Picture by Madison Sosnowski