Happy Valley Comics and Collectibles Convention Brings Sci-Fi Interests to State College

Story posted March 1, 2023 in CommRadio, News by Katie Knol

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - Over the weekend, the Happy Valley Comics and Collectibles Convention took place at the Nittany Valley Sports Center.

Hundreds of vendors set up their stands to serve Central Pennsylvania’s sci-fi fans.

There was a wide range of interests represented — from sports cards to comics to vikings.

Fans also had the opportunity to meet with several comic artists and actors who were in attendance.

In usual convention fashion, there were many cosplayers who dressed up as their favorite characters and wandered the center. According to Tom Range, an organizer of the event, Star Wars cosplayers were well-represented.

Range said his wife and two kids were also involved with putting the weekend together. According to him, they’re a Penn State family, so they wanted to bring a convention closer to home.

“We all thought Penn State would be good,” Range said. “We decided, ‘Why don’t we try?’ Thankfully, it was a success.”

Range said he received a lot of help from Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, which includes businesses from all around Centre County.

According to Range, many of the vendors were happy with their sales and are interested in coming back next year.

He said the venue was happy with the turnout as well — its concession stands ran low on food and had to run to the store twice to restock.

“When we first approached, and they’re like, ‘A Comic-Con. Oh, OK,’” Range said. “And at the end, [it] was like, ‘Let’s talk. Would you guys be willing to do a multi-year deal?’”

Range said he’s looking forward to getting feedback from vendors and attendees to make next year’s convention even better.

Katie Knol is a junior majoring in digitial/print journalism and political science. To contact her, email her at ktk5187@psu.edu.