The Geekstravaganza

Friday & Saturday, November 17 & 18, 2017
Toms River Branch, Ocean County Library

Kick Off FanNation on Friday With

The Empire Strikes Back: A Staged Radio
Play Parody & Themed Party

with Special Guests: Star Wars 501st Legion, Northeast Remnant

Friday, November 17th, 2017
Toms River Branch, Mancini Hall

20+ Panels, Workshops, & Presentations

Featuring: Illustrator Philip McNulty, Comic Writer Amy Chu, and the NYC Ghostbusters’ Slime Lab plus Anime, Gaming, Comics, Crafts, Cosplay, & more!

From Harry Potter to Stranger Things, meet other people who love to love stuff!

Doors Open at 6:30 pm -- Radio Show: 7 - 8:30 pm

Don't miss this uniquely immersive interpretation of The Empire Strikes Back with theatrical lighting, costumes, Golden Age radio equipment, fog fx, and hundreds of sound effects.

Raconteur Radio stages theatrical presentations of vintage radio plays, classic works of literature, and pop culture parodies for live audiences.





Friday, November 17th — 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm) — Mancini Hall

The Empire Strikes Back: A Staged Radio Play Parody & Themed Party

Join us as the battle between the cruel Galactic Empire and the ragtag Rebel Resistance rages ever on.
As Darth Vader chases the Alliance across the galaxy, Luke Skywalker studies the Force, jogging the bogs of Dagobah with a backpack font of backward wisdom, otherwise known as Yoda.
But when the villainous Vader captures Han and Leia, Luke must decide whether to complete his training and become a full Jedi Knight or to boldly confront Vader and save his friends.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Toms River Library.

**NOTE: This program has separate registration.**

Register HERE for the Empire Strikes Back!



Saturday, November 18th — 10:00 am to 4:00 pm — The Ocean County Library

FanNation: The Geekstravaganza

Special guests will include:

501st Legion, Star Wars Costume Organization

Amy Chu, Comic Writer

Arielle Johnson, Ownder Amalgam Comic Shop

Carly-Jean Booker, Artist

Grady Hendrix, Horror Author

It's All Geek to Me Radio, Bloggers & Podcasters

Lenny Rivera, Artist

Matty Daley, LGBTQ+ Advocate

NYC Ghostbuster's, Costume Organization

Philip McNulty, Comic Illustrator

Shoprite Nutritionists, Geek Cooking

USS Challenger, Star Trek Cosplay Organization

Women in Comics Collective International



Meet Ups   

Escape Rooms   

Scavenger Hunt   

Cosplay Contest   

Green Screen Pictures   

Tabletop Gaming Demonstrations


Panels, Workshops, & Meet-ups -10:00 am


Mancini Hall

Graphic Novels, Superheroes and Manga – A Tasting

Feel like you’ve already read everything? Can’t find a something to feed your craving for something new? Discover new graphic novels and manga, and even some old favorites that you might have missed from a wide range of genres.


Green Room

Game of Thrones, Fantasy, and Worldbuilding: A Panel Discussion

Game of Thrones brought fantasy back into the mainstream. Let’s discuss how and why HBO adapted George R. R. Martin’s detail-rich world.



Celebrating 30 years of Star Trek: The Next Generation

ST: The Next Generation breathed new life into the Star Trek franchise having seven seasons as a syndicated sequel series to the original STAR TREK series of the 1960s and how it spawned three spinoff series and four feature films. Come discuss with members of the USS Challenger, Star Trek Fan Club.


2nd Floor Hometown Dairy

Lord of the Rings Miniatures

In this crafting workshop you will create tiny versions of the iconic images from the Lord of the Rings franchise.


2nd Floor Non-Fiction

WebComics Meet-up


2nd Floor Art Gallery with Puppet Theatre

Harry Potter Meet-up


Panels, Workshops, & Meet-ups -11:00 am


Mancini Hall

NYC Ghostbusters Slime Lab LIVE

When there's something strange and it looks like goo, who's going to make slime?! You! Come join the NYC Ghostbusters make some slime!


Green Room

Anime Cosplay Life Drawing – Yuri on Ice & More

Draw live models in awesome cosplay with the assistance of artist and graphic designer Carly-Jean Booker. Use our drawing materials or bring your own to complete short and long sketches.


Bishop Building

Harry Potter – Escape to the Common Room

You're out after hours and Filch is on your trail! The Gryffindor common room password changed at midnight. Lucky for you, Neville's misplaced his list of passwords again. Can you find it before Filch finds you? Register day of at the Information Table.



LGBTQ Heroes! Where are the non-centric LGBTQ protagonists?

From Paul in Boy Meets Boy to Emily in Pretty Little Liars, LGBTQ characters have broken into Young Adult storytelling mainstream. These characters all have one thing in common: their “gayness” defines them. They are “others” in their own stories, while their straight counterparts are never defined by their sexuality. Where are the protagonists whose stories are non-centric of LGBTQ issues? Let’s discuss!


2nd Floor Hometown Dairy

Chain Maille Armor & Jewelry Making Basics

Join Chain Maille enthusiast, Will Harrison, to learn about the history of armor, see a demo and create your own piece of Chain Maille.


2nd Floor Non-Fiction

Nintendo Switch Meet-up


2nd Floor Art Gallery with Puppet Theatre

Supernatural Meet-up


Panels, Workshops, & Meet-ups -12:00 pm


Mancini Hall

Amy Chu presents: Making Comics

Wonder how your favorite comics are made? It's a team effort! Amy will show you what everyone does and why, from editor to writer, penciller, inker and colorist. Amy Chu is the Comic Writer for Red Sonja and KISS comics as well as the Poison Ivy mini-series and Wonder Woman stories for DC Comics.


Green Room

Paperbacks from Hell LIVE! with author Grady Hendrix

Three books changed horror forever: ROSEMARY'S BABY, THE EXORCIST, and THE OTHER. They opened the floodgates for an avalanche of horror paperbacks to pour onto shelves throughout the 70’s and 80’s until SILENCE OF THE LAMBS slit the genre in the early 90’s. Writer Grady Hendrix delivers a mind-melting oral history of this now forgotten world of skeleton doctors, killer crabs, killer jellyfish, pretty much killer everything. Prepare yourself for a tour of this long-lost universe of terror that lurked behind the lurid, foil-embossed, die-cut covers of...the Paperbacks from Hell!!!!



My Neighbor Miyazaki

Creative genius and film director, Hayao Miyazaki has recently announced he’s coming out of retirement for more films! As we speculate on what he might do next, we’ll take a look at common themes through his films and what makes them enriching for all ages!


2nd Floor Hometown Dairy

Dungeons and Dragons: Create a Character!

Are you curious about Dungeons and Dragons™?  Learn how to build your first character and more using 5th edition game rules.  This seminar is intended for those new to the game.


2nd Floor Non-Fiction

Marvel on Netflix Meet-up


2nd Floor Art Gallery with Puppet Theatre

Star Wars Meet-up


Panels, Workshops & Meet-ups -1:00 pm


Mancini Hall

Turning Your Geek into a Career with Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

Groundbreaking female Comic Book Store owner Ariell Johnson will be joining us for a discussion on turning your geek into a career. She is the founder and president of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. in Philadelphia.


Green Room

Philip McNulty presents: Create Your Own Superhero

Develop a unique superhero for your own comic book! Join Philip McNulty (X-Men, Cable, Deadpool, Man O’ War) as he teaches through the history and art of comics how to create a hero for a comic! This interactive workshop will allow you to walk away with your own superhero.


Bishop Building

Doctor Who – Escape the Room

The Doctor has tasked a group of explorers in the 21st century to find a misplaced sonic screwdriver within the walls of the library. Simple enough, right? Nothing is ever simple when it comes to the Doctor. Enemies have also discovered the location. Race against time and space to find one of the Doctor’s most prized possessions! Register day of at the Information Table.



FanFiction: Multi-Fandom

Discuss FanFiction’s history, its current spread into mainstream media, and those who have gone from writing Fanfics to published authors. Sorry the summary is terrible, please attend panel, it’s better than it sounds. Song fic, NO Flames!!!! Rated T. AU, OoC, OC.


2nd Floor Non-Fiction

Yuri on Ice Meet-up


2nd Floor Art Gallery with Puppet Theatre

Stranger Things Meet-up


Panels, Workshops, & Meet-ups -2:00 pm


Mancini Hall

Women in Comics Collective International

The Women in Comics Collective International is an organization that focuses on highlighting the merit and craft work of women working in the comic book industry. They have an ongoing Women in Comics series that discusses the state of diversity and inclusion in the comic book industry; both professionally and creatively.


Green Room

How to Survive a Con in (& out) of Cosplay

Join bloggers/podcasters Cate and EM from It's All Geek to Me Radio to learn the ins and outs of con life. It’s All Geek to Me Radio is the official podcast/radio station of Cate & EM, two lovable geeks who discuss anything and everything pop culture.



DOCTOR WHO Past, Present & Future

We explore the latest season of Doctor Who and the news of actress Jodie Whitaker taking over the role in December. A new producer, a new Doctor, and new companions will mark an exciting new era. We’d like to hear from all you fans about what you are hoping to see.


2nd Floor Hometown Dairy

How to Draw “Walkers”

Draw characters from The Walking Dead with artist, Lenny Rivera. Bring a sketchbook and pencil or use the materials provided.


2nd Floor Non-Fiction

Stephen King’s It Meet-up


2nd Floor Art Gallery with Puppet Theatre

Steven Universe Meet-up


Panels, Workshops, & Meet-ups -3:00 pm


Mancini Hall

Cosplay Contest

Represent your fandom and participate in this contest where prizes will be awarded to individuals in the following six categories: 1. Comic Books 2. Video Games 3. Anime & Manga 4. Movies & TV 5. Fantasy 6. Group Cosplay

Register between 10am – 1pm in the library Lobby to participate


Bishop Building

Geek Cooking: Legends of Zelda

Giavonna Carbonello, registered dietitian of the Perlmutter Family ShopRite’s will have attendees make geeky specialties to entertain your guests.  Break into groups to make your favorite Legend of Zelda creations with the other attendees.


All Day Events


Information Table

Stranger Things Scavenger Hunt

Eleven has tasked you with finding someone long lost in the upside down, Barb. Find 11 objects around the library’s upside down.


Children’s Department

Green Screen Pictures

Pose for a geeky picture and take home a unique printed photo.


2nd Floor Maker Space Crafts

Felt Pins & Ornaments: Totoro, Pikachu & Star Wars

Cut out some of your favorite characters to wear as a pin or hang to display.


Geeky Buttons with the Button Maker

Use our geeky materials to make personalized buttons.


2nd Floor Computer Lab

8-Bit Art & Design

Design your own 8-bit art on the computer and then use beads to make a creation to take home.


2nd Floor Teen Zone

Video Games

Three gaming consoles will be set-up for continuous game-play throughout the day.

  • WiiU® – Super Smash Bros. 4®
  • Wii® – Mario Kart®
  • and more


2nd Floor Non-Fiction Tables

TableTop Games

Sit down and learn to play these popular table-top games. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to assist in learning to play.

  • King of Tokyo® is a dice/card game where you play as mutant monsters, gigantic robots, and other aliens trying to become the King of Tokyo. Ages 8+
  • Forbidden Island® is a team game focused on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of a perilous paradise. Ages 10+
  • Munchkin® is a dedicated deck card game that is a humorous take on role-playing games like D&D. Ages 10+
  • Small World® is a civilization game in which 2-5 players vie for conquest and control of a board that is simply too small to accommodate them all. Ages 10+
  • Mage Wars Academy® is a fast paced 1v1 dueling card game with combat using dice. Focus on strategic choices, not luck of the draw. Ages 13+

Learn to Play Malifaux®

This gothic miniature game is set in the world of Malifaux. Learn to go on magical adventures and proceed to combat in this role-playing game. Ages 13+


2nd Floor Non-Fiction Tables @ 1:00pm

OzoBot Demos

Learn how you can code, create and connect with little OzoBot robots. See them run mazes and learn how you code them.


Click here for a printable version of Saturday's schedule.



Register HERE for FanNation

Register HERE for the Empire Strikes Back

FanNation will be held at the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library.

Directions & Parking in Downtown Toms River

  • For directions to and parking information for the library, click here.
  • For additional information on parking options, click here.

**Note that on Saturday, the upper level of the municipal garage behind the library is FREE, not metered, courtesy of the Ocean County Library. But space in the garage is limited, so please have alternate parking plans.**

Food Options in Downtown Toms River

There are several restaurants within walking distance of the library for your food needs. There is also a Dunkin’ Donuts on the library’s property. Several restaurants are offering specials for FanNation attendees! Show your FanNation program to receive the discounts.

Capone's Gourmet Pizza and Pasta

Mandoli's Custom Cake Confectionary

More Information About Downtown Toms River See the Downtown Toms River website.


What is FanNation?

FanNation: the Geekstravaganza will be a multi-genre convention where fans can get together. This is expected to be the largest library event of the fall with the Toms River Branch hosting two days of programming.

Who can attend FanNation?

Everyone is welcome! FanNation is FREE and open to the public, although we request that you register to attend. You do not have to be a resident of Ocean County. Programming will be geared towards adults and teens 12+.

What can I do at FanNation?

The main event begins Saturday at 10am with programming throughout the building until 4pm. Saturday’s 20+ panels, workshops, and presentations will also feature gaming competitions and the day will culminate in a Cosplay Contest on the main stage.

Special guests on Saturday include authors, artists, performers, and multiple cosplay groups. There will be panels and workshops covering such topics as comics, anime, cosplay creation, drawing comics, geek cooking, geek crafts, gaming, scavenger hunt, Escape Rooms, and much more.

You can also attend meet ups with other like-minded enthusiasts from our community’s favorite fandoms throughout the day on Saturday.

The convention will kick off on Friday with a Star Wars celebration featuring Raconteur Radio’s parody with theatrics, vintage commercials, Golden Age radio equipment, and extensive sound effects.

Who can I expect to see at FanNation?

Special gusts include:

Will my fandom be represented?

A sampling of what will be represented: Anime, American Cartoons, Comics, Cosplay, Gaming, Doctor Who, Fantasy, Stranger Things, Harry Potter, Sci-fi, Star Trek, Star Wars, Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Webcomics, Pokémon, and General Geekery.

Don’t see your fandom listed? You should come and represent!

What is a fandom anyway?

  • Fan.dom, noun: The fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc., regarded collectively as a community or subculture. (

A fandom is a group of people who like the same thing. People who like Doctor Who are a part of the Doctor Who fandom. People who like anime are a part of the anime fandom. Etc.

I’m not a geek! Can I still attend?

Of course!

Do I have to register?

Registration for Saturday is recommended. If you forget, you are still welcome to register on site in the library’s lobby on Saturday.

Register HERE for FanNation's Saturday Main Event!

If you want to attend the kick-off on Friday, registration for that event is required. We expect to reach capacity for the kick-off, so don’t wait!

Register HERE for the Empire Strikes Back!

**Note: The kick-off is a separate registration from the FanNation registration, so if you would like to attend both, you will need to register twice.**

Do I have to stay the whole time?

No, but we hope you do! You are welcome to come for just one program or stay for the whole day. If you are thinking of coming early, note that the library doesn’t open until 9 am and programming won’t start until 10 am. The library closes at 5 pm. If you get hungry in the middle of the day, there are restaurants in the area; for lunch options, click here!

Can I come in cosplay?

When planning your cosplay, please be aware the library’s code of conduct will be enforced. Proper attire, including shoes and shirts, must be worn. Carrying weapons is not permitted. ANY prop weapon must be obviously fake, or it may be subject to confiscation for the length of the event.

How do I enter the cosplay contest?

Registration will occur on-site. More information, including rules, will be posted soon.

What is the Code of Conduct?

The library’s code of conduct will be enforced throughout FanNation. You can read the Code of Conduct here.