Geekdom is cool. Long Island comic book conventions, which were once niche events, have evolved into a three-day pop culture explosion. Eternal Con, Friday, June 10, through Sunday, June 12, invades the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City with superhero, sci-fi and action-adventure cosplay fun.
“Pop culture is a big thing now,” says Eternal Con president Frank Patz, 43, of Bay Shore. “Our first year we had 3,000 in one day and last year we drew over 10,000 in two days.”
There’s no shortage of activities to tackle. Here’s a guide to get you through the universe:
WATCH FAN FILMS
A fan film festival kicks things off on Friday night when 12 shorts will be screened followed by a special appearance from four directors. There will be free popcorn, trivia games and giveaways.
“Fan films pay homage to a TV show, film, comic book or video game by putting on their own creative twist,” says festival director Robert Covarrubias. “Because of the technology that’s available, these filmmakers go all out.”
One film re-creates fight scenes from Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” with toy action figures stop-motion style.
“Each second is composed of 15 pictures,” says director D. Galloway, of Brooklyn. “The 3:38-minute film contains 3,000 pictures and cost just over $100.”
GO MAD FOR MAX
“Mad Max: Fury Road” not only took in $378 million at the box office in 2015 but also won six Oscars. Fans can see Jim “The Tank” Dorsey cosplay as the Road Warrior showing off his “Mad Max” display containing lobby stand-ups, movie posters, original pieces from the set of “The Road Warrior,” weapon rack, 10 mannequins wearing screen-accurate replica costumes and re-creation of Wez’s 1979 Kawasaki KZ-1000 motorcycle.
“I love to share my passion for the post-apocalyptic world,” says Dorsey, who is a die-hard cosplayer known for his portrayal of Lord Humungus and last year’s Road Pig from G.I. Joe.
“When I cosplay a character, I don’t just put a costume together, I become the character,” says Dorsey, 44. “I put a lot of background research into the role as well as get the vocal inflection, mannerisms and lines down.”
The cosplay parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot and a cosplay costume contest will be held in the IMAX theatre at 6 p.m.
‘STAR TREK’ AND ‘SAILOR MOON’
This year marks the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek.” Catch a panel featuring Brent Spiner aka Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” at 1 p.m. Saturday — or there’s a “Trek” anniversary panel at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“Star Trek is about equality and infinite diversity toward a brighter future,” says Chase Masterson, Leeta from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” who will be doing photo ops and autographs. “I sense and see that spirit of ‘live long and prosper’ positivity in the ‘Star Trek’ fans.”
Additionally, the voice cast of “Sailor Moon” will reunite for a meet-and-greet session with festivalgoers. “Fans often ask me to do the voice,” says Linda Ballantyne, who plays the title character. “Little kids get confused because I don’t have blonde hair or pigtails.”
SHOP AND SHOOT
More than 350 vendors will sell comic books, statues, action figures, toys, collectibles, clothing and more.
“This is better than going to New York Comic-Con because it’s not as overwhelming and it’s easier to walk around,” says vendor and sponsor Tommy Maletta of Best Comics International in New Hyde Park. “The overall atmosphere is friendlier.”
You can’t have a con without a healthy dose of “Star Wars” from local fan groups. The 501st Legion will offer a Blast-A-Trooper activity for kids throughout both days, while the NY Jedi perform lightsaber training at its Jedi Academy at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“Everything about ‘Star Wars’ just works,” says Anthony Paladino, 43, a Stormtrooper from the 501st Legion. “It’s the classic good-versus-evil story that everybody loves.”
WHEN | WHERE 7-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, June 11, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, June 12, Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City
INFO 516-900-4748, eternalcon.com
ADMISSION $20 Friday ($10 ages 2-12), $25 Saturday ($12 child) and $20 Sunday ($8 child); $60 convention pass ($25 child)