Being a “geek” these days equates to being passionate. Those who ignite over science fiction, fantasy and horror pop culture will unite this weekend in Hauppauge at the L.I. Geek Convention in the Hyatt Regency.
“We’re kind of the opposite of New York Comic Con. This is not about waiting on line all day or being overwhelmed by 100,000 people,” says showrunner Ken Deep. “Our event is smaller and more intimate. It’s a good community of like-minded friends in a judgment-free safe space for people who are geeks.”
Here’s what is on the schedule for the con:
Fans come face-to-face for autographs and photos with movie and TV character actors such as Robert Mukes, the 6-foot-10 actor from Rob Zombie’s “House of 1,000 Corpses.”
“The conventions give me the feeling of people cheering me on,” says Mukes, who will be interviewed for a panel at 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. “It’s very rewarding, and I really appreciate it.”
The guest of honor is actor Felix Silla, who is the only man to appear in the TV “Battlestar Galactica,” “Star Trek” and “Buck Rogers” and film “Star Wars,” “Planet of the Apes” and “Batman” franchises.
Standing 3-foot-11, Silla is the legendary little person who portrayed an Ewok in “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi,” the Emperor Penguin in “Batman Returns” and Cousin Itt on “The Addams Family” TV show, and he was even in the pilot episode of “Star Trek” back in 1966.
“People are surprised to see me in person because they’ve never seen my face,” says Silla, who will be interviewed for panels at 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. “Some people don’t believe it was me!”
GET IN THE GAME
An entire gaming section, run by Dave VanderWerf of Game Master Games in Hicksville, will be on hand. More than 30 board games, including Ticket to Ride and The Settlers of Catan, can be played.
On Saturday at noon, “Star Wars” enthusiasts can compete in an X-Wing Blind Box Battle Royale, a board game with keepsake miniatures ($10 to enter). “Last person standing gets a prize,” says VanderWerf.
If you like to dress up, enter “The Multiverse Masquerade” — a cosplay fashion show to be held at 8 p.m. Saturday. All genres are welcome, but every costume must be family-friendly.
“People like to shed their real identities and become a character for a day,” says costume event director Jan Fennick. “It’s a way to come out of your shell and be the life of the party!”
FOR THE KIDS
Children are welcome to partake in the festivities. The Suffolk County Library Association will oversee a host of kids’ activities ranging from “Harry Potter” wand making (2 p.m. Saturday) to “Star Wars” Padawan training with the Saber Guild (noon Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday) to Pikachu pom-pom craft (11 a.m. Saturday).
“Fandom is our focus,” says Stefanie Gangone, the convention’s director of children’s programming. “These kids are part of this family of geeks, and we encourage them to be who they are.”
More than 50 panels will be held over the weekend on a variety of topics. For “Star Wars” fans, there’s a panel on the sequel trilogy (4 p.m. Sunday), 40th anniversary trivia (10:30 a.m. Saturday) and a “Rebels, Rogues and Ruffians” panel (2 p.m. Saturday).
“Game of Thrones” geeks can join the “Winter Is Here” panel at 10 a.m. Sunday or celebrate 20 years of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” at the “Nevertheless, She Persisted” panel, also Sunday at 10 a.m.
Actor, writer and producer Richard Kahan will screen an episode of “Outlander” titled “Untimely Resurrection” and discuss it at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“I enjoy the immediate feedback from these passionate fans,” says Kahan. “It speaks to the power of the art.”
LI GEEK CONVENTION
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Hyatt Regency Long Island, 1717 Motor Pkwy., Hauppauge
INFO 631-784-1234, longislandgeek.com
COST Saturday: $30 ($25 child), Sunday: $20 ($10 child), weekend pass: $45 ($35 child)