Rob Con comic book convention set for return to MeadowView

Matthew Lane • Jun 26, 2019 at 1:13 PM

KINGSPORT — The largest toy and gaming convention in the Tri-Cities is taking place this weekend at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center.

The 34th annual Rob Con comic book convention will be held June 29-30 at MeadowView. The two-day event runs from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $15 for Saturday, $10 for Sunday, and a two-day pass is $20. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free.

Organizer Robert Pilk, owner of Mountain Empire Comics in Bristol, said last year’s event (held at MeadowView for the first time) was the best show he’s ever had.

“We added about 700 more people (in attendance) from two years ago at Viking Hall. It was a big success,” Pilk said. Last year, around 3,700 people came through the doors to attend Rob Con. This year, Pilk is hoping to top 4,000.

“You never know. There’s so many things to consider, other things going on around the same time. But it’s our second year (at MeadowView), people know where it is, so I feel good about it,” Pilk said.


The annual convention will host more than 60 vendors selling comic books, toys and games, movie and television collectibles, anime and manga and other “geek” related merchandise. As of Tuesday, Pilk said 67 vendors were scheduled to attend — the most ever for the convention — and a few more spaces are still available.

“If we don’t sell out we’ll be very close,” Pilk said.

Since cosplay has grown in recent years, Rob Con will host two costume contests during the weekend, one on Saturday for kids and amateurs and another on Sunday with cash prizes. Visitors can also check out replicas of the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1, and the authentic Goblin Head from the movie “Maximum Overdrive.”


A number of celebrities and special guests will be on hand for autographs, photos and Q&A sessions, including:

— Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on “The Munsters” TV show.

— Jackson Bostwick, who played Captain Marvel in the 1970s Saturday morning series.

— Comic book creators Tom Lyle and Matthew K. Manning.

— Artists Steve Mannion, Gary Kwapisz and Gregbo Watson.

“We’re just trying to refine it and get everything to work better than it has before. Our first year (at MeadowView) we had some glitches here and there, mostly because of the new location, which we fixed — we think — this year,” Pilk said. “I think it’ll be a good show and we’ll have a fun time for everybody.”

For more information visit www.robcon.org.