Have you seen the gamers and sci-fi fans and people dressed up as action heroes from the comics and board games?
Well, Paul Scholz is their president.
To be more precise, he is the president of the Yukon Comic Culture Society, an all-volunteer board that creates events to unabashedly celebrate “geek and nerd culture.”
That’s right: YukomiCon.
But he is also a board member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 254, a grandfather, and general manager of Klondike Business Solutions.
“I love Star Trek,” he says, introducing the appeal of this fun culture. “I wear a Star Trek T-shirt often when I go home.
“With a convention like YukomiCon, you can let out your inner-geek and love what you love… and you are with others who love what they love.
“At my first convention, I went with my grandson, who was five, and he saw “Deadpool” – he didn’t know it was “Deadpool,” he thought it was “Spiderman” – and “Deadpool” gave him a high five and my grandson was beaming.
“That is a great feeling for me, personally. To see a young child smile at their super hero, it is addicting.”
Indeed, you may have seen Scholz dressed as “Captain America.”
“I started dressing up for trick or treat and one year I got a ‘Captain America’ costume and my grandson loved it.
“Others get jazzed because they just saw ‘Captain America’ and he waved to them… and it isn’t ‘Paul’ … it is ‘Captain America.’”
Before this magic can happen, there is a lot of work that needs to happen first.
“Hundreds and hundreds of hours of meetings,” says Scholz. “The previous president warned me, but I was surprised at the workload.
“We are a working board, and there is a lot of work.
“There is going to meetings and preparing for meetings so that you have information at your fingertips.
“And, with an all-volunteer board, it is a huge learning curve for everyone to find funding and sponsors; getting vendors to come and contacting agents of actors and artists.
“And then negotiate with them.”
Fortunately, he has a board to work with.
“We have an amazingly talented group of people,” Scholz says. “I am not the type of person to be a dictator and say ‘This is how we do things,’ but, rather, to make the vision their own: This is what we want to do, now, how do we create our vision into something tangible?
“I give them the tools and support so that they can take the puck and go further than I can go with my skillset.”
Scholz was just a VIP member for the first YukomiCon in 2013. Afterwards, he attended the AGM and joined the board. Later that year he became treasurer.
When the first president left the territory, he was elected to that position.
“Yes, it is something I wanted,” he says today, even after learning of how much work was involved.
“I am still excited by all of these people from different backgrounds, but equal passion, and to get them together and produce an event that other people can enjoy.
“Walking around these conventions and seeing other people enjoy the event, and the vendors with amazing art and merchandise, it is so invigorating to see them wowed by what others can create.
YukomiCon is hosting the third convention Aug. 25 to 27. When it ends, Scholz’s presidency will end. But he will still be available to lend some corporate memory if it is wanted.
“It is important to have new blood and new ideas,” he says. “I am not leaving because I hate it – I love it! – but it is time for someone else to take up the reins and keep the board running.”