Sensory-friendly comic book convention takes place at Thrasher-Horne Center

Calm Passion puts on events for people with sensory processing concerns

Calmer Con was held Sunday at the Thrasher-Horne Center.
Calmer Con was held Sunday at the Thrasher-Horne Center. (WJXT)

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – If you’re into sci-fi and comic books, you undoubtedly heard of Comic-Con which is an annual sci-fi event in San Diego. But in Clay County at the Thrasher-Horne Center, a nonprofit organization called Calm Passion held an event Sunday called Calmer Con.

Calm Passion puts on events for people with sensory processing concerns like autism. Organizers said Calmer Con is meant to be like Comic-Con but a much calmer sci-fi convention with less light, less noise and less people to prevent attendees with sensory processing problems from becoming too overwhelmed.

Members of the local Star Wars 501st group were in full costume, as well as others who dressed up as their favorite comic book character.

Member of the local Star Wars 501st group were in full costume. (WJXT)

Participants were able to build whatever they could imagine in a Lego room. There was also Jedi lightsaber training available to anyone who wanted to know how to wield a lightsaber.

Calmer Con organizer Adam Wilson said one of the participants who took part in the Jedi lightsaber training left him in tears after what he told him.

“He’s probably in his early 20s. He said, ‘My whole life, I wanted to be a Jedi, and my dream came through today,’” Wilson said. “So I was, like, that’s what we do it for. Everybody is so happy when they get to do the things.”

Wilson said he’s organized several Calmer Con conventions in New England, but this was the first one he’s put on in Florida.

He also said they go to Comic-Con in San Diego and MegaCon in Orlando and set up small spaces for attendees who may suffer from sensory processing problems.


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