A celebration of pop culture — specifically all things cool and geeky. That’s what Michael Chaudhuri set out to bring to Fayetteville last year with the inaugural Fayetteville Comiccon. And did he ever. More than 8,000 people showed up. This year, the family-friendly event is poised to eclipse last year’s stellar showing. Comiccon takes place at the Crown on Oct. 15 and 16.
“Fayetteville deserves a first rate Comiccon,” said Chaudhuri. “We are longtime geeks and we felt the demand and interest was there. We thought it was one of the best place that didn’t have a Comiccon yet and wanted to bring that to the community.”
While many Comiccon’s are themed for specific audiences, this one touches on most every genre. “Our con features a little bit of everything,” said Chaudhuri. “If it’s geek, we’ve got it. We do more than most conventions in the country.”
Fans of comics, cosplay, gaming, collectible toys, anime, cool TV or movies, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, The Walking Dead and/or horror won’t want to miss it.
Guests include Sam Jones of Flash Gordon fame, Power Rangers Steve Cardenas and Jason Faunt, Scott Tepperman from Ghost Hunters International, horror movie actor Jim O’Rear, voice actors Veronica Taylor, Barbara Goodson and Kerrigan Mahan. Comic book creators in attendance include Michael Golden of The Hulk, Arthur Suydam cover artist for Marvel Zombies, Kelly Yates of Doctor Who comics, Wayne Van Sant of Nam comics, Kirk Lindo of Vampress Luxura, Richard Case from The Doom Patrol, Russian comic bood artist Konstantin Komardin, Back Issue editor Michael Eury, Vampirella artist Louis Small, Jr., Marvel colorist and editor Renee Witterstaetter, Herc & Thor author Dan Johnson, artist Rodney Bennett, and Al Bigley of The Power Rangers. The Walking Dead Reunion Part Two features The Walking Dead actors Ben Bladon, Santiago Cirilo, Melissa Cowan, Gregory French, Adam Minarovich, Michael Mundy, Kent Wagner, and Veronica Wagner.
Chaudhuri noted that the impressive guest list will yield two days of panels on a wide array of topics. “The panels are always a good time and cover a little bit of everything,” said Chaudhuri. “In addition to the guest panels, we have Cosplay 101; Using Fabric in Cosplay; Cosplay and Disabilities; Comic Book History; Supernatural discussion; Military SF; Indie Film Making; How to Get your Comic Book or Novel Published; a NerdSlam and even SCIFI Speed Dating.”
For cosplay fans, there are two competitions on the main stage. The junior level competition (for ages 15 and under) is on Saturday. The grand prize is a Dell laptop. The senior level competition takes place on Sunday. The grand prize is a Dell laptop.
Gamers, the gaming alley that was so popular last year has been expanded and will have tournaments galore. Cardz-n-things is set to host Magic the Gathering, and Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments. Video game competitions include Super Smash Brothers. HeroClix and the Pathfinder Society and the World Beyblade Organization are all a part of gaming alley.
“We say this is a geek event — and it is — but families and non gamers will have a great time, too,” said Chaudhuri. “This really is for everyone. We have a kids zone, aerialists, live tattooing, martial arts demonstrations, sword play demonstrations, live magic demonstrations, show cars, door prizes … we even have a nerd harp.”
If the entertainment and panels aren’t enough, come for the vendors. “We’ll have all kinds of collectible toys, cosplay accessories and accoutrements, anime, jewelry, Star Wars and Doctor Who collectibles, DVDs, vintage video games, and, well, who knows what else you might find,” said Chadhouri. “We also have a large Artist Alley, with some of the best artists from Cumberland County and across the Carolinas.”
Advance tickets are $15, but weekend passes are $25. No discounts at the door. Active duty military get a $2 discount on all advance ticket purchases. Tickets at the door are $18 or $30 for a weekend pass. Tickets are available at http://www.crowncomplexnc.com. Doors open at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.