Superheroes, zombies and even some celebrities will take the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds by storm come February at the city’s first-ever Comic Con, giving Turlock geeks and pop culture fanatics the opportunity to gather under one roof and celebrate the world of comics, science fiction and fantasy.
According to event coordinator Ziggy Star, the event can best be described as “Halloween in February.” Comic Cons are held all over the nation as celebrations of many different aspects of geek culture, from film and television shows to comic books and video games. At the conventions, many often partake in cosplay, which is the practice of dressing up as a character from pop culture.
“We’re all geeks or nerds at heart,” said Star, who owns a video game store in town. “These conventions bring out the nerd in you, and really let you be a kid again.”
After attending a convention in Modesto last year with his daughters, Star and his family decided that Turlock needed a Comic Con of its own. They have worked tirelessly since then to bring a day filled with celebrity guests, artist appearances and vendor booths to the fairgrounds.
A smaller version of the internationally known Comic-Con in San Diego, Turlock’s first convention will feature guests such as Turlock native Erika Ervin from “American Horror Story,” author Angelique S. Anderson, Margo Apostolos, who is known for portraying Ewok Tokkat in “Star Wars” and C. Andrew Nelson, who famously portrayed both Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in the “Star Wars” franchise. Meet and greets as well as autographs will be available from the event’s special guests.
At the convention, pop culture lovers will be able to shop for memorabilia and buy unique, handmade items pertaining to their favorite books, shows and films from the countless vendors that will be present. There will be opportunities to mingle with other special guests as well, such as Mixed Martial Arts superstar Michael “Mayday” McDonald and cosplay star Golden One Cosplay.
Though there is an added excitement surrounding Turlock Comic Con because of the variety of celebrity appearances, Star emphasized that the true meaning of the convention is to celebrate the real stars, the attendees.
“It’s about Turlock, for Turlock,” said Star. “It’s a happy event – you don’t have to be something you’re not. You can be yourself, or dress up and be who you want to be.”
The main appeal of Comic Cons is the cosplay aspect, he added. Everyone gets involved, from small children to the elderly, all dressed as their favorite comic book, television or movie stars.
“You feel like a star when you dress up,” said Star. “People want to take pictures with you…just because an actor gets paid for it doesn’t mean they’re any better than you.”
According to Star, there are still vendor booths available for rent at the Turlock Comic Con. To reserve a space, call 209-667-8214. Admission to the convention is $5 at the door and $4 for tickets bought in advance. Tickets can be bought at Ziggy’s Video Game Exchange, located at 381 N. Golden State Blvd. in Turlock, and a select number of tickets will be given away at the location to Turlock Journal readers who clip out this article and present it at the shop.
The Turlock Comic Con will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.