Comicon’s 25th anniversary show this weekend in Richmond

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This weekend, comic book lovers – and even just curious citizens – of Chesterfield County can experience Virginia Comicon’s 25th anniversary celebration at the Crowne Plaza Hotel off Richmond’s West Broad Street, paying tribute to a quarter-century of holding comic book conventions throughout the Commonwealth.

The event, which is Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will host big-name comic artists, such as guest of honor Herb Trimpe, who is most known for his drawings of the Incredible Hulk and is the co-creator of Wolverine, and both comic book and figurine collectors who have some items dating as far back as 1936.There will be no shortage of autograph and memorabilia-trading opportunities for devout followers, and  panel discussions and lectures will run throughout the day as well.

“We really just want to promote comic books in the Central Virginia area, because we love them so much ourselves,” said Chester resident Guy Rose, a long-time organizer of the convention in Virginia. “It’s a good event for those who are serious collectors, and it’s a true experience to see some of this stuff.”

According to Rose, shows of the past have been held in Chester, at the Chester Inn, and throughout other parts of Chesterfield as well. Last year 1,700 people attended the event in Richmond.

And not only will a costume contest be held Sunday afternoon, from 4-5, for a chance to win $500 in prizes, the show’s charity art auction will run Saturday at 4:30 across the street at AMF Sunset Lanes Bowling Alley. All proceeds from the auction will help the Hero Initiative, a nonprofit organization that is co-hosting the event, and a dog rescue charity that seeks to help abandoned and abused pit bulls be trained to be used as service animals and therapy dogs.

“It’s just nice to have an event so close to home; you get to read about the big [comic conventions] in New York or D.C. or San Diego, and we get to have one that’s kind of our own,” said die-hard comic lover Brian Lashley, a Chester resident who will be bringing his 5-year-old son, Ben, with him to the convention this weekend. “We can’t just pack up and go to San Diego, so it’s definitely nice to have one right in town.”

Brett Carreras, the chairman and chief promoter of the event, said his goal in having the comic convention is simply to raise awareness of comic books.

He said most of the people coordinating and attending the event are mostly just “big kids who never quite grew up;” however, it is a family-oriented event designed to accommodate people from all walks of life. “Even if you don’t care about comic books, come on out and at least check out the costume contest; it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Carreras said.

Admission for the entire weekend is $10 a person, with kids 12 and younger admitted with no charge. The Crowne Plaza West Hotel is located at 6531 West Broad Street in Richmond. For more information on the event or to see a complete listing of attending artists, visit the event’s website at www.vacomicon.com.

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