Packed. The one word I’d use to describe this year’s El Paso Comic Con festival is packed – jam-packed, packed wall-to-wall with artists, celebrities, events, contests, anime festival, cosplay characters, zombies, and fun!
Last year was the first Comic Con to be held in El Paso and compared to this year tiny, still lots of fun, but small. Julian Lawler, the main organizer for this event and owner of Broken Tree Comics, told me when I interviewed him last month that people offered to help the convention grow. Once Peter Mayhew/Chebacca signed up to appear, other people approached him and the celebrity list grew.
A lot has changed since the first comic conventions were held in big cities across the U.S. back in the 1960s. They’ve grown into huge conventions with San Diego being one of the biggest. The Comic Cons have also spawned other types of cons – DragonCon, ParaCon, and Wizard World.
El Paso/Juarez is the largest metropolitan area on any international border in the world. Yet what makes this city so unique is that it still holds on to its local charm. Residents joke that it is the “biggest small town” you’ll ever live in. The El Paso Comic Con captured this small town feeling during the event. Even through the crowds, the artists were hands on and there to interact with fans, including local artist John Wilkins, who sold “sketch art trading cards.”. I ordered this one of Cat Woman and made it back a couple of hours later to pick it up.
Celebrities were scattered throughout with tables and signed memorabilia. All were friendly and ready to greet old fans as well as make new ones. Billy Dee Williams was the special guest host on Saturday to kick off the themed Sci-fi Saturday portion of the Comic Con. Sunday, my family and I caught The Alien Warrior Comedian in action sharing the stage with the Vatos from the hit TV show The Walking Dead to highlight the Paranormal/Horror themed events for Sunday.
Amy Bruni from Ghost Hunters held a special ghost tour and there was a $500 first place prize for the best zombie costume. The Vatos from The Walking Dead judged the contest and the zombie from Chicos Tacos won. If you don’t know what Chicos Tacos is, you’re just going to have to visit El Paso to find out.
With over 98 booths selling comics, posters, sketches, artwork, autographed memorabilia, collectibles, books, anime DVDs, food and much more, there was something for everyone. Bring a shopping bag to carry your loot in. We forgot and all three of us walked out with our arms full.
To top it all off, the Comic Con featured special events like a music festival called Guerilla Fest and when we were too tired to walk around any more, we made our way to the Anime Festival. All of this was included in the ticket price. Not to mention just wandering around and enjoying all the people in their cosplay and zombie costumes. My favorite was the zombie family – the family that acts like zombies together, stays together.
This year was fantastic and fans cannot wait to see what is in store for next year!