David Wyldstar, senior event coordinator of Pop Culture Canada, says he heard fans loud and clear when they asked for another comic convention in Greater Sudbury.
“Everybody is super excited,” he said.
Wyldstar added the upcoming Sudbury Comicon will offer the same attractions as Capreol Comicon (now rebranded as Geek X Comic Con).
But the idea for the upcoming event wasn’t sparked by the organization itsef.
“The cosplay community, the anime community and the art community was very, very vocal and very helpful in getting us set up,” he said.
Pop Culture Canada told CBC they ultimately chose the Northbury Hotel and Conference Centre on Brady Street as the grounds for celebrity meet and greets, comic vendors and pop culture knick-knacks.
Visitors are also encouraged to become their favourite characters through cosplaying.
Guests can also expect to see familiar characters they’ve seen from their screens roaming around Greater Sudbury, including stars from Power Rangers: Dino Thunder, along with Aliens and Ahsoka actor Mark Rolston.
Due to the ongoing strike involving The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), Wyldstar added it was a challenge bringing some high profile guests over.
“Until the strike is over, they’re just going to respectfully decline right now,” he said.
‘It’s a live action comic book’
Wyldstar, who is also president of Great Canadian Wrestling (GCW), added Erick Redbeard, formerly WWE superstar Erick Rowan, would also make an appearance to mingle with guests before they can see him wrestle.
He said the world of comics and independent circuit wresting are more similar than people think.
“It’s literally good versus evil. It’s live action superheroes. It’s a live action comic book,” he said.
“We’ve had Sailor Moon versus Team Rocket. We’ve had Power Rangers versus Dragon Ball characters. So we’ve taken the whole What If storylines that are very popular in comic books, and we’ve brought them to life.”
Guests familiar with Sudbury’s film production roots might also expect a surprise visit from crews.
“I can tell you that there is a certain zombie movie being filmed in Sudbury right now and that the production crew may or may not be coming by with one of the actors. But I don’t want to spoil anything,” he added.
Sudbury Comicon is set to make its debut on Saturday at the The Northbury Hotel and Conference Centre from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. before the venue changes into the GCW Sudbury wrestling show.
The event will also take non-perishable food donations, which will go to the Sudbury Food Bank.
Wyldstar added he expects Sudbury’s fans and geeks alike to find a safe space to express themselves for five hours while they connect with casual guests.
“People would read their comic books in secrecy. It’s all a celebration now and it’s a way for all these different communities to interact,” he said.
“You cannot get away from the comic book culture. It is everywhere.”