ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Organizers for the Big Lick Comic Con say this year’s event was a record breaker. Thousands of fans showed up for the two-day event, including more people on Saturday than have ever attended any other day in the convention’s history.
“I would have never in my wildest dreams in 2017 when we thought about doing this event see this as being a premier comic con with people traveling from all over the world to come see. I had no idea. It’s a brag on the community. It has nothing to do with me,” said Big Lick Entertainment President JD Sutphin.
The event gives fans the opportunity to interact with many of their childhood favorites from the world of television, comics, gaming, and professional wrestling.
“I think that 99% of the people have loved what they are celebrating here as long as they can remember. You know, they saw “The Lord of the Rings” when they were eight years old,” said Sutphin. “They watched a Superman cartoon with their parents or “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers when they were teenagers. Stuff sticks with you.”
Guests this year included Khary Payton from “The Walking Dead,” wrestlers, Ted Dibiase, Billy Gunn, and Lex Luger, writer, Timothy Zahn, and artist Arthur Suydam.
In addition to the celebrity meet and greets, the cosplay costume competition is a big attraction to the con. Geneviève Bernard of Bedford says it took her three months of work to put together the elaborate Fizzarolli costume.
“For me, it is the ability to show off all the work that you have done and just to be able to have fun with all the people who are able to enjoy the same thing you do.”
The success of the convention in Roanoke has led Sutphin to expand to Northern Virginia. The Big Lick Comic Con NOVA is set for April 15 and 16 at the Dulles Expo Center.
It returns to Roanoke’s Berglund Center in August. Sutphin says he will have announcements soon on the guests expected then.