This weekend the Savannah Civic Center will be home to a multitude of characters from far-flung universes and a number of dimensions as Savannah Mega Comic Con (SMCC) kicks off its sixth annual convention.
The convention will feature comic book artists, cosplay contests and video game tournaments, as well as door prizes and an assortment of vendors selling everything from video games and comics to figurines and T-shirts. One lucky winner of the overall cosplay contest will even be going home with a $200 grand prize.
The convention will also feature special guest appearances and panels by the likes of WWE Wrestling Hall of Famers Ron Simmons and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Danny Tamberelli and Michael C. Maronna from mid-’90s Nickelodeon show “The Adventures of Pete and Pete,” will also be on hand.
Actor Zach Galligan, known for portraying Billy Peltzer in the movies “Gremlins” and “Gremlins 2” will be in attendance, as well as voice actor Vic Mignogna known for his English overdubs of characters Edward Elric in the hit series “Fullmetal Alchemist” and Broly from “Dragon Ball Z.”
One of the most unique things about SMCC is that it’s owned by Savannah locals working on the front lines of the industry who saw the absence of a local convention as an opportunity to provide one.
This group of like-minded individuals has many years of experience as both collectors and dealers in the convention community and eventually came together along with SMCC owner Tony Privette to make the dream a reality. Privette first started collecting comic books as a child.
“I got heavy into collecting in the early ’90s as a teenager, I collected comics as well as a lot of vintage ‘Star Wars’ and ‘G.I. Joe’ figures,” Privette said. “Back then there weren’t nearly as many conventions, and they were generally much smaller and held in hotels or malls.”
Now when Privette isn’t preparing for the SMCC, he spends his time traveling to similar conventions promoting his own vendor booth, Red Lantern Comics and Toys.
Privette explained how these experiences have enabled him to bring out so many attendees, vendors and special guests.
“Many of the guests we’ve met personally just from traveling to work conventions for a living,” he said. “I think we’re doing 36 comic-cons this year as vendors, so you meet a lot of cool people and make connections that way.”
Privette is perhaps most excited to share his passion with local audiences.
“I love bringing this convention to Savannah mostly for the fans and kids that come out and enjoy it,” he said.
There will also be an official ’80s themed after party Saturday for those over 21 hosted by Totally Awesome Bar. The after party begins at 8 p.m., directly following the closing of the convention.