Comic book conventions have come a long way since the early days in the 1970s and early 80s. Back then, you would go to a large convention center, and there would be comic book vendors with maybe one artist, or a special guest.
Some people would dress up, but cosplay was not even a thing then. The most exciting thing was being able to find a rare book you were anticipating (think pre-Internet) that your local comic book store did not have in stock.Get Savannah arts and culture news delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our morning, afternoon and dining newsletters
Enter now, Empire Comic Con, which is the newest kid on the block here in Savannah.
Over the years, there have been many similar conventions that have came and gone, and each one offered a unique flavor for fans of comics galore. Empire Comic offers the premise of a unique fan experience.
There is a new generation who has grown up watching Marvel’s Infinity War saga, and the word cosplay is part of the vernacular.
Cosplay can be as simple as a homemade, store-bought, or an intricately detailed costume mirroring every detail down to the minutia of a character. Comic conventions are one of the best arenas for cosplayers and fans to gather to enjoy their favorite characters and nerd out.
Some people still don’t like the words nerd or geek, but many embrace the terms as badges of honor. Pop culture has turned basement-dwelling sub-culture activities into mainstream everyday activities.
They have a slew of celebrity guest stars including Ernie Hudson, from 'Ghostbusters' franchise, and Jim Cummings, the voice actor from Disney’s 'Winnie the Pooh' and 'Darkwing Duck' as well as 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' stars Walter Jones, Austin St. John, and Johnny Yong Bosch.
In addition to celebrity guests, they are also hosting various question and answer panels, cosplay panels, and improv from local groups such as Odd Lot Improv. Not to mention an after-party in the lobby with Emcee Loud Noises, a silent auction and a “Blast the Villain” fundraiser to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
“Our team has different areas of expertise. We have one that knows all about 'Power Rangers,' one who knows everything about Disney, and one who knows all out 'Wizard of Oz,' 'Doctor Who,' and 'The Office,'” said Hugo Soto, from Empire Comic Con.