Every year, scores of comic, movie, game and television fans pack into crowded convention halls dressed in elaborate costumes and makeup imitating their favorite characters and personalities. Some simply come dressed in T-shirts. But all of them come to pay homage to their respective fandoms and fan communities.
From Thursday through Saturday, the Austin Convention Center will host Wizard World Austin Comic Con, an event that brings together actors, writers, artists and fans to celebrate the comic community.
Wizard World, the host of Austin Comic Con, is a digital magazine and convention production company that regularly hosts comic cons nationwide in cities such as Chicago, Portland and Las Vegas.
This year, Austin Comic Con is bringing in special guests, such as Norman Reedus from “The Walking Dead,” Tyler Posey from “Teen Wolf,” and Sean Astin from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Famed comic artists and writers will also be in attendance, participating in panels and workshops. Topics range from the history of Marvel Comics and diversity in “geek culture” to the mechanics of indie filmmaking.
These panels allow fans to communicate one-on-one with media creators, discuss major social issues in the fan community and learn the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating popular art.
The Artist Alley at Austin Comic Con will also host many local artists, giving them the opportunity to sell their merchandise, connect with fans and gain a broader audience of convention-goers.
Texas-native Ashlee Casey is among the local artists who will be tabling at Austin Comic Con. Casey said that she is excited for the opportunity to display her portraiture work.
“I try to maintain a traditional look despite working in Photoshop,” Casey said. “Right now, my thing is dark themes with floral components.”
This will be Casey’s second time participating in an Artist Alley.
“I always loved the community of conventions,” Casey said. “You never have an awkward conversation with anyone because there’s always a common interest. Con-goes are some of the most hospitable people around.”
In addition to one-on-one talks with creators and workshops, Austin Comic Con will host a large costume contest, judged by a panel including Jason David Frank, known for portraying the Green Power Ranger.
English sophomore Daniela Munoz, who plans to attend the event, said one of the best parts of Comic Con is the costumes.
“I’m most looking forward to the event programming and especially those talks concerning women and fandom culture,” Munoz said. “I’m also really excited to see the costumes that people come up with for the costume contest.”