LINCOLNTON, N.C. - Lincolnton’s 3rd annual “Be a Hero” Comic Con will be Saturday, July 20 at Lincolnton High School from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person and free for children 12 and under, with all proceeds benefiting Communities in Schools of Lincoln County.
With over 100 vendors and artists, some are veterans of this comic con while others are first timers. Chelsea Lowe, an artist who has created designs for Disney-Pixar, is one of the new guests this year. She said: “It’s hard to tell how many conventions I’ve done, but counting Lincolnton it will be around 30. This will be my first time at the Lincolnton Comic Con, so I’m looking forward to meeting new people and introducing my art to a new crowd.”
Rob Cochrane, a fan favorite for his cosplay of Jason from Friday the 13th, will join comic con goers this year for the first time in Lincolnton. He responded to a request for an interview in typical Jason style: “The Killer has been to hundreds of comic cons and is excited about Lincolnton because it will be a whole new fresh batch of people to stalk.”
Community organizations, like First in Fright, view the Lincolnton Comic Con as a way to reach more people and support their small business. Ryan Burleson of First in Fright said: “Comic Con is a fun time to come out and get to know people for what they are and what they do. It’s important for FiFP to come out from behind the camera and have face to face interaction with people that watch our live episodes on Facebook and YouTube! Having a booth allows us to also meet new people, which for us, meeting people and hearing their stories is what it’s all about!”
Gallery 27, who created the posters for the Lincolnton Comic Con with the iconic Comic Con Girl created by John Hairston, had the same sentiment, adding in the impact it has for their students who help run the booth with art they made. Stacey Smith of Gallery 27 said: “I guess that would be my favorite part of participating in our con is taking my students with me. Showing them the variety of art jobs in illustration, comics, writing, cosplaying, costume design, and the list goes on. My students along with their parents have surprised by the work, time, and commitment it takes to have a booth. It encourages them to keep going and the look on their faces when they make their first sale-- absolutely priceless!”
Among the gift cards, trophies, and other awards for best cosplay costumes and video game scores, there is a new trophy this year in memory of the late Joel West, who was an active participant in the Lincolnton “Be a Hero” Comic Con since the first one at the James W. Warren Citizens Center. The Joel West Memorial Cup will go to the highest scorer in Rally-X, one of many arcade games that West made his claim to fame on.
GameSwap worked closely with CIS to birth the first event and the subsequent ones after, including this one. Mike Payne, owner and operator of GameSwap, has been excitedly planning for this comic con since the last one in 2018. His main focus has been to provide the best quality entertainment, vendors, and exhibitors available to Lincolnton. As participants line up to get in early Saturday morning, they will be greeted by outdoor activities before they even get their tickets.
Amanda Moore, the Program Support Coordinator for CIS, has also been on Lincolnton’s Comic Con team since the first one. Speaking on behalf of CIS, she said: “CIS of Lincoln County is looking forward to everyone in the community coming together in a fun environment to continue to support the at-risk students of Lincoln County.”
-- Melissa Cordell is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Political Science and Women's & Gender Studies. Her primary interests are North Carolina politics, feminist readings of horror films, and spending time her with black cat Salem.
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