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Going to the Comic Con

If you’re walking around New Orleans this weekend and see vampires, a group of Stormtroppers or Boba Fetts and comic book heroes and heroines, you haven’t fallen asleep and woken up during Mardi Gras or Halloween; you’ve found the inaugural Comic Con New Orleans.

Comic Con (short for convention) is a two-day event celebrating pop culture, “from celebrities to games to music to art to movies to television, anything that’s pop culture is a part of our shows,” says Gareb Shamus, Chief Executive Officer of Wizard World Inc., the publicly traded company that produces the Comic Con tour (which will include Miami, Toronto, Anaheim, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Nashville) as well as their new digital Wizard World magazine.

“We’re excited to be bringing all these stars and the best comic creators to New Orleans,” Shamus says, referring to a cast of celebrities from sci-fi and fantasy, television and movies, comic creators and artisans.

This con boasts: James Marsters (“Spike” from Buffy and Angel), Julie Benz (“Darla” From Buffy and Angel, “Rita” from Dexter, and No Ordinary Family), Louis Gossett Jr., Ray Park (“Darth Maul” from Star Wars Episode I), Adam West (the original Batman), Burt Ward (Robin to West’s Batman) and Billy Dee Williams (hello, Lando Calrissian) – among so many others.

“Comic Con is all about having a good time,” Shamus says, “whether it’s meeting celebrities and creators, shopping for comics and action figures, dressing up like Spider-Man or just walking the floor and people-watching.”

Full confession: I’m a dyed-in-the-wool geek. I read sci-fi and fantasy novels voraciously; I’m currently watching my way through all 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1; my fiancé and I are happily celebrating Winter-een-mas (him with Dead Space 2 and me with Pokémon Soul Silver); we recently vacationed with two of our friends on JoCoCruiseCrazy; and I even was a performer at a Renaissance faire. Suffice to say: I’m really excited that New Orleans finally got a Comic Con – I might even wear a costume.

And that’s the best part about these cons: if you’re not interested in meeting celebrities or buying comics or attending concerts or commissioning art or discovering really cool stuff, just grab your camera and prepare for some amazing people-watching. I’ve never attended a Comic Con, but my favorite coverage online is of the costuming. And if New York City and Atlanta can show off, wait until the world sees what New Orleanians can do!

When you’re walking around the con and see a group from Firefly, you might just see me!

Comic Con New Orleans: Sat., Jan. 29, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 30, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

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