Tons of fans at Comic Con

Holy caped crowds, Batman! The fourth annual River City Comic Con drew a staggering number of fans Sunday who happily packed into the Lafayette Hotel’s ballroom to discover new comics, browse through eclectic pop culture toys, screen movies, and of course, see the amazing costumes or show off their own.

The ballroom was awash in super heroes. From Batman and Superman to Wonder Woman and the newly announced female Thor, there were plenty of chances for the young attendees to meet their favorite characters.

Dressed as Spider-Man, two-year-old Caden Harvey, of Waterford, had loved every minute of it.

“He loves super heroes so we came to show him. All of them are totally real to him so his eyes were huge,” said mom Niasca McGee, 24.

For many, the convention was a chance to show off unique costumes they had created.

Marietta resident Carrie Adams estimated she spent between 40 to 60 hours on her costume, which literally came straight out of the pages of the comics.

“I’ve always wanted to do a comic-themed costume. I see a lot more people making them these days. And I love 1950’s style so I know I wanted to make that style of dress,” said Adams.

To get the look, Adams took a box of comics, folded hundreds of pages, and sewed them to a skirt for a cool textured look.

Darren Bonar, of Belpre, spent about three months creating his Zudomon costume, complete with a large, orange and furry head.

“I don’t know how many gallons and paper mache and cardboard went into it, but I wanted to do it the hold fashioned way,” he said.

The show is also a big hit among the dozens of vendors, which consists of artists, comic book dealers, authors, toy and game retailers, and more.

Tony Barry, owner of Super-Fly Comics & Games, make the trek from Yellow Springs, Ohio-near Dayton-to attend the convention as a vendor for the third time.

“I grew up in Parkersburg so the first year it was an easy excuse to come home,” said Barry.

Super-Fly tries to sell a unique mix of media, concentrating on comics, but also delving into games, apparel, and other fun chachkies, like the Space Invaders-themed soap on a rope.

While a lot of smaller conventions can be hit or miss, Barry has had a lot of success in Marietta, where there are few places to get the sort of pop culture collectibles he sells.

Costume contest winner Isabel Brooker, 5, of Belpre was browsing through the vendors after winning 20 dollars in “Con Cash” as a prize for her Princess Zelda costume.

“It’s my favorite princess. I play the video game,” said Brooker.

The choreographed light saber battle was a highlight for the Gribble family, who came from Wirt County, W.Va. for the show.

“We are science fiction nerds and found the event on Facebook and thought it’d be a nice Sunday afternoon,” said mom Stacy as two-year-old Jaci perched on her dad’s shoulders to see above the crowd.

The convention grows bigger every year with no signs of stopping, said event organizer and founder Jordan Lowe, who owns Asylum Comics in Marietta.

“I’ve heard nothing but positive things. People are having a blast. A lot of first timers are just blown away by how big it is,” he said.

The event quickly surpassed last year’s record 750 attendees. This year over a 1,000 fans attended the convention.