Fans are gearing up to meet their favorite super hero or to don their own capes and masks this weekend as the fourth annual River City Comic Con draws near.
Hundreds of attendees are expected at the Lafayette Hotel Sunday where there will be plenty of opportunities to indulge in all things comic-and then some.
"It's not just musty old boxes you dig through for comics," said Jordan Lowe, owner of Marietta's Asylum Comics and founder of the event.
Times file photo
Dressed as Superman, Mineral Wells resident Brad Graham poses with a fan at the 2013 River City Comic Con in Marietta.
This year's celebration will feature artists, toys, movie screenings, local authors and more. Vendors from as far away as Delaware have reserved spots at the growing event, said Lowe.
"The first year at the (Washington County) Fairgrounds we had a couple hundred people and last year we had around 750 people. I'm sure it will be even bigger this year," he speculated.
Williamstown artist J.D. Williamson said he is excited to be bringing his cartooning and illustration talents to the convention for the fourth straight year.
If you go
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Lafayette Hotel, 101 Front St., Marietta.
Cost: $2 for adults, children 8 and under free with an adult.
What: The fourth annual River City Comic Con, featuring local artists and writers, film screenings, costume contests, a variety of unique vendors and more.
For information: rivercitycomiccon.com
"People can get a picture drawn as their favorite super hero or as another character. We have a lot of kids who show up in costume...It's really, really fun seeing all the people's eyes light up and having a great time," he said.
In addition to creating illustrations, Williamson will also have a draw-along table, where children can try their hand at some cartooning, a passion which has burned in Williamson since childhood.
"Ever since I can remember I've always been a big comic book fan," he said.
Vienna resident Brandon Full, 29, will be sharing the convention with his 7-year-old daughter Thora this year.
"This will be the first year I've taken her. She's been to other conventions before and she likes the costumes. She also likes looking through the toys and convincing me to buy different things," said Full.
The convention has been a welcome addition to the Mid-Ohio Valley, where there has always been a large segment that appreciate comics and similar areas of fandom, he said.
"There's always been a comic book store in Vienna, ever since I can remember. The culture has been there and it's nice to see us building it up," Full said.
Coming in costume has been a growing theme at the convention. Last year, children took turns posing with Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and others.
Many attendees also create their own costume and participate in the costume judging contests, which awards the best child costume, best adult costume and most original costumes with "Con Cash" to be spent at the convention.
Newport resident Maria Lydy, 26, has been busily creating a TARDIS costume, a dress that pays homage to the blue time traveling box used by the eponymous character of the television show "Doctor Who."
"The dress is based off the TARDIS so it has the police box sign on it. I'm going to put together some blue makeup and I've got a headband with a blue bow," she described.
Lydy and her boyfriend will be meeting up with several other friends at the event, which she describes as a great way to connect with other fans.
"You get to meet a lot of people that share the same interests, such as comics and cartoons and art history," she said.
Though Lowe jokes about musty old boxes of comics, the actual comics at the show are a huge draw, and something Lowe himself is obviously passionate about.
"If you've ever stood in line to see a big budget movie, it's kind of the result of all this stuff. It's all found in comics," he said.
The River City Comic Con runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Lafayette Hotel in Marietta. Admission is $2 for adults and free for children 8 and under with an adult admission.