Fairgrounds to host Bakersfield Comic-Con

Stephen Underwood, Reporter

Bakersfield will have its ninth annual Comic-Con convention on Nov. 12-13, starting at 10 a.m.

Comic industry veteran Steven Wyatt is this year’s director and coordinator. The event will feature celebrities, video game tournaments and an Escape Room, which is a trap room that participants must find clues and objects to free themselves from the room.

The event will also have comic panels, including Top Cow Comics, vintage comics, toys, autograph signings, dress making, cosplay style outfits and costumes. “I predict that between 500 to 1,000 people will be at this year’s Comic-Con in costumes,” said Wyatt.

Among the celebrities in attendance will be Steve Niles, who created “30 Days of Night”; artist Tim Bradstreet, who has worked on covers “The Punisher” and the movie-to-comic adaption of the “Crow: City of Angels”; Mike Vosburg, who has won Emmy awards for the “Creep Show” television series; and Sergio Aragones, who has done art for “Mad Magazine.”

There will be more than one celebrity from “Walking Dead,” the pro wrestler MVP, and “Flash Gordon” star Sam Jones.

Adult tickets to Bakersfield Comic-Con are $8 for one day, which paying for a single two-day ticket admits one person into the event both days with a one-dollar discount, or a $15 price. Tickets for kids 8 to 14 years old cost $5 for one day and $8 for two days.

Any child under 8 years of age will have free admission. Parking for adults and teen drivers will be free. Limited edition prints will be given to the first 500 convention attendees.

Safety and respect will be enforced for all in attendance. Wyatt said, “There will be no alcohol or drugs, and nudity isn’t allowed. Attire, especially costumes, must be modest and decent. This is very family-oriented.”

The rules don’t show any statistical correlation with ticket sales and attendance.

Wyatt mentioned, “Attendance has gone up since Bakersfield Comic-Con was referenced on the television show ‘Big Bang Theory.’” Wyatt additionally points out, “I moved to Bakersfield from Sacramento in 2005, and when I first moved here there weren’t that many comic stores around. Scott Hudlow was originally supposed to be the guy to handle Comic-Con here, but he just didn’t have time to do it.

“I have been promoting shows since ’79. My first one was in Hayward,” Wyatt said. Before doing promotion, Wyatt was in sales that he started doing in 1974.

Wyatt now lives in Bakersfield with his wife. His house has a yard with a Captain America shield painted on rocks that was made in one day, which has appeared in national news and media all over America.

This year’s Bakersfield Comic-Con will be held at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Ticket and raffle sales will go to charity.