Bakersfield’s Comic-Con will have collectables and art

Alexandra Apatiga, Reporter

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The Kern County Fair Grounds will be hosting the 10th Annual Bakersfield Comic-Con for a two-day weekend convention on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 to celebrate comic books, cosplay, art, games, and other popular entertainment platforms.

Attendees can expect vendors and artists from across Bakersfield to be selling their wares, such as Silver Wolf Comics & Collectables and The Gaming Spot, as well as various fan groups and organizations such as Bakersfield R2 Builders, the Star Wars 501st, and CSUB Campus Gamers.

Other events that will be happening throughout the weekend include a mini renaissance fair Fantasy Convention, featuring The Horsemen of Judgements Keep, the 8th annual charity raffle with all proceeds going towards the Bakersfield Rescue Mission Food Drive, and multiple costume contests for contestants over and under 16 years of age. There will also be various Q&A panels and autograph signings with special guests like Lisa Loring, who played the original Wednesday Addams from “The Addams Family,” cartoon legend Sergio Aragones, C. Andrew Nelson, who is best known for his portrayal as Darth Vader from the “Star Wars” franchise, and Pat Priest, who will be making her final convention appearance at Bakersfield Comic-Con.

The Bakersfield Comic-Con made its first appearance at the Double Tree by Hilton hotel and was organized by Bakersfield resident Steve Wyatt. With nearly 43 years of experience in the comic book industry, organizing and attending comic book conventions, Wyatt’s first Bakersfield Comic-Con brought out nearly 400 people. But since the first convention, Wyatt has gathered support and sponsors from the Bakersfield community and the event has grown to nearly 5,000 attendees as of last year.

“Before I started this, there were smaller comic book conventions in town, but none of them were very involved with the community as a whole” said Wyatt, “I knew I could do better, with all the experience I’ve gathered over the years, and as a local resident I felt it was only right to try and make a better Comic-Con where everyone could participate and get excited about,” said Wyatt.

Wyatt has earned the support of local stores such as Paladins Game Castle and Man Bites Dog Emporium, as well as comic book and gaming stores across Bakersfield in promoting the convention.

“The only reason we’ve grown to the size we are at now is because of all the support the community and the fans of comic books have given us,” said Wyatt.

To show his gratitude, Wyatt explained, he has made every effort to keep Bakersfield Comic-Con local and as affordable as possible, while still inviting famous guest stars and artists and expanding the convention to new heights.

According to Wyatt the trick to creating a successful convention is finding a balance between quality and quantity. “What you don’t want to do is hold a convention the first year, and then immediately double the size of it the next year, that will put too much strain and expectation for future events that you can’t meet” said Wyatt.

After nearly 10 years of hosting Bakersfield Comic-Con, Wyatt explained that he will continue to give his supporters and the city a fun and memorable experience.

“It’s really the fans who’ve kept this event going,” said Wyatt. “Without their feedback and support, I never would’ve imagined Bakersfield Comic-Con getting as big as it is today.”

For the 10th Annual Bakersfield Comic-Con, special limited edition pins will be handed out opening day, along with Bakersfield Comic-Con t-shirts, and a Fantasy Convention which will be held right outside the warehouse buildings.

Admission to the Bakersfield Comic-Con starts at $8 for a one-day pass Saturday or Sunday, and $15 for a two-day weekend. For children under 15 years old, a one-day pass for either day is only $5 and $8 for a two-day pass, with children under 8 years old getting in for free. There is also a parking fee for $5.

Bakersfield Comic-Con begins Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. For more information of the convention and events, go to bakersfieldcomiccon.com.

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