If attendance is any indication, Salina loves its comics and collectibles, and its cosplay. The first ever event of its kind, Salina Comic Con, far exceeded the expectations of organizers on the first of two days.
The event, which is dedicated to comics, collectibles, art, cards, and cosplay is going on this weekend at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center.
Organizer Clint Randolph told KSAL News late in the day Saturday that he was “blown away” by the response to Salina Comic Con. He anticipated a total of 700 people attending the event over two days. But by late Saturday afternoon, just the first day of the event, over 1,000 people had come through the doors.
There are 61 tables of comics, toys, artwork and cards – both sports and non‐sports. The event features local and out of state vendors who are buying, selling and trading.
One of the highlights of Saturday was a cosplay costume contest. Randolph anticipated about 25 people entering. Instead, there were over 60. Randolph lamented that choosing a winner was not an easy task.
In the end, though, a winner was chosen. Kal Salzman, a recent graduate of Smoky Valley High School, won the $200 costume contest prize dressed as Hawk Girl. Salzman, who competes in cosplay under the name Kal Power, told KSAL News that she has been modifying her costume for about five years. A crowd pleasing feature of it are large feathered wings that she has wired to electronically expand. The expanding wings are the result of a school project..
Randolph says that the Salina Comic Con will be a little different than similar other celebrity-based events. This is truly be a comic con, giving those who attend a chance to get in a little cheaper and to find toys, collectibles, and of course comics.
There are a couple of well-known professional illustrators at Salina Comic Con. Cullen Bunn and Jimmy Johnston will both be at the event. Bunn is best known for his work on comic books such as his Uncanny X-Men and various Deadpool miniseries for Marvel Comics. Johnston is the comic book writer who is currently best known for the IDW series Micronauts. Both will be on hand signing comics they have worked on.
There is also a professional cosplayer. Keely Madison is at the event. She was dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz on Saturday.
It’s traditional, but not required, for Comic Con attendees to dress up. Many were in costume on Saturday.
Randolph says that based on the response to Salina Comic Con, the event will return next year.
The second, and final day of Salina Comic Con is Sunday at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center, in Heritage Hall. Tickets are $10 at the door. Kids 8 and under get in free. Show hours are 10am until 6pm.