Movies featuring heroes who got their start in comic books show no signs of slowing down at the box office.
And the fourth annual Air Capital Comic Con this weekend is recognizing that, according to its co-organizer.
“Comic books themselves have been fairly stable (in sales and interest), but with all of the comic book movies there’s been a lot of interest in those characters,” said Drew Woodworth, who is running Comic Con with his brother, Don.
This year’s event, Saturday and Sunday at Century II Convention Center in Wichita, is reaching its peak after three years of solid growth, Woodworth said.
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The 20-plus guest list for panel discussions includes Ryan Stegman, a Marvel Comics artist best known for his work on the Spider-Man series; and Phil Hester, an artist whose work includes Green Arrow.
“We haven’t really had guests like this in the Wichita area,” Woodworth said. “It’s kind of neat to bring some of those bigger-name guests to this area.”
Other panel discussions include local artists and writers, telling how to break into the business through self-publishing.
“With the advent of the internet, it’s so easy to publish anything and put it out there,” Woodworth said. “If you can build up a following, you can put things into print.”
On the exhibit floor, more than 70 vendors are taking up space in about 110 booths, he said.
“We’ve really taken that area and packed it as much as we can,” Woodworth said, adding that there are also items for the Harry Potter and Star Wars enthusiasts.
“We realize not everybody reads comic books, so we try and have other stuff people will be interested in as well,” he said.
New this year are gaming areas for PlayStations and computers, run by Wichita eSports.
Weekend passes, available for $15, will include an exclusive poster, dog tags and lanyard, and one of nine comic-book badges designed by various Wichita artists, Woodworth said.
AIR CAPITAL COMIC CON
Where: Century II Convention Hall, 225 W. Douglas
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: Adults: $6 in advance, $8 at the door or $15 for a weekend pass. Youth (13-18): $5. Free admission for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available at wichitatix.com.
11 a.m.: Authors Panel
Noon: Comic Writing
1 p.m.: Marvel Icon Artists
2 p.m.: Self-Publishing Comics
3 p.m.: The Beard and Bean Show
4:30 p.m.: Costume Contest
11 a.m.: Write-a-Villain interactive workshop
Noon: Assassination Classroom
1 p.m.: D.C. Icons
2 p.m.: Image Artists
3 p.m.: Cosplay 101