This weekend, downtown Marion will be taken over by superheroes and supervillians as Marion Comic Con comes roaring back along with other comic book-related events.
Marion Comic Con is a local and family friendly celebration of all things related to science fiction, fantasy and comic books. As last year, the local Comic Con will have lots of comic book artists, games, a costume contest and other fun-filled events.
This will be the fourth event held here by Marion’s own Tim and Sherry Deel, who hold similar shows at different cities throughout the region. They also put together Marion’s Monsters, Mayhem and Madness.
The 2019 celebration will actually involve two different events for Friday and Saturday.
Friday evening, Marion Comic Con is partnering with the Six Pack Factory to hold Marion’s first Drink and Draw event. It will take place in The Loft, located upstairs in the Six Pack Factory at 49 S. Main St. This will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. and will be free for all ages.
Folks can come there to join their favorite comic book artists and it is for professional and amateur artists alike. Organizers will have some colored pencils and markers on hand so anyone can try their hand at drawing a comic book or science fiction character. You are free to bring your own markers or pencils. You don’t even have to draw to attend. People can come and chat with their favorite comic book artists, according to the event’s Facebook page.
The next day on Saturday, Marion Comic Con will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside the 15,000-square-foot Municipal Event Center, located at 29 S. Logan St. The cost for admission is $5 for adults and $2 for kids 12 and younger. Children younger than 3 are free.
In the MEC, you will find more than 100 vendor tables with all kinds of dealers who specialize in comic books and graphic novels as well as science fiction and fantasy memorabilia.
Comic book artist Matari Bain of Greensboro will return to Marion. Other comic book artists and writers will be on hand with their works. Ralph Gibbs, author of “Broken Justice,” will be here. The rustic rock group Antler Hill from Greenville, S.C. will perform live.
There will be a costume contest and cosplay for anyone who wishes to dress as their favorite characters. All kinds of collectables will be on display.
The Mandalorian Mercs are scheduled to invade the MEC. This is a worldwide “Star Wars” costuming organization comprised of and operated by fans of the science fiction franchise created by George Lucas. The members of the Mandalorian Mercs specialize in creating and wearing elaborate and authentically detailed costumes of “Star Wars” characters. They will bring their “jail” to Marion Comic Con. For a $5 donation, the Mercs will lock up someone that you choose and all the money goes to charity, said Sherry Deel.
Fans of Marvel Comics can get their pictures made with the supervillian Thanos.
In addition, the Ecto-1 vehicle from “Ghostbusters” will be back at Comic Con.
For role-playing gaming enthusiasts, a live Dungeons & Dragons session will take place at the Barbarian’s Hoard table. There will be two sessions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. and there will be plenty of characters for players to choose from. Downtown Marion’s Good Wolf Games will have some live gaming starting at 1 p.m.
The Deels said previously their events are not just about celebrating science fiction and comic books but about all kinds of pop culture. For example, they have had the General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazzard” and Herbie the Love Bug from the Disney movies at other shows.
On Saturday, there will be food vendors such as Leisa’s Kettlecorn and David Turnbill’s hot dog truck.
The organizers will hand free comic books to the first 100 people through the door.
Sherry Deel said she and her husband will have a raffle for Janie’s House. This is a home for abused or neglected girls endorsed by Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler.
Sponsors for Marion Comic Con include Burrito Bros., Carolina Bright Realty, Blackbird Tattoo Gallery and Bigfoot 911.
Although not affiliated with Marion Comic Con, other downtown businesses are getting into the spirit of the festivities.
This weekend, Mountain Marquee on West Court Street will present some old superhero films, such as vintage “Superman” movies from the 1940s.
“We at Mountain Marquee have some pretty SPECTACULAR things planned,” reads the Facebook page for the movie theater. “We’ve found a few really old original super hero films that haven’t been shown in a very long time, and we can’t wait to show them to you.”
After Marion Comic Con closes its doors, a superhero pub crawl/murder mystery will take place at various downtown establishments.
The Superhero Assassination Pub Crawl will be hosted by the WaterMark Theater Collective, a production company offering murder mystery and other audience participation plays in McDowell and surrounding counties. This event will start at 4 p.m. Saturday at Mountain Marquee.
“This pub crawl will be one to remember,” reads the Facebook announcement.
Each guest will be assigned a character and will receive a character biography.
“You are not only going to find the murderer, you are also a suspect (could possibly be the murderer),” reads the Facebook announcement.
This pub crawl will travel through downtown Marion. It will start at Mountain Marquee, then go to Mica Town Brewing and make stops at Refinery 13 and The Loft at the Six Pack Factory. Then, the mystery will be solved at Spillway Bridge & Co. at around 7 p.m.
For more information about Marion Comic Con, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1198731543615931/. For more information about the superhero films at Mountain Marquee, visit https://www.facebook.com/MountainMarquee/. For more information about the pub crawl, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/345828829349983/