Lincolnton High School will soon be overrun with superheroes as well as villains with the third annual Be a Hero Lincolnton Comic Con happening on Saturday. This year, according to organizers Mike Payne and Amanda Moore, is going to be even bigger than it was last year.  As they have every year, proceeds from the event will benefit Communities in Schools of Lincoln County to support programs in the community with the mission to help young people stay in school and achieve in life. 

“We’ve got more artists, vendors and things going on outside than we had last year,” Payne said. “We’ll have an additional food truck as well, Fat Frank’s Food Truck, as well as Downtown Dairy Treats, who came last year.”

The Lincolnton comic con grew out of previous “Be a Hero” art auctions held at Fausto Coffee. The first year the comic con was held at the James W. Warren Citizens Center but the attendance was far more than expected so the event was held the next year at Lincolnton High School. Every year, these events have benefited Communities in Schools.

Both Payne, who is the owner of GameSwap, a video game store located on Court Square in downtown, and Moore, who is a program support coordinator for Communities in Schools, can hardly contain their excitement for the event. Popular all over the country, a comic con is a convention for comics, toys, video games and anything pop culture related. Originally they were mostly about comic books, and comic books are still exhibited and sold at comic cons, but they’re so much more now.

Some of the vendors and celebrities participating this year include artist and graphic novelist Agatha Claire, filmographer, videographer, producer and production manager Phil Smoot, performing artists, Antler Hill, the popular cosplayer, the Camp Killer, the Society for Creative Anachronism will be doing medieval battle demos outside, the Jurassic World vehicle as well as the Ghostbuster’s vehicle will be outside and director Worth Keeter will be returning again this year. The list is constantly growing, Payne said. 

“There’s going to be so much to look at,” he said. “I’m really excited about it.”

Perhaps the biggest draw to comic cons is “cosplay,” which is a term used for people dressing up as their favorite character in comics or pop culture. Some of the attendees go all out with their costumes and take great pleasure in being seen and admired at comic cons. There will be a costume contest again this year.

There are some costume rules and Payne stresses that this is a family friendly event and absolutely no nudity will be allowed.

“No costume is considered no costume and there should be absolutely no nudity,” he said. “Please ensure that all costumes are properly secured at all times and are not prone to ‘indecent accidents.’ Footwear is required. Skates and rollerblades are prohibited in the hallways and in convention area. Sneaker-skates may only be worn as a sneaker at all times inside the convention area. “

Weapons must be "peace bound.” This should be done at registration, if not before. A peace bind is usually an orange zip-tie on a realistic looking weapon to make clear to security and to police that it is not intended to be used for violent purposes. No projectile weapons such as water pistols, silly-string guns and ping-pong pistols can be used. They may be carried but can’t be used to shoot. No explosives or chemicals of any kind or real swords, guns or any other type of authentic weapons can be brought into the convention. 

There will be an arcade game tournament during the convention, with players competing for the Joel West Memorial Cup. West, who passed away last November, attended the previous two comic cons in Lincolnton. He was a pioneer in the competitive arcade gaming community since the early 1980s.

For more information and an up-to-date list of vendors and performers, find Lincolnton Comic Con on Facebook.

Tickets are available at the door for $5, children 12 and under are free. The event is Saturday, July 20 from at 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Lincolnton High School at 803 North Aspen Street in Lincolnton.  

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