By JAIME HERNANDEZ
Comic-Con started as a comic book convention in San Diego in 1970, but has evolved into a pop culture gathering for entertainment genres ranging from comic books to sci fi movies.
Tucson began hosting its own Comic-Con six years ago. This year’s event, held Nov. 2-3, was the biggest to date.
Comic-Con attracts numerous vendors who set up booths to show off their products.
Sean Beall, owner of A2Z Games in Tucson, jumped at the opportunity to participate when local organizers added gaming for the first time.
“This has been so exciting for all of us in the gaming center,” Beall said. “To see so many people excited to play games is really awesome.”
Kyle Sanders of Mesa first brought artwork created by his wife, Natali Sanders, to a Comic-Con in Phoenix in 2010. The art was well received, and he’s been attending conventions as a vendor ever since.
“I really enjoy meeting new people and talking and interacting with the fans,” he said. “Also, I just love getting Natali’s artwork out. She does amazing stuff and I want to see her succeed in it.”
Some vendors dress like the characters they are trying to sell. Sara Moni of Phoenix dressed as Kali from Nightingale comics.
“She is a hunter forest-type creature that helps her friend Nightingale stop a coming invasion that threatens their land,” Moni explained.
Visitors also dressed as a favorite superhero or TV character.
Tucson native Amber Hunt wore a Steam Punk tinkerer costume.
“I love the atmosphere and love the vendors,” Hunt said. “It’s a great way to spend the weekend with a lot of like-minded people.”
Mike Syfritt of Phoenix attended as Dr. Octopus.
“Costuming is an incredible challenge,” Syfritt said. “I’m friends with the people that put this on, and I love to be a part of this community.”
Allen Dang dressed as his childhood hero, Green Arrow.
“This is my first Comic-Con,” Dang said. “Seeing people all dressed up in different costumes and how they make their own costumes is really exciting.”