Excitement felt on Saturday at Saratoga Comic Con

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Doors opened 10 a.m. Saturday at the Saratoga Springs City Center for the seventh Saratoga Comic Con. By early afternoon comic fans- some dressed up as their favorite character- were still arriving, swarming the vendor, gaming, and panel areas for the first Saratoga Comic Con in more than two years.

Organizer Samuel Chase told NEWS10 last Thursday a big crowd was expected over the weekend and those ticket sales had already exceeded sales in previous years. Young and old alike were there many with a sparkle in their eye, in groups, with their families and friends, marveling at the wonders of Saratoga Comic Con.

“I really want to create memories for friends and family. A place to let go for the day and enjoy the time while they’re there,” he said. “It’s a place where they can be themselves, shop, go meet their favorite celebrity or artist. People come back over and over to this event, they can’t get enough of it, and we’ll always be there to provide that. Seeing and making people happy is just a great thing to create in life. There’s nothing like it. “

There was a little bit of everything to appeal to fans including custom merchandise like original artworks, coasters, clothing, accessories, collectibles, and of course comic books. One vendor was selling a $2K graded comic book in which the Avengers first appeared. There were also local artists promoting their own comic book series like Mike Spring (Outta Time Comics) and Russell Brettholtz (Sidekicks Comics, LLC).

There is a vibrant and thriving comic book fandom in the Capital Region that includes writers, Spring and Brettholtz said. How difficult is it to publish a comic book series? They both said getting enough funding upfront to print them is the biggest challenge. Spring gets around this through Kickstarter. His fans essentially purchase new editions in advance giving Spring enough money to get them printed. Once printed, the new editions go out in the mail.

It was the first time being a vendor at Saratoga Comic Con for Session Zero Clothing and Big Dumb Monsters Podcast. Session Zero Clothing sells Dungeons and Dragons (D&D)-inspired clothes. The Big Dumb Monsters Podcast is a weekly program where two local men discuss monster movies.

Session Zero Clothing was started by D&D player Ryan Warren just before the COVID pandemic. “I run multiple games and try to stay as active as I can be in the online D&D community (which is very large). I initially started the brand because I just wanted to make one t-shirt for myself that matched my aesthetic. Then my friends convinced me to keep making more designs and now here I am,” said Warren.

Warren said for his first face-to-face event, Saratoga Comic Con was a success. “I was genuinely surprised and, honestly, a little unprepared,” he said. “I nearly sold out of a couple of designs on the very first day because of how many people wanted them, and then finished them off on Sunday.”

It was also Big Dumb Monsters podcasters Chris Martinez and Nick Wilson’s first time with a booth at Saratoga Comic Con. They were there promoting their podcast handing out buttons, stickers, and 3D glasses. Martinez said they were able to garner some more followers on their Facebook page and talk to an abundance of potential fans.

Martinez has been to previous Saratoga Comic Cons and said this show was unique. “The crowd was not only larger than usual, but they also seemed more energetic and enthusiastic about being at the show,” he said. “This was the first show since the start of the pandemic, so I think there was a lot of pent-up anticipation for getting back to celebrating the things we love and just having a great time across the whole weekend.”

It was certainly the case for a gentleman who calls himself The Green Wizard Technomage Extraordinaire, a first-time cosplayer, science fiction, and fantasy fan who said he has played D&D on and off for three decades. Dressed in bright green wizard’s robes, the Technomage said this year’s comic con was larger than the comic con held in Spring 2019.

At previous events, he said he was a “normie” but learned over the past year and a half to embrace his creative side. The Technomage said he was humbled that people asked to take his picture Saturday at Saratoga Comic Con. “I was also able to network with similar creative people and exchange ideas, which is my favorite aspect of these types of events,” he said.

Saratoga Comic Con slideshow

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