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Wizard World Comic Con celebrates pop culture

Posted March 11, 2015
Updated March 13, 2015

— An enterprise captain, vampire and hobbit walk into a convention center...

You are likely to see just about any combination of costumed-clad fans roaming the Raleigh Convention Center during Wizard World Comic Con this weekend.

The family-friendly event celebrates pop culture - from superheroes to comic book artists to TV vampires.

There will be autograph sessions, Q&As, panels, screenings, costume contests and more.

This year's attendees include David Tennant (“Doctor Who,” “Broadchurch”), Ian Somerhalder (“The Vampire Diaries”), William Shatner (“Star Trek”), John Schneider (“Smallville,” “Dukes of Hazzard”), Tyler Hoechlin (“Teen Wolf”) and Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings Trilogy).

Former "Power Ranger" Jason David Frank will be judging the adult costume contest Saturday night and hosting an all-ages martial arts class Sunday. He describes Wizard World as a place to "let your inner geek shine."

Frank will be meeting with fans, signing autographs and taking photos during paid events throughout the weekend.

This weekend will be WWE diva Eva Marie's second Wizard World event. The star of E!'s "Total Divas" said she has been meeting a lot more of female fans thanks to the reality show. Her favorite part is when she sees fans rocking hair colors similar to her famous red hue. She looks forward to interacting with those fans in Raleigh.

"Without the fans, I am nothing," she said.

Actor Sean Astin has attended 10 pop culture fan conventions last year.

"It's a way of life for a lot of different actors that have been apart of a movie that has been a part of pop culture," he said.

Astin has appeared in a list iconic films that make him perfect for a fan event like Wizard World. A star of "Lord of the Rings and "Rudy," Astin said most fans want to talk about the cult classic "Goonies."

Astin said the best part is connecting with fans and even seeing the same ones years later.

If you want to get an autograph or photo with Astin, that will cost you extra. General admission tickets do not cover autographs or photos. Those fees can run you $20 (for an autograph from WWE's Eva Marie) to $100 (for a signed pic from "Doctor Who" star David Tennant.) Photos run from $40 for a pic with Eva Marie to $85 with "The Vampire Diaries" star Ian Somerhalder.

Tennant's photo ops are sold out. The only way you are going to get a pic with him is to buy the "Tennat V.I.P." pass for $375. That gets you into Tennant's exclusive Q&A and includes your autograph and photo opts.

Wizard World general admission tickets are $75 for the entire weekend and $35 to $45 for a single-day ticket. There is a special kick-off event Thursday at Marbles Kids Museum. Tickets to that event are $50.

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  • Mike Berthold Mar 13, 2015
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    View quoted thread


    "Those fees can run you $20 (for an autograph from WWE's Eva Marie) to $100 (for a signed pic from "Doctor Who" star David Tennant.) Photos run from $40 for a pic with Eva Marie to $85 with "The Vampire Diaries" star Ian Somerhalder." "Tennant's photo ops are sold out. The only way you are going to get a pic with him is to buy the "Tennat V.I.P." pass for $375."

  • Steve Eubanks Mar 13, 2015
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    I'm looking forward to this. If you think it's a rip off, just don't go.

  • Peter Panda Mar 13, 2015
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    Why not inform everyone how much it would cost to meet the special guest attendees....what a rip off

  • Holly Atkins Mar 13, 2015
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    My family and I went to the one in Durham and had a blast...John Barrowman was at that one and was very entertianing in his Q&A.

    We are also going to this one as David Tennant will be there and my family is HUGE into Doctor Who. I can understand some local vendors being angry if they can't afford the vendor fees but I feel like we ARE still supporting local. Between the Convention Center and the area eateries getting all that traffic it will generate a lot of money for Wake County and Raleigh.

  • Stan Creech Mar 13, 2015
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    Sheldon Cooper? You there yet?

  • Larry Crowe Mar 12, 2015
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    As a local vendor myself ( http://www.crowemagtoys.com ), the fee to set up is really high, $1,000 for a 10x10 which at most other shows of similar size and pretty much the same guests, I can get up to 2 10x10s for less money! The VP of Wizard World himself told me the high cost is not due to expenses but to keep the "flea market types" out. So I say support your local Toy and comic shops and attend the local shows, keep the money here not some greedy corporation group!

  • Claire Un Mar 11, 2015
    user avatar

    What a ripoff. If you wanted to go to a REAL, locally-sponsored comic con, you should have gone to Oak City comic con last weekend or NC Comic Con in November.
    http://nccomicon.com/
    http://oakcitycomicshow.com/