Tidewater Comicon Returns To Virginia Beach [Interview]
The region’s biggest event of its kind returns to Virginia Beach in May, when Tidewater Comicon takes over the Virginia Beach Convention Center with a ton of celebrity guests, top name comic book creators, rare collectibles and memorabilia, and cosplayers of all ages sure to be dressed to impress.
We recently caught up with event organizer Mike Federali to get an exclusive preview of this awesome event, which we will be hitting the road to bring you full coverage of later this month.
Federali told us that the first one-day Tidewater Comicon held in the spring of 2014 drew more than 3,000 attendees, while a second one-day convention that followed in October of last year relocated to the much more spacious Virginia Beach Convention Center and drew more than 6,000 attendees.
This year’s convention will take place over two days for the first time, featuring more celebrity guests from genre-based TV shows and films and more comic book creators than ever before. Federali says the time is right for an event like this to take off.
“This is what we have been working towards,” he tells OBX Entertainment. “There’s never been anything like this around here. There have been small little shows here and there, but there has never been anything on the scope of what we are doing.”
The success of the first two Comicons proved there was clearly an audience to support such an event, but Federali says that more important than the bottom line is the fellowship gained when this community of thousands of people all of which just “get it” when it comes to genre entertainment, gathers under one roof to revel in and share all the things they love most.
“There’s way too many fans of this not to have something like this,” he said. “For me, the best part is meeting like-minded people. A perfect example is last night, we all went to see Avengers: Age of Ultron, and then we stood and talked about it for more than 30 minutes after it ended. Everybody at Comicon is like that. You could strike up a conversation with any of these people.
“And we have great celebrities and panels. We have Kelly Hu from the show Arrow, and she’s going to be talking about that. And you can really meet these people and get an autograph and pictures, and you can talk to them in person.”
Of course a huge attraction at any comic convention is the costumed attendees, who go all out to dress up just like their favorite characters from pop culture, many of which create their own wardrobe from scratch to give that extra authentic touch. Mike told us their will be no shortage of impressive outfits to marvel at.
“The costumes are always great,” he said, “but the fun thing I really like is when people make their own costumes, because they love it so much that they didn’t just go to the store and buy something, but they made it with their own hands. In a way they’re being like the prop creators on a film. Then they come here and talk about it with other people that are passionate about it.
“It’s great to see this exchange of creativity.”
Special guests scheduled to appear for photos and autographs on both days include actress Kelly Hu, who starred as Lady Deathstrike in X-Men 2 and more recently as Pearl on The Vampire Diaries and as China White on the hit series Arrow.
Hu also starred on the TV series Sunset Beach, Nash Bridges, CSI: NY, and Martial Law on TV, and has appeared on the big screen in numerous other notable feature films, including The Scorpion King, Cradle 2 the Grave, and the 1989 slasher sequel Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.
Also set to appear is the very funny Sam Huntington, who was so hilarious in the comedy classic Not Another Teen Movie, before stepping into the iconic role of Jimmy Olsen in Superman Returns, and then later helping give voice the most diehard of all fans in the out of this world 2009 Star Wars comedy love letter Fanboys.
Huntington also rocked in the 1999 comedy Detriot Rock City, a celebration of the classic band Kiss.
Most recently he starred as a tortured werewolf in the SyFy series Being Human, and Huntington will be joined at Tidewater Comicon by his Being Human co-stars Sam Witwer and Meaghan Rath.
Witwer was the voice of Darth Maul on the animated Star Wars series The Clone Wars, and co-starred on Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, The Walking Dead, and the 2007 thriller The Mist.
Rath most recently starred in a recurring role as Aimee King on Season 3 of the Cinemax series Banshee, which was filmed in Charlotte, North Carolina, and she has also appeared on Fox’s New Girl and ABC’s new mystery Secrets and Lies, which was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Chloe Dykstra of the SyFy reality show Heroes of Cosplay is also coming to Virginia Beach for this event, along with comic book creators Chad Hardin, Ron Marz, Kevin Maguire, Fabian Nicieza, Sorah Shibao, Brian Clevinger, Aaron Conley, Matthew Roberts, Greg Land, and Tom Raney.
There will also be tons of exhibitors, artists, and vendors on hand to keep fans blissfully browsing for hours.
Tidewater Comicon is happening on Saturday and Sunday, May 16-17 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, located at 1000 19th Street in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Tickets can be purchased online here.
Look for full coverage of this event, coming to OBXentertainment.com!