Cosplayers will converge on Camden this weekend for a Comic Con festival that passersby won't have to croon their necks to see.
Camden Comic Con will be held at Camden Shrine Club, 1381 Kershaw Highway, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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Papa The Stro Maestro, WCW legend
Gregbo Watson, illustrator and artist
Tom Gore, director and actor
Misty Yates, cosplay champion
Eastern Exotics Wildlife Foundation
Professional wrestling legends
Matthew Delph, author and Bigfoot hunter
Cast of Dusk
Nick Vernon, actor
Antler Hill Arts, musicians
Hector Miray, author of "Faith and Fandom"
Comic Con is a festival that celebrates comic books and fantasy and science-fiction movies and TV shows, and attendees often dress up as their favorite characters - the "cos" in cosplay comes from costume - to go to cast and director panels.
"It allows them to experience that with like-minded people. They can talk about it. They can talk about gaming," said John Stamey, organizer of the event. "GameStop is bringing their Playstation VR [virtual reality] guru for about six to seven hours. We're going to have a good time."
Stamey said he puts on Comic Con festivals throughout the Carolinas and Tennessee and chose Camden because "it's a beautiful town."
He started in the industry because he used to make caricatures in Myrtle Beach, but that business does not bode well in winter and early spring. So he started running Comic Con festivals four years ago. This year, he said, he is organizing a dozen.
"I'd like for people to enjoy it," he said.
The event is family friendly, and there will be about 45 vendors, a cosplay contest, tabletop gaming, caricature artists, balloon twisting, kids' activities, a "Game of Thrones" roundtable, seminars and panels.
Stamey said a notable guest will be the Eastern Exotics Wildlife Foundation, a group that brings a traveling exotic zoo with snakes and other rescue reptiles.
"If you want, Julius the snake will wrap around you. They're very friendly," he said.
Tickets are $10 at the door, with children 12 and under getting in free.
"I do want it to grow. There's like a tour of Comic Cons throughout the Carolinas, and this should be a nice stop," Stamey said. "I have people coming in from as far away as Charlotte and Charleston."
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