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Day two of Sacramento Comic Con draws a big crowd

Bill Prince and Keith Lyles of The Bay Area Ghostbusters
Bill Prince and Keith Lyles of The Bay Area Ghostbusters
David Wangberg

Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Thor, and many other pop culture characters could be seen roaming through the halls of the Sacramento Convention Center, as thousands of people came out on March 8 for the second day of the inaugural Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con.

Spider-Man at Sacramento Comic Con
David Wangberg

Not only were there many people in creative outfits, but there were also plenty of vendors selling merchandise such as comic books; posters; exclusive art; signed material; and even some rare movie and television soundtracks.

But aside from getting dressed and looking at the cool merchandise available, many attendees made their way to the celebrity area, where some big names like Bruce Campbell; Billy Dee Williams; Norman Reedus; and William Shatner were offering autographs and photo opportunities.

Going to a Comic Con, one would expect to see any character from the pages of Marvel or DC Comics; hit shows like “The Walking Dead”; and popular movies like “Star Wars.” But some people got creative and came up with their own idea. Bill Kauffman went as a zombie with a zipper in the middle of his face. He said he couldn’t really think of think up anything else.

“I was bored,” Kauffman said. “I found what I had at home.”

El Dorado Hills resident Emily Pacific came as Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials. She saw someone walking around the convention with the same costume, and then realized she had a handmade one at home that she used for Halloween.

“So far, I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it,” Pacific said.

She has attended Sac Anime in the past, but this Comic Con was the first for Pacific.

“It’s pretty awesome,” she said.

As for what she’s most excited about seeing, Pacific is not sure.

“There are a lot of exciting things going on,” she said.

Many of the attendees were part of a group that had been to several other conventions, aside from ones held by Wizard World. Bill Prince and Keith Lyles, members of The Bay Area Ghostbusters, showed up in their hand-made uniforms and stood outside of the long line, so people could take pictures with them. The group formed in 2010 from their “love of ‘Ghostbusters,’” Prince said. The two were later found inside

Von Bean and Julio Alcala appeared as Jedis. They have been going to conventions “since the 90s,” Alcala said. This was the first time either of them had attended a Comic Con held by Wizard World.

“So far, it’s great,” Alcala said. “It’s nonstop action, here and there, of people wanting our pictures like crazy.”

Both Alcala and Bean are part of the costuming guilds, The Dark Alliance and The Dark Empire. And they both have character names, too. Alcala’s is Darth Kalus, while Bean’s is Darth Furyous.

Tomas Overbai, one of the art vendors at the convention, had some fascinating work, including a poster and T-shirt design of Christopher Walken as Han Solo. The idea came from a skit he saw on “Saturday Night Live” skit where Kevin Spacey played Walken auditioning for the part.

“I just drew it, and it came out, and I was really happy with the way it came out,” Overbai said.

At the time he came up with the idea for the drawing, Overbai was based in Sacramento. Now, he’s in Astoria, Ore., which is also known as the town of “The Goonies.”

“This [convention] was an opportunity for me to come back and hang out with some friends,” he said. “I hadn’t seen some people here since I moved.”

“This is just a great opportunity to come back,” Overbai added.

For being the first Wizard World-ran convention in Sacramento, Overbai called the turnout and the event “fantastic.”

“I think this is the convention Sacramento needed and deserved,” he said. “With WonderCon leaving to San Francisco a couple of years ago, there was no big… the [Sacramento] cons are great, but they’re just the same thing.”

“With this, you can’t get bigger than Bruce Campbell, Stan Lee, Norman Reedus, and William Shatner,” he added. “I think this will help that other convention, the smaller one, but this has brought out a crowd, and a lot of people that wouldn’t necessarily go to a comic convention.”

Overbai said he gets potential customers coming to his booth, who probably would have never seen his work if it wasn’t for this convention.

“I think it’s good for Sacramento,” he said.

And for those who have never been to a comic con, but would like to someday go, Overbai said that when you get to one, just “enjoy it.”

“Walk around, see as much as you can,” he said.

The Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con will conclude on Sunday, March 9. The Chico Movie Examiner will be tweeting the event and posting photos on Instagram as well. Some of the events for the last day include Q&As with Ralph Macchio, James Hong, and Chris Hemsworth.