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  • Stephen Morton / The Associated Press

    Sergio Aragonés of Mad magazine fame also will attend.

  • Photo courtesy of Imagi Producti / Warner Bros.

    Do you know your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? From left are Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael. Their co-creator, Kevin Eastman, will be at Sunday’s Sac-Con event at the Scottish Rite Center.

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Mad magazine’s Sergio Aragones among attendees at Sunday’s Sac-Con

Published: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 - 4:00 pm
Last Modified: Sunday, Mar. 9, 2014 - 8:22 am

It might be that you’re looking for a replica gunblade for your Squall Leonhart cosplay. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to speak with Mad magazine’s legendary Sergio Aragonés. It could also be that you want to know more about our city’s comics scene.

There’s a lot going on at Sunday’s Sac-Con event at the Scottish Rite Center, and chances are you could be drawn to it one way or the other – especially if you’ve ever loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Sac-Con, a quarterly comic, toy and anime show that’s been gathering geeks since 1986, will host about 130 vendors, a few game and costume competitions, some high-profile industry pros, a room dedicated to local art, and about 2,000 attendees, said Dan Houck, the convention’s founder and director.

“Basically, we’re all about providing a fun event for families that doesn’t cost so much,” Houck said.

For this iteration of Sac-Con, 18 industry professionals will appear as guests, signing autographs and visiting with attendees, Houck said. In addition to Aragonés, the most widely known of the bunch is Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the legendary heroes in a half-shell, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

And if asking Eastman about director Michael Bay’s upcoming “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film doesn’t appeal to you, there are still plenty of vendors selling collectibles – vintage toys, hard-to-find memorabilia and arcane and archaic curiosities.

The convention has a broader focus than its much-larger sister convention, SacAnime, and a different approach than the huge Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con, coming to Sacramento on March 7-9, Houck said.

While some conventions will adopt a strict velvet-rope vibe with attending actors and industry standouts, Sac-Con’s primary focus is accessibility and keeping tickets affordable.

“We don’t have to deny people who actually want to go to the show,” Houck said.

Many conventions charge high entry fees and then require additional money for autographs. Houck said that Sac-Con ticket prices include autographs and giveaways including special posters and prints. The event’s not-too-big size is refreshing to some of the notable personalities who attend, he said.

“The higher-profile guests like that they actually have the time to talk to their fans,” he said.

With a more casual approach, Sac-Con holds an appeal even for those who otherwise wouldn’t feel the need to surround themselves with Naruto wall scrolls.

And for those planning to come in costume, Houck advised that outfits be family-friendly and that any mock weapons be rendered safe. To put it succinctly: “You can bring the bow but not the arrow,” he said.

Read more articles by Anthony Siino

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