Adventure Con — the annual pop culture show — is returning to its roots.
Launched by East Tennessean Marcus Wollack a decade ago, he sold the con two years ago. But going to the show as an attendee, Wollack had a chance to see it through a fresh pair of eyes, something he wasn't able to do as its operator.
"Sometimes you get a different perspective," Wollack says. "After working with (the previous owners) for a couple of years, I had some ideas of things I would do differently, to make it better to appeal to a wider audience."
Around 60 venders will set up, mainly with comic books, toys and assorted collectibles.
Eight celebrities will make appearances. They include Jon Bernthal (formerly of "The Walking Dead"), Ioan Grufford (Reed Richards of the "Fantastic Four" movies) and Chris Sarandon ("The Nightmare Before Christmas").
The celebrities will also be conducting panels with question-and-answer sessions. They'll charge for their appearance, between $25 to $30 for an autograph.
Wollack got corporate involvement and will have an art contest in which artists will use Sharpie markers.
"The No. 1 thing we hear (from attendees) is (they want) more programming," Wollack says. "They want to do more than just walk around and see things (from the vendors)."
By having more than vendors, Adventure Con wants to make its event more than just a quick trip.
Attendees "want it to be more than just an hour" walking around, he says.
Held at the Knoxville Convention Center, Adventure Con hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission for ages 8 and under is free as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult (limited to one child per adult).
Admission otherwise is $15 for a day ticket and $20 for the entire weekend.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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