El Paso Comic Con coming back to El Paso

Adam+West%2C+as+seen+in+the+1960%E2%80%99s+Batman+television+series+will+appear+at+this+years+El+Paso+Comic+Con%2C+on+April+15.+

Special to The Prospector

Adam West, as seen in the 1960’s Batman television series will appear at this years El Paso Comic Con, on April 15.

Julia Hettiger, Staff Reporter

The El Paso Comic Con is returning to El Paso on April 15 at the El Paso Convention Center as a three-day event. This year’s lineup includes actors Adam West and Burt Ward, who played Batman and Robin on a 1960s’ television show, and Kevin Eastman, creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The fun begins with “Zombie Escape,” an activity where guests reenact a zombie apocalypse, which will kick off on opening night. The Comic Con will be in full swing on Saturday and Sunday, where attendees will be able to meet the invited celebrities.

Troy Stegner, owner of the El Paso Comic Con, said he hopes the event becomes a proud tradition in El Paso. “I want El Paso Comic Con to be one of the jewels in the city’s crown,” Stegner said. “I would like to see Comic Con spill out of the Convention Center and into the rest of Downtown El Paso.”

In 2014, it was announced El Paso Comic Con would be ending indefinitely, this amid reports of the event falsely advertising the participation of actress Shannon Elizabeth, who later dismissed her attendance through her official Twitter account. But Stegner knew he could not let this happen. Having previously worked on comic conventions in Las Cruces, he knew he had the skills needed to run the El Paso one.

After negotiating with the previous owner, Stegner purchased the El Paso Comic Con franchise along with its social media.

“I am bringing the El Paso Comic Con back to the Convention Center in Downtown El Paso where it belongs, and I am bringing featured guests people want to meet and events they want to see,” Stegner said.

The event will bring artists, actors and unique cosplay groups who specialize in bringing characters to life. This year, featured guests include Seth Gilliam from “The Walking Dead” and comic book artist Brett Booth.

“When I choose featured guests, I go with people that appeal to a large fan base,” Stegner said. “It doesn’t matter what genre, as long as they have a good following.” To feature these guests, Stegner said he had to go through a detailed negotiation process.

“If the guest is available and within your budget, you then negotiate their contract,” Stegner said. “All featured guests have different needs and wants in their contract, and if you come to an agreement with the guest, the contract is signed, the guest is booked and you arrange to pay the guest.”

Jose Perez, graduate computer science major, said he is looking forward to attending the convention.

“I love making new friends, and we rarely get a convention in El Paso,” Perez said. “I’m also looking forward to seeing the actor from ‘The Walking Dead.’” He’s also excited to see the cosplayers and will be dressing up as well.

“Since I’ll only be going on Saturday, I’m debating on whether to go as ‘Gambit’ or ‘Cyclops,’” Perez said.

The El Paso Comic Con will be from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Apr. 15, 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16 and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday, Apr. 17 Tickets and more information can be found on their website, elpasocomiccon.com.

“I did not want to throw together a subpar Comic Con,” Stegner said. “El Paso deserves a Comic Con they can be proud of.” Julia Hettiger may be reached at [email protected]