(Dec. 8, 2022) Ocean City Comic Con and its own universe of out-of-this-world characters will return for its fifth year on Saturday at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City.
Also returning to this celebration will be the panels and events that have led to the gathering’s exponential growth. Among these will be the Nightmare and Dayscreams SFX panel led by Eastern Shore native Michele Clauser.
“It was really popular last year,” event organizer James Dufendach said. “Standing-room only. (Clauser) is just a fantastic makeup artist.”
There will be some new attractions as well. The new wing of the convention center allowed Dufendach to expand the event’s offerings to accommodate what he said will be the largest Star Wars Saber Guild group ever.
“I did not just fill (that space) with vendors,” he said. “We’re going to give our Star Wars costuming groups a giant space. There will be a lot more fun photo-op stuff there.”
There will also be a panel on comic book creation that Dufendach said he’s looking forward to.
“We’ve got some new stuff as far as comic book creation which I think is great,” he said. “We’re going to have a local guy, Brad Hudson from the (University of Maryland Eastern Shore) … him and the Joseph Rybandt from Dynamite Entertainment, doing a panel together on comic book creation. That is something — the opportunity to talk to those guys is amazing.”
This year, there is no mask policy as procedures for the most part return back to normal. Booths and vendors will be next to each other once again too.
When asked for his attendance forecast, Dufendach erred on the side of caution and said he anticipates 8,000 — the same turnout as last year.
But if the event’s past, discounting pandemic-stricken 2020, is a good indicator. The crowd should be bigger than that.
Even in the show’s first year, Dufendach anticipated 500 attendees and 2,500 came out.
“If you’ve never come before, this is a wonderful entry to comic cons,” Dufendach said. “It’s very inexpensive. I keep the price very low. Parking is free. You don’t have to drive for three hours if you’re local. It’s much like other pop culture events, a good starting point.”
The Ocean City Comic Con runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“If you’ve already come, you know you enjoy it. We’re adding more for you to see,” Dufendach said.
The cost to attend is $12, free for children ages 9 and under with a paying adult. Attendees get $1 off their ticket if they’re dressed in costume and another $1 if they bring a canned good for Diakonia in West Ocean City, an organization that helps individuals and families by providing shelter, food, clothing and program services.
Tickets are available at the door. For more information, visit http://www.oceancitycomiccon.com/index.html.