Pop culture enthusiasts rejoice. Oakhurst is hosting its first ever comic-con on Sunday, March 3.
The Oakhurst Toy-Anime-Comic Con will feature a cosplay competition, and vendors selling everything from comic books to sports memorabilia, all taking place at the Oakhurst Community Center.
“Basically, we’re trying to bring the big San Diego Comic-Con to Oakhurst, but in a much smaller and feasible way,” said Tom “Ziggy” Star, one of the coordinators of the convention and owner of Ziggy’s Video Game Exchange in Turlock.
Attendees will also see a couple of notable cosplayers from the Central Valley, including Matthew Hernandez and Andrea Beckham-Manjarres out of Fresno, who are known for their Deadpool and Lady Deadpool cosplay. Joining them will be Oakhurst local Joey Otten, a Captain America impersonator.
“If it’s a big show, we bring in a (celebrity) guest. The smaller ones, we really feature the cosplayers, we give them a light to shine, you know what I mean?” Star said.
Hernandez, Beckham-Manjarres and Otten are also the judges for the day’s cosplay competition.
Ohana Comic-Con, based out of Turlock, California, has been organizing about 40 conventions a year in California since 2015 and chose Oakhurst as their next destination after seeing the community’s support for one of their outings in the foothills last year.
“You know, we did a show in Mariposa last year and a lot of people from Oakhurst came over there, so I just figured we would bring it to them, so they don’t have to drive,” Star said.
Tickets for the event are priced at $5 for advance and $6 at the door on Sunday, with the opportunity to get a $1 off your ticket if you have one of the event’s fliers. Star said the decision to return to Oakhurst hinges on the turnout on Sunday.
Star has primarily taken to Facebook and Instagram to promote the events, while also relying on a pair of comic book shops for some help passing out fliers and selling tickets, one of them being Villains Collectibles in Oakhurst.
Heroes Comics & Cards in Fresno is the other of those shops, and its owner, Dave Allread, is an Oakhurst native, so the fact that the event is happening is especially exciting to him.
“It’s pretty cool. Thirty years ago, the community just wasn’t big enough to support an event like this,” Allread said. “Oakhurst is ready.”
Allread’s store actually got its start in Oakhurst about 30 years ago and many mountain area residents still make the drive down to Fresno to his store. He said his customers from the foothills’ communities have expressed their excitement to him about the event.
Along with helping promote the event, the Heroes’ owner will be selling comic books at the convention.