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Massena VFW site of Aug. 2 comic book convention

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MASSENA - The Massena Boys and Girls Club will benefit from a comic book convention, called “Upstate Comic Con,” which will be held Aug. 2 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post on West Hatfield Street.

Organizer Elijah Winfrey says 15 percent of the admission ticket sales and 100 percent of raffle ticket sales will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club.

Mr. Winfrey said he had talked with Massena Police Timmy J. Currier, who is also the president of the Massena Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, to let him know they wanted to offer support as the club looks to open its doors on a part-time basis by September.

“We’re all getting together to help out the Massena Boys and Girls Club,” he said.

Tickets are available at Star Tech Computers, 260 East Orvis St., Massena, and I Got Game, 205 Ford St., Ogdensburg. Tickets and the event are cash only, Mr. Winfrey said.

General admission tickets, which are $10, will also be sold at the door until 7:30 p.m. the day of the event.

VIP tickets, which will not be sold at the door, are $20. The VIP package includes one hour early access into the event, 10 free raffle tickets, a “hot pass” to be first in every autograph line, front row seating at every panel and a limited edition “Upstate Comic Con” poster.

“Normally Comic Con runs $30, $60 or $80 for a three-day pass. This is a one-day event,” he said.

Raffle tickets are one for $1 for five for $3, and the raffle winners will be announced at the end of the night.

The items being raffled off are a 20-inch by 20-inch “The Mindbender Chronicles” poster signed by the cast and crew, a “Joker Rising” DVD and a “Portal 2” poster signed by Valve, the company that created the video game.

“The Mindbender Chronicles” was a Batman fan series filmed in Massena last year. “Joker Rising” was a Batman film made in California.

“Those things have been able to help us,” Mr. Winfrey said.

Doors will open to the general public at 6 p.m., but VIP pass holders will get in at 5 p.m.

“At 5 p.m. everyone who purchased a VIP ticket gets to go into the venue one hour early to see all the vendors first,” Mr. Winfrey said.

The event runs until 10 p.m.

Leading up to the indoor activities, organizers have lined up some outdoor fun, weather permitting, starting at 4 p.m.

“It’s never fun to wait in line, so we decided to start outdoor activities at 4 p.m. BD Entertainment will be there with their inflatables. Rapidz Ice Cream will be selling ice cream cones. That will run until we open the doors to the general public at 6,” he said.

Participating businesses include I Got Game, Ogdensburg; Tim’s Comic and Games, Potsdam; Rapidz Ice Cream Burgers & Dogs, Massena; Vandal TV and Films. Malone; BD Entertainment, Malone; and Replay Game Store, Massena.

Mr. Winfrey said their initial event, which has been in the planning for about three months, will focus on comic books. They hope to make it annual event.

“In bigger cities they do a Comic Con every year. They focus on comic books and things of that nature. Up here we’re talking about comic books. We’ll have lots and lots of comics,” he said.

In addition to vendors selling items, they’ll also be showing two Batman fan films, “The Batman Chronicles” and “Joker Rising,” and will have a panel discussion by Brother’s In Awesome Studios, a north country video game company.

“Normally Comic Cons have a bunch of panels. But we put this together in such a short time,” Mr. Winfrey said.

They also plan to have a “Magic the Gathering” tournament presented by I Got Game at 6:30 p.m., as well as tournaments throughout the night.

“We will also have a Pokemon tournament for all who are interested, as well as an art contest, face painting and photography available by Vandal Films for all who show up in costume. We courage everybody to show up on the costume of their favorite super hero,” he said.

Zac and Chuck’s Untitled Podcast will be covering the entire event, he said.

Mr. Winfrey said he runs a group called the North Country Acting Society, which is trying to create a filming industry in the north country. The group is trying to schedule three events each year, the comic convention being one of them, along with an award show and film festival. For more information, visit Upstate Comic Con on Facebook.

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