The second Soda City Comic Con will kick off this weekend, Aug. 27 and 28. What started out as an idea between Donald Brock Jr., his wife Mary, and partners Steve Powell and Jennifer Epting came to life last year when the first Soda City Comic Con was held in October. Originating from the slang shortening of Columbia to “Cola,” Mary Brock opted to use the colloquial name of “Soda City,” giving Columbia’s convention a unique title.
Event founder Donald Brock said that Columbia was a great city for a comic convention for a number of reasons. With major metropolitan cities within a few hours of Columbia, in addition to the university and government facilities, it really comes down to, as Brock said, “Why not Columbia?”
Last year the convention was held in the midst of the heavy flooding that affected much of South Carolina and Columbia in particular. To have thousands of people show up despite the flood was a huge success for the convention and proved that there is a market for the convention, but also for the morale of many who were affected by the disaster.
"We had 3000 plus show up, and it was probably the worst weekend we could have probably picked because that was the flood weekend,” Brock said.
This year Brock hopes for an even better event. The con will offer television show premieres, collectibles for sale, the chance to meet artists and more.
"There will be something at the show for every single person," Brock said.
This year's event will look to improve upon last year's with a guest list of talent that includes comic legend and South Carolina resident Roy Thomas, who took over as Stan Lee’s first successor at Marvel Comics. In addition to the showroom floor, attendees have the opportunity to go to a variety of panels throughout Saturday and Sunday. Brock is especially excited for guests to view early premieres of five different television shows including “24: Legacy,” which isn’t set to air until February.
As with all good comic conventions, cosplay will also play a role in Soda City Comic Con. An adult cosplay competition will be held on Saturday with rewards for winners, and children can show up on Sunday for their own contest.
If you are interested in volunteering to work at the convention, there is still time to sign up at the Soda City Comic Con website, where you can score a t-shirt and a free ticket to the show. Regardless of whether attendees plan on dressing up or just want to see what the fuss is about, Soda City Comic Con offers “a family-friendly pop culture event where people of all ages can come together and celebrate their interests and share in their fandoms.”