COMIC CON MM 20

Nick Lotich of Frisco cosplays as Shredder Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during the 2018 Bell County Comic Con at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton on Saturday, August 4, 2018.

BELTON — A comic book-style flyer announces simply, “We’re back.”

The popular Bell County Comic Con, which attracted more than 25,000 people in 2019, will return Aug. 7-8 to the Bell County Expo Center after skipping 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two-day superhero-themed event will feature more than 300 exhibitors, as well as panels and workshops with actors, writers and creators of movies, television and comic books. Special events, such as a Star Wars-themed pizza party with costumed characters, also are planned.

“Anyone interested in comics, pop culture, gaming, movies and fantasy are welcome to attend!” organizers said on the event website. “There will be artists, superheroes, comics, toys, games, cosplay contests, celebrity guests and much more! Come dressed up in your favorite costume or just check out all the cool costumes in attendance.”

The event is set from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days at the Expo Center, 301 W. Loop 121, Belton.

Special guests for the event include Lou Ferrigno, star of “The Incredible Hulk” television show; Lark Vorhees of “Saved by the Bell” fame; “Mortal Kombat” actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa; and other actors and writers of several animated and fantasy television shows.

Illustrator Dave Dorman, best known for his Star Wars work, is joined by other artists and comic creators such as Ben Dunn, Steve Lavigne, Timothy Lee, Bill Williams and Matthew Weldon.

Wrestling stars Sgt. Slaughter and Honky Tonk Man also will make appearances.

“We are making adjustments to the convention to help promote a safe and healthy environment for all attendees, exhibitors, guests, staff and volunteers,” the organization said. “Due to the evolving nature of our current health climate, we will be monitoring (Centers for Disease Control) recommendations and working with local officials to announce specific health guidelines two weeks before the convention.”

Cosplay — dressing in superhero or fantasy costumes — was a popular activity at the prior Bell County Comic Cons, with contests and photo opportunities.

Harker Heights resident Anahi Nevarez was dressed as DC character Harley Quinn during the 2018 convention.

“I liked being able to meet new people, sharing interests and making new friends,” she told the Telegram.

Nicole Waterman of Harker Heights said she, too, previously attended the event.

“I liked it because you could explore different territories,” she said. “You could be something you’re not, and just go with the flow and have fun.”

Tickets for the event are available for single days or the weekend. Tickets purchased for the 2020 event will be valid for the 2021 gathering, organizers said.

Adult weekend passes are $50, while a Saturday pass is $40 and a Sunday pass is $30

Weekend passes for military, emergency responders, health care workers and teachers are $35.

Weekend passes are $15 for teenagers 13-17 and $10 for children 4-12.

“It is our goal to provide the community with a fun-filled event to look forward to after a long year of lockdowns,” organizers said. “However, the health and safety of our community must always come first. We missed you all and look forward to resuming Bell County Comic Con on Aug. 7-8, 2021.”

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