The Mulberry ComicCon will return to the Kirksey Park in Mulberry on March 24.
The event last year had about 290 participants, but organizers expect a bigger crowd and have expanded into a second building at the Crawford County Fairgrounds.
The dealer/artist alley in addition to a food court will be one building. The second building will house the cosplay panels, the digital workshop, and the cosplay contest.
The Friends of the Library in Mulberry organized the event to help pay for an expansion needed at the public library.
The cost is $10 per person 13 and over while kids 12 and under are free. Vendor booths are available for $25 and $5 for each additional table.
The Bruce Wayne package will be available again. For $75 the participant will get a T-shirt, a meal, and a 7-inch tablet.
“It’s just a fun way to help the library,” said Sandra Whatley, one of the organizers of the event.
The funds go to help pay for the expansion.
Door prizes will be given away each hour with a grand prize of a Nintendo Switch. The event will also host a comic-themed silent auction, free games including a Walking Dead shooting gallery. A Duck Hunt tournament will also be part of the day’s events.
Several characters will be on hand including members of the 501st Legion Diamond Brigade, the Rebel Legion Kessel Base and a member of the Mandalorian Mercs of the Star Wars films. The cosplay group Kikadansu will present a Final Fantasy XV themed performance.
“We’re also encouraging the vendors to dress up as well,” Whatley said. “We’re really trying to bring in others from Northwest Arkansas, Little Rock, Conway, as well as Muskogee and Tulsa. We really want this to be a big annual event for us.”
Panels for the Mulberry ComicCon will be presented by Elli Kelley, “From Character to Competition, Cosplay on a Budget,” and Infinite Joy Cosplay, “Armor Building, Cosplay, and Makeup.” Melinda Shores, an artist of Bark Trek will present a workshop on “How to Digital Comics.”
The Mulberry ComicCon is the brainchild of Keith Pigg, the promotion coordinator, who wanted to do something to help the library expansion and showcase local writers and artists through literary awareness.
“It’s to create a space for fans of popular culture, comics, and illustration,” Pigg said.