BAR HARBOR — Area comic book lovers will soon have their own Comic Con, thanks to Bar Harbor Batman, aka Chris Schwartz.
Schwartz is hosting the first Bar Harbor Comic Con on March 25, which will benefit the Park Street Playground Project.
Schwartz first got the idea after attempting to purchase tickets to the San Diego Comic-Con, which is Mecca to comic lovers, only to find this year’s event was sold out. Comic cons are celebrations of comic books and comic book culture, which has come to embrace fantasy reenactors, gaming and science fiction.
“I’ve gone to Portland, Bangor and the Boston Comic Con a few years in a row,” said Schwartz. “I’ve been to a few, and I thought what better way to drive attention to the playground than to throw my own personal Bar Harbor Comic Con.”
All proceeds from the Comic Con’s entry fee will go towards the Park Street Playground Project.
Schwartz did not expect his event to gain so much popularity.
“At first it was going to be me with a box of comics at a coffee shop,” said Schwartz. “Then I made a logo, and after that, we sent out a few letters to people, and we created the Facebook event, and it has snowballed from five guests to 26 guests and vendors.”
He said he reached out to a few authors and illustrators that he admires, and that others have reached out to him about participating.
“This is really an event that is for fans, by fans,” said Schwartz.
With several Comic Cons popping up around the state, word has traveled quickly.
“There are two more Comic Cons that I just heard about, and several of our guests will be at theirs and vice versa, so we can get the word out about theirs.”
The first Bar Harbor Comic Con will be held at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Event Center in Bar Harbor on Saturday, March 25, from noon to 5 p.m.
The Atlantic Oceanside will donate a portion of its room fees to the Park Street Playground Project. The hotel also will offer a discounted rate for guests staying overnight for the Comic Con.
Schwartz said comic book lovers attend conventions such as this one in order to meet a particular artist or see a celebrity or special guest.
They also attend Comic Cons to find a special comic book treasure in person rather than online.
“It’s finding that special relic and touching it with your hands, rather than just finding it on eBay or something,” Schwartz said.
Bar Harbor Comic Con will feature live music, tabletop gaming, vendors, artists, cosplay, dancing, comic book authors and illustrators, a raffle and a silent auction.
So far, a variety of 26 vendors and participants have signed up to attend, including Comics Plus of Ellsworth, musician Eric Green, DJ Bat-Tastick, fantasy writer Carrie Jones, Eagre Games computer game company and a dozen more vendors and artists.