Local Hattiesburg business Bombshell Comics held its first Mini Comic-Con Feb.22, which brought in crowds of people.
People also got the chance to learn about how to get involved in things like cosplaying or how to become an efficient Twitch streamer.
Various booths were set up inside and outside the store, which were used to sell merchandise or feature local artists and organizations. One of those groups was Hub City Funko.
“The booth is less about having a business for Funko, but acting as a means for us to promote what it is that we do, which is allow Funko collectors to trade and share their collections,” Hub City Funko founder Brandy Sanders said.
Sanders also said this is the first time she has participated in an event like Bombshell Comics’ Mini Comic-Con, but her work experience in retail helped her when it came to handling the throngs of people that came to the event.
“I think that, for a first-time event, it has been really successful. Everyone is having a fun time and being nice. So far, it’s been a blast,” Sanders said.
Hattiesburg once had its own comic convention that ran for two years called Southern Geekfest, but dwindling audience numbers resulted in the con’s closure.
Bombshell Comics owner Jarred Howze said he was excited to be hosting something like this inside the store, and the concept of the con was an idea former owner Justin Adcock had been considering for a while.
“It’s daunting at first because you are trying to do something pretty different and trying to showcase what is often a fun event. You’re trying to impress the community and, in turn, bring Hattiesburg something different,” Howze said.
Saturday’s event was free to the public, and Howze said that he hopes to expand the con in the years to come and host it at other places like hotel ballrooms and potentially the Forrest County Multipurpose Center.
Adcock also attended the mini comic con asas a guest. Adcock, now a professional artist, said he’s proud the store he once owned is now hosting its own con.
“We talked about it for years, hoping to make it happen, and it’s great Jarred was able to make it a possibility,” Adcock said.
In recent years, comic conventions like Saturday’s event have become more prominent in Mississippi. Next month sees the return of the Mississippi Anime Festival, and in June, the annual Mississippi Comic Con will be hosted in Jackson.
“It’s awesome to see more conventions in Mississippi, which I think is due to the fact comics are now a mainstream success instead of a niche thing. It’s great to see Hattiesburg and just the world in general latch on to this,” Howze said.