San Diego Comic Con may be months away, but Santa Clarita geeks and pop culture fans can scratch that itch early as the Santa Clarita Valley Comic Book Convention comes to town for the second time.
The Santa Clarita Valley Comic Book Convention, formerly known as the San Fernando Comic Book Convention, was previously held in Granada Hills until the former venue did not renew its lease, leaving the convention scrambling to find a new home.
There’s long been a demand to have a convention in Santa Clarita, according to convention treasurer Chris Allen, and they were able to find the perfect venue at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
“Our first Santa Clarita show had almost as many people as we had coming on a good day to the San Fernando conventions, so that was very surprising and pleasing,” Allen said. “It was a near-perfect convention, but this year we’re going to adjust the layout of the tables inside the venue to give people more room to walk around. Santa Clarita is such a great location to hold an event like this and we hope to be here for a long time.”
This year, the convention will host 20 vendors selling everything from comic books to toys, memorabilia, original art and celebrity autographs. In addition to local Santa Clarita vendors, the convention will also bring in vendors from across Southern California. The convention will also hold raffles throughout the day sponsored by some of the vendors, with about five visitors having their names drawn every hour.
Among the special celebrity guests who are scheduled to appear are classic Hanna Barbera cartoon artist Patrick Owsley, Michael Gray from the 1970s television adaptation of “Shazam!” “Vampirella” writer Don Glut and Mel Novak, who starred alongside Bruce Lee in “Game of Death.”
Allen said he thinks comic book conventions are popular because they allow people to bond over similar interests.
“I see a lot of parents coming that get their kids involved with things that they grew up with, timeless heroes like Superman and Batman and the Flash,” he said. “There’s a lot of nostalgia involved and it’s also a great way to see some of the newer stuff that’s going on in the industry, and some of the great artwork and celebrities that have been involved in the industry.”
While many events are shutting down in the face of coronavirus, Allen said that the event will still be held.
“We’ve talked with the Hyatt staff and put in place extra measures to make sure people stay safe like extra cleaning and extra hand sanitizing stations, so unless the hotel itself shuts down we’ll still hold the convention.” Allen said. “With all the other big events and conventions shutting down, we figured that we should still give people a chance to have a fun experience.”
The Santa Clarita Valley Comic Convention is scheduled to be held at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on March 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $9 cash and children under 12 are free.