The Sunshine City is the only major Florida city to not have a high-end, annual comic convention,
which inspired a local nerd family to organize “St. Pete Comic Con.”
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (December 6, 2021) – The fifth-largest city in the state is getting its first comic convention – St. Pete Comic Con, set for January 8-9, 2022, at the Coliseum. The two-day, multi-genre comic convention will feature comics, anime, science fiction & fantasy, and cosplay. Tickets are $20 for one day, $30 for a weekend pass, and $100 for a VIP ticket.
Each of Florida’s cities larger than St. Petersburg has numerous comic cons: In fact, Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando have three or more each year. And there are more than 20 smaller cities that have excellent comic cons, such as Lakeland, Pensascola, and St. Augustine.
“It’s long past time for St. Petersburg, a world-wide destination city, to have a high-end, annual comic convention,” said Dewey Caruthers, who is organizing the con with his teenage daughters Blu and Scarlet. “There has been an enthusiastic welcome from comic con fans, cosplayers and comic-related vendors locally and statewide,” he said.
Celebrity guests include three anime voice actors, four comic artists, and six of Florida’s top cosplayers. (full list https://stpete.floridacomiccons.com/guests/) “We’re bringing in voice actors and artists from around the nation as well as top cosplay talent from throughout the state,” said Blu Caruthers, a senior at the Academy of Entertainment Arts at Hollins High School.
Many of the anime voice actors and comic artists appearing at St. Pete Comic Con 2022 have never been to Florida or have not appeared in the state in many years, giving many fans a rare opportunity to get their photos and signatures. “We researched and analyzed tons of potential guests before deciding on those who would be best for our convention,” said Scarlet Caruthers, a freshman at the Academy of Entertainment Arts at Hollins High School.
Anime voice actors include Erica Schroeder, who voices characters from popular anime shows like Pokemon, Sonic the Hedgehog, One Piece, and Yu-Gi-Oh; and Mike McFarland who voices characters from beloved anime shows like Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, and Fullmetal Alchemist; as well as Sarah Wiedenheft, who voices characters in My Hero Academia, Dragon Ball Super, Dr. Stone, and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
Among the comic artists featured is Mike Grell, who is known for his work Green Arrow The Longbow Hunters, which was inspiration for the popular CW TV series “Arrow.” And Grell’s other work includes Green Lantern, The Warlord, and Jon Sable. Another featured artist is Alex Saviuk, who is well known for his seven-year run with Web of Spider-Man. Saviuk’s other work includes Superman and The Flash. Also appearing is Omar Francia, who is widely known for his work on Star Wars as well as Doom Patrol, Mass Effect and the critically acclaimed Volition. And Sergio Cariello, who is known for Deathstroke, Batman, the Avengers and The Action Bible.
In addition, award-winning guest cosplayers will host panel discussions, which includes a session on Saturday for first-time convention goers called “Comic Con 101,” and a session on Sunday for novice and intermediate cosplayers to hone their skills called “Cosplay Q&A: Ask the Experts.”
“We want people who are unfamiliar with comic conventions to feel welcome, join in on the fun, and meet the best cosplayers in Florida,” said Dewey Caruthers, noting that all of the cosplay guests have been featured in Florida Cosplay Digital Magazine.
Included in the convention schedule are cosplay contests each day, which will be judged by the guest cosplayers. Saturday’s cosplay contest is titled “craftsmanship,” with the following categories and prizes: best in show with a $200 award, master $150 award, journeyman $100, and novice $50. Immediately following the contest is a panel discussion with the winners, which includes analysis by the guest cosplayers. And Sunday’s cosplay contest is “runway”, and includes categories for best in show, best anime, best comic, best group, and best youth – all of whom will receive appropriately unusual trophies.
The convention will also feature anime activities and science fiction programming. For example, Sailor Moon anime activities include “Sailor Moon Jeopardy” and “Sailor Moon Death Match,” and Star Wars science fiction programming will feature light saber training.
Moreover, there are panel discussions on a wide range of geek topics. For instance, there will be two panels on the paranormal and ghosts, with one focusing on the phenomenon in Tampa Bay and the other specific to spirits in St. Petersburg. And there will be panels on anime and comics that feature the guest voice actors and artists.
About St. Pete Comic Con:
St. Pete Comic Con is sponsored by I Love the Burg. The convention is presented by Florida Comic Cons, a news website that covers conventions and cosplayers in The Sunshine State. The outlet operates the Con Calendar, a curated calendar of comic conventions throughout the state https://www.floridacomiccons.com/events/, and the Con Map, which illustrates where the events are located https://www.floridacomiccons.com/con-map/ The Caruthers family runs Florida Comic Cons, which involves the tough job of attending many comic cons throughout the state.