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This weekend’s Baltimore Comic-Con promises to be Marvel-ous

Comic book lovers and collectors alike will have the opportunity this weekend to see rare items and props, such as actor Chris Evans’ Captain America shield from the “Avengers: End Game” movie and hear from the likes of Marvel comic book artist Joe Quesada at the 22nd annual Baltimore Comic-Con at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Tom Gordon, a Westminster resident and fifth-generation collector, works as a vintage comic book specialist for Hake’s Auctions, a collectible auction house based in York, Pennsylvania.

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Hake’s Auctions will be displaying a wide array of rare comic book and pop culture memorabilia at this year’s Baltimore Comic-Con. A centerpiece of those offerings will be the Captain America shield.

In addition, a wide array of other rarities will include a Pokemon Charizard card valued at $20,000, Marvel comic books including examples signed by comic legend and Marvel co-creator Stan Lee and a 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle autographed baseball card.

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“We’re bringing various items we think the attendees would enjoy,” Gordon said, adding that many of the collectible items to be displayed at the show are currently being auctioned off through the Hake’s Auction website.

Although for a lot of people, the event is about spending time with other comic book fans, Gordon said guests also get the opportunity to see a collection of items that they may never see again.

Starting Friday and running through Sunday, the show features marquee-name comic book creators past and present, publishers, charitable organizations and vendor booths offering genre-related items, including comic book back issues, limited edition collectible items, clothing, toys, pop culture memorabilia and more.

Randy Tischler, an executive staff member of Baltimore Comic-Con, said tens of thousands of people usually turn out to the event over the course of the weekend, with the busiest day being Saturday.

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“Everybody is very excited to be back,” Tischler said noting that last year the convention was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “There were a lot of challenges to pulling this thing off [this year].”

A mask or approved face covering must be worn during the event by attendees, vendors and staff. In addition, proof of vaccination or of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of admission must be provided by all attendees, including children.

Tischler pointed out another highlight of the show this year is the appearence of Joe Quesada, comic book artist, writer, editor, and television producer.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” Tischler said. “He was a Marvel executive and a lot of what he did resulted in positive turns for the company.”

Panel discussions are held throughout the day on current and upcoming industry events, past hallmarks in comic book history and information on the comic book industry and how to be a part of it.

Founded by Marc Nathan, owner of Cards, Comics, and Collectibles of Reisterstown, the show was originally a one-day show held at the Sheraton Hotel in Towson.

The Kids Love Comics Pavilion will be open during the event, offering a variety of family-friendly activities and how-to’s for kids. Attendees can learn how to draw aliens, make their own comics, and create animal superhero in a collection of classes taught by comic book creators.

Also on the agenda is Super Hero University, where kids will design their own secret identity, complete with mask, cape, and super emblem.

Daily tickets cost between $25 and $35 and three-day admission is $65. Tickets can be purchased at https://purchase.growtix.com/e/Baltimore_Comic_Con_2020/.

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