Mike Federali worked at Virginia Beach’s Comic Kings for six years. He had quite a collection of collectibles, an obvious passion of his, and one day he sold them all to fund what would turn out to be the first ever Tidewater Comicon.
“Everybody wants to have a party, but nobody wants to have it at their house,” Federali told me over lunch. He decided that he was going to be the one to host the party. That first, free show was at the Crowne Plaza on Bonney Road in April 2014, and blew everyone away with the attendance. “There was a line around the block. The traffic was backed up to the off ramp,” Federali, a Virginia Beach native, remembered fondly.
In case you’re not familiar with Comicons, or Comic Conventions, they’re large gatherings of enthusiasts related to video games, popular TV shows, science fiction, movies, cartoons, and, of course, comics.
Since that first free show, Tidewater Comicon has grown even further and now calls the Virginia Beach Convention Center home. Last year, Tidewater Comicon brought over 16,000 fans and families together to the Convention Center. This year, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.
The show features an impressive lineup of special guests from celebrities to artists. There will be a costume (cosplay) contest as well as Q&A panels for all types of fans, vendors, gaming areas, and so much more.
For your little Spiderman, there’s going to be an incredible kids area. Children 12 and under are free with a paid adult, so make sure your super hero-loving son or daughter gets dressed up to come with you! Read all about the offerings on Tidewater Comicon’s Website.
So what’s the future for Tidewater Comicon? First step: Mike has to continually work on his “ever-escalating check list” to coordinate everything for this year’s show. Then, we’re right into planning for next year’s Tidewater Comicon. In fact, that’s already started. There are also rumors that there might be a new mini-con in the works. Specifically for our friends up on the Peninsula in Hampton.
Federali hopes that the venue remains the same. “We are very eager to stay at the Convention Center because we love it so much,” Federali explains, “but we’ll explore all options to have the best show.”
So why should you get your passes now? It’ll save you money. Prices go up on May 15th, and you don’t want to miss this event.
“Think of it as one big party,” Federali says. “Christmas and Halloween… one big party all rolled into one.”
Tidewater Comicon is happening May 21-22, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Passes are available on Tidewater Comicon’s Website.