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COMIC CON
 

By MIKE SORENSEN

ST. LOUIS - Comic book heroes are here to stay. No longer relegated to a small market of high-school-age fans in small shops on the corners, Hollywood has made household names of characters that a decade ago would have been considered obscure by the mainstream. Rocket Raccoon, Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Deadpool join the ranks of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man as some of the most well-known names in entertainment.

For decades, one of the driving forces in bringing news of these superstars to their fans was Wizard Press. In the 1990's, they published one of the most well-known magazines that covered topics ranging from the hottest artists to dream-casting the movies that – at the time – no one ever thought would be made. Now known as Wizard World Inc., the company brings fans and stars together for Wizard World Comic Cons.

St. Louis will host one Feb. 2-4 at America's Center, featuring creators of comics and films, actors who bring the characters to life, and the fans who keep the multi-billion-dollar industry alive.

Wizard World has lined up an all-star guest list from every medium and genre of fantasy, science fiction, and comic-book-dom one can imagine. At the top of the list is the man whose name has become synonymous with comic books: Stan Lee.

Here’s a look at some other names on the roster:

-Sebastian Stan from Marvel’s “Captain America” films (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier)

-John Barrowman from “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood” (Captain Jack Harkness) as well as the CW’s “Arrow” (Malcolm Merlyn)

-Bonnie Wright from the “Harry Potter” franchise (Ginny Weasly)

-Sean Bean from “Lord of the Rings” (Boromir) and “Game of Thrones” (Eddard Stark)

-Sean Astin from “Lord of the Rings” (Sam Gamgee), “The Goonies” (Mike Walsh) and “Stranger Things” (Bob Newby)

-Nichelle Nichols from “Star Trek” (Uhura)

This list barely scratches the surface, though. Jon Heder, James Marsters, Holly Marie Combs, Lou Ferrigno and Thomas Ian Nicholas will sit on panels and hold sessions with fans. In “Artist Alley,” fans will find the likes of Kurt Lehner, Chad Hardin, James O’Barr, Tom Cook, Greg Horn and Kyle Starks.

Cosplayers, contests, games, original art and live entertainment will be featured throughout the weekend.

Go to http://www.wizardworld.com/comiccon/stlouis for a complete list of all guests, event times, panels and programs, as well as to get ticket information.