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Comic Con-style festival coming

For fans of comic books and other collectibles, Pueblo plans a three-day party in October that will include a top KISS tribute band and a visit by the Power Rangers.

The first Rocky Mountain Collector Con will take place Oct. 4-6 at the Pueblo Convention Center, the expo announced.

A variation on the Comic Con conventions popular in many cities, the event seeks a festival atmosphere with visitors of all ages encouraged to dress in their favorite comic book, sci-fi and movie characters.

Celebrities set to attend include actors Noel G (“Fast and Furious” and “Batman: Dark Night Rises”) and Musetta Vander (“Mortal Kombat: Annihilation).

The event also will feature collectible experts such as Johnny Jiminez, owner of a Las Vegas toy shop and the toy expert on the TV show “Pawn Stars.”

Sin City KISS, a top KISS tribute band based in Las Vegas, will attend and perform in concert Oct. 5 at Memorial Hall in connection with the event.

Tickets for the Sin City KISS concert ($14 to $19 in advance) go on sale Saturday at the convention center or via the Web at pueblomemorialhall.com.

John Hernandez of Pueblo, an avid buyer and seller of comic books and other collectibles and co-owner of J&B Auto Sales, is the event’s lead organizer.

“I thought this would be something cool for Pueblo. The young kids have nothing to do in this town,” Hernandez said.

Other activities such as a first-night zombie walk on the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo also are planned, he said.

A three-day admission pass to the convention center activities will cost $25 for an adult and $20 for teenagers. Children 11 and under can attend free with an adult.

Single-day passes also will be available.

Hernandez said the idea for the event came to him after he attended last summer’s Denver Comic Con. This summer, he attended the event for a second time with an eye toward seeing how it is organized.

In readying the Pueblo event, he’s also getting help from organizers of similar conventions in Albuquerque, N.M., and Colorado Springs and local businesses, he said.

Hernandez said he does not have any expectations for how large of a crowd the first event will attract. He only hopes it’s enough to make the convention an annual event, he said.

Convention center leaders also do not know how big of a turnout to expect but they are cheering Hernandez’s efforts.

Joe Gonzales, spokesman for the convention center, noted the Denver Comic Con event has grown over the years to become one of the nation’s largest.

This year’s Denver Comic Con drew 27,000 visitors, an indicator of the popularity of the comic book and collectible craze, he said.

“We’re excited to have the (Pueblo) event . . . We hope it turns out as big as he hopes and, hopefully, it’s an annual thing and continues to grow,” Gonzales said.

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