Wizard World Comic Con will get the proverbial party started.
The event is expected to draw thousands — many decked out in costumes — to the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta Friday through Sunday. Billed as a more family friendly version of Dragon Con, the weekend will feature programming rooted in entertainment platforms that run the gamut and a host of celebrity appearances.
Atlanta’s own Jason Flowers will be manning an exhibition booth in the artist gallery.
The comic book illustrator/graphic designer is a veteran of this scene, after having been introduced to his first convention at age 13.
“They’re fantastic,” said Flowers, now 31. “You’re in your environment, so you get to see everything you love.
“It’s pop culture nostalgic overload; it’s really cool.”
The Atlanta event will mark the 15th show this year for Flowers, whose work is a stylish mixture he termed as “comic book art meets dark horror.” Designing sketch cards for Marvel and Upper Deck and co-creating the Arcana Comics graphic novel, “Ripped,” have collectively authored his claim to fame.
Flowers spoke favorably of the vibe likely to permeate the center this weekend.
“As an artist, you get to meet the people,” he said. “It’s very inspirational and flattering to have someone say they love your art, love what you do and are interested in purchasing it.”
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Comic Con patrons will have ample opportunities to engage in in-house offerings tied to Atlanta’s own contribution to the pop-fi realm, “The Walking Dead.”
The convention is also partnering with the entity behind The Walking Dead Escape attraction, set to invade Philips Arena Saturday at 6 p.m.
The Skybound Entertainment-crafted immersive zombie obstacle course essentially gives erstwhile spectators a chance to get in on the action.
Skybound EXP President David Isaacs called it the ultimate experience for fans of the seminal entertainment vehicle — an immensely popular TV show, video game and comic book.
“People love the course,” he said. “For many who like the show, the biggest thing is it allows you to project yourself into this post-apocalyptic setting.
“It’s escapism, but it also kind of forces you to [confront the question] ‘What would I do in this scenario?’”
Within that context, participants must choose a designation — survivor or “walker” (zombie). The TV show’s Greg Nicotero make-up chief has come aboard to up the realism ante even further.
To hear Isaacs tell it, getting lost in the moment in this fictional realm is not as far-fetched as one might think.
“Yeah, there are some physical elements to it, but this is more of a mental [exercise], he said.
“We all know zombies aren’t real and that we’re not in the middle of the apocalypse … but it feels authentic.”
Information: www.wizardworld.com/home-atlanta or www.thewalkingdeadescape.com