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Hudson Valley Comic Con Returns to Poughkeepsie

Hudson Valley Comic Con hosts area community events throughout the year. Marvel characters (including Black Cat, Captain America and Bishop) posed for photos at the Poughkeepsie Galleria last month, and they handed out free Spider-Man comics. Photo submitted

As a huge fan of comic books and science fiction (and the unending wave of related TV shows, movies, games and collectibles), I never pass up a good pop culture convention. I have attended New York Comic Con multiple times, and I’ve even made the trek to Toronto for Fan Expo Canada.

Imagine my surprise when Hudson Valley Comic Con debuted in Poughkeepsie last year. I jumped at the chance to attend a local convention, and I was thoroughly impressed with the experience. Interesting vendors lined the floor. Talented artists sold their work. There were panels, costumes, photo opportunities and more — all incredibly well-organized for a first-year event that welcomed approximately 4,000 attendees.

Hudson Valley Comic Con takes all of the wonder of the larger conventions and makes it more manageable and affordable for local families. And that’s the entire goal of the small team behind the event.

“We wanted to bring a big feeling to a smaller setting,” said Communications Manager Dylan Pisani. “We wanted to share our hobbies with the area while also getting more involved with the community.”

Hudson Valley Comic Con is the brainchild of Production Manager Kayla Smith and Operations Manager Nick Burachowski. Along with Pisani and Cosplay & Costume Manager Emily Morales, they will return to Gold’s Gym in Poughkeepsie to host their second annual convention on May 6 and 7 — and they hope to use what they learned during the first event to make it an even better experience.

“We want to focus more on families this year,” Pisani said. “That was some of the feedback we received.”

To that end, Barnes & Noble will host an upgraded Kids Zone that features activities, coloring, workshops, a costume contest, readings and more. 

The Gaming Lounge will be expanded to include video games, card games and other hobbies. The main floor will feature a new stage for entertainment, and Artist Alley will move to the main floor to make the artists more accessible than last year.

Celebrity guests this year include Ming Chen of “Comic Book Men” on AMC; Patricia Quinn, who played Magenta in the original “Rocky Horror Picture Show”; Taimak of “The Last Dragon”; Nicole Chilelli, who won the third season of “Face Off” on Syfy; Barbara Goodson, who played Rita Repulsa on the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” TV show; Felix Silla, best known as Cousin Itt on “The Addams Family”; and more.

Attendees will be able to get their picture taken on Platform 9 3/4 from “Harry Potter” and a scene from “Stranger Things.” They will also get to see cars from “Ghostbusters,” “Supernatural” and “Jurassic Park.”

Panels will include discussions on “Doctor Who,” “Face Off,” “Power Rangers,” “Star Trek,” “Star Wars” and more.

If you like to dress up as your favorite characters, consider entering the costume contest, which will be held on May 6 at 4 p.m. You can register throughout the day at the show.

And of course, there will be plenty of vendors selling comic books, toys and merchandise from every type of fandom. See you there!

Hudson Valley Comic Con will be held May 6 and 7 at Gold’s Gym at 258 Titusville Road in Poughkeepsie. A two-day adult pass costs $35, and a two-day pass for children ages 5 to 12 costs $20. VIP passes and tickets for individual days are also available. To purchase tickets and view the entire schedule, go to www.hvcomiccon.com.