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In this Brick City Phenomicon promotional photo provided by Hugger Mugger Brewing’s Tim Emmert, Spider-Man helps Wonder Woman to a sip of milk from the 3D mural on the side of Yarborough’s in downtown Sanford.

With dozens of events in cities across the country and more worldwide, comic book conventions may be as big a business as comic books themselves anymore.

So it’s no surprise that Sanford is getting in on the act with the first ever “Brick City Phenomicon” slated to hit multiple downtown venues on Saturday, Oct. 27.

One of the organizer’s, Hugger Mugger Brewing’s Tim Emmert, said the idea came up organically and the intent is to “start small.”

“It’s not like one of these super conventions,” Emmert said. “The idea was to do something for the fans, by the fans.”

Still, with a vendor fair, a small film festival, a possible 5k “superhero fun run,” a series of panels on topics ranging from recent comic book movies to assembling a winning cosplay ensemble, and a cosplay competition, Brick City Phenomicon promises something for everyone – at least anyone interested in any of the many offshoots of comic book culture. Participating venues and organizations include Hugger Mugger, Karma Boutique and Coffee Bar, Michael’s Marvels, the Steele Street Mall, the Temple Theatre, and the Lee County Arts Council.

“It wasn’t just us (at the Brewery) deciding to do a comic book convention in Sanford,” Emmert said. “Someone had a good idea and we’re kind of like ‘yeah, we’ll try anything once.’ But this has really taken off because we have some people who are cosplayers, comic book aficionados, whatever, and they’re really excited about doing an event like this downtown.”

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Emmert said with October still several months away, planning is ongoing and anyone with good ideas is welcome to join.

“We’re meeting with 10 or 15 people, and it’s all open meetings,” he said. “We’ve already had several people who find out about what we’re doing and just jump right in.”

For more information, check out the Brick City Phenomicon Facebook page or see Emmert at Hugger Mugger Brewing. We’ll have more coverage of this event as it draws nearer.

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