Little Wolverines, Wonder Women and wee doggy dragons all mingled with ease at Classic Comic Con in Modesto Saturday afternoon.
The new pop culture convention attracted hundreds on its first day, many who came in costume and others eager to meet the special guests including original stars of “The A-Team,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Star Trek” and more. The event continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at The Seasons McHenry Event Center at 945 McHenry Ave.
Among the stars attending was Dirk Benedict, who played Faceman on “The A-Team” and Lt. Starbuck on the original “Battlestar Galactica.” The actor left Hollywood two decades ago to live in Montana and raise his family. He comes out to a handful of conventions a year, and on Saturday chatted with fans, signed autographs and posed for pictures.
The event also served as a mini-“Battlestar Galactica” reunion with four other stars of the 1970s sci-fi series joining Benedict to meet fans: Jack Stauffer (Lt. Bojay), Sarah Rush (Flight Cpl. Rigel), Herbert Jefferson Jr. (Lt. Boomer) and Anne Lockhart (Lt. Sheba). Richard Hatch, who played Capt. Apollo, was originally slated to appear, but had to cancel at the last minute due to a medical emergency.
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Event organizer and CEO Joe Cahill said he was thrilled with the turnout to the fledgling convention. Last year Cahill and his team launched a separate convention, Steam House Con at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, which saw light attendance.
“We did steampunk last year, and it was just a little too narrow. So we brought it to Modesto. I love everything – steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, horror. So I just decided I’m going to do it for everybody. That way anyone can show up at the con and have a good time,” Cahill said.
That switch paid off with increased ticket sales and a regular flow of people through the convention hall. More than 50 vendors and organizations had booths for people to browse. Many attendees came in cosplay, dressed as their favorite characters from the worlds of sci-fi, comics, anime and beyond. One woman dressed as Daenerys from “Game of Thrones” brought her two dogs wearing dragon costumes. Families also came decked out together, like Modesto parents T.J. and Paulina Crayton who came with their three children, ages 4 to 10, all portraying different, sharp-clawed Wolverine-related characters from the Marvel comics.
The cosplaying family attends around 15 conventions a year, with Paulina Crayton making most of their outfits from scratch.
“We love coming out and having an excuse to dress up,” T.J. Crayton said.
Also out with the family was Modesto resident John Navarro, who came outfitted as a Republic Commando from “Star Wars.” He brought along his 12-year-old niece, 7-year-old nephew and their grandmother. The event was 12-year-old Samantha Garcia’s first convention, and she came wearing a Tardis dress from “Doctor Who.”
“I am enjoying watching all the people and the different costumes,” said the seventh-grader. “It’s great to see.”