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San Diego Comic Fest returns to Comic-Con’s more intimate roots

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Comic-Con has grown into one of the largest and most popular events for fans of comics, but for those enthusiasts who want a more intimate and personal experience, there’s an event that organizers say should perfectly fit the bill.

The 7th Annual San Diego Comic Fest, held this weekend at the Four Points Sheraton on Aero Drive, is a self-described smaller, more friendly comic convention. It boasts a casual, intimate atmosphere that allows fans to mingle directly with professionals and exhibitors.

“Everyone is having an absolute blast, from morning until like one in the morning, and there is something to be done here. It’s been wonderful,” said Matt Dunford, the chair of San Diego Comic Fest.

Everywhere you look, it is comic books galore. Every piece of comic book history and heavyweight pop culture talent is available for the comic book lover at Comic Fest. “People who I looked up to as a child -- people I called heroes -- now as an adult, I call them friends,” Dunford told FOX 5.

He says the event is a place where you can indulge in your love of comics, science fiction and films, and meet an outstanding array of professional creators without the crowds, high-priced tickets or long lines.

“It’s a double-edged sword when you grow to a bigger sized convention. You attract a lot of attendees, but the hustle and bustle increases the pressure on people, where they feel like they have to keep moving. They can’t have the time to sit and talk to people. But here you have this atmosphere where you can go up to some of the most legendary comic creators on earth, some animation people who used to work with Walt Disney in the 50s, and just sit and have a conversation with them in this relaxed environment,” Dunford said.

“These young people are going to grow up and many are going to become cartoonists. If you encourage them, then they sort of have a point of reference for their work. The ones that become fans, they become fans for a lifetime,” said cartoonist Sergio Aragone.

The event runs Saturday and Sunday March 8 and 9. On Sunday, for admission from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., prices are $7.50 to $15. Children up to age 12 are free.

Read more about the event here.

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