//Comic Con – But Not

Comic Con – But Not

Brew Con aims to deliver a unique, family-friendly, live music listening, craft beer enjoying, comic book culture celebrating, experience

by Lisa Talley | lisa@fresnoflyer.com

It’s no secret, Marvel and DC have dominated pop culture for over a decade, and they show no signs of slowing down. Nor should they. The world of heroes and adventure are no longer just for introverted teens seeking to escape the drudgery of a normal existence, it’s for everyone, because an entire generation of those teens has grown up without losing a single ounce of love for their favorite characters. Even more, many have become parents, and they’re sharing that fandom with their kids, sparking a new generation of fantastical adoration in the making.

Brew Con, the brain-child of Pete Salazar, owner of Diehardz & Son, reflects the merging of these two worlds – parents and their kids enjoying the Marvel and DC universe. The all-day event is engineered with families in mind, even though the setting is at a brewery in downtown Fresno. Full Circle Brewing Co. will be all ages inside, and the grounds outside will also include a kid-zone, cosplayers portraying famous superheroes for kids to meet and greet, an array of vendors suitable for all ages, live music, and Harry Potter inspired butterbeer. Kids also get their own category for the cosplay contest.

Hosting a comic con style event at a brewery isn’t something that happens very often, as most ‘cons’ take place inside auditoriums, arenas, or convention halls. However, Salazar was looking for something different, something unique that he could bring to the table for Central Valley residents.

“We’ve done a few events [at Full Circle] just as a vendor – it maintained a family-friendly vibe with vendors and food to create a ‘support local’ shopping experience. With craft beer and breweries on the rise and the comic con circuits growing in cities nationwide I thought ‘I can do something different here.’ We usually do an event in Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis, but this really gave me a chance to stretch our wings with fewer restrictions – a comic con, but not.” Salazar shared about his inspiration for this new-style event.

Brew Con isn’t just cosplay, music, and [butter] beer, the special guest list is promising some heavy hitters to attend. Actress Danielle Kennedy (Narcos, Girl Meets World, American Horror Story), stunt actor Nick Palma (Michelangelo TMNT II: Secret of the Ooze), actor Jaiden Kaine (Vampire Diaries, Luke Cage, Hidden Figures), and actor Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2, Weird Science, Commando) just to name a few. You’ll have to keep your eye on the event’s page on Facebook to stay up-to-date with all the scheduled appearances.

“This can bring new business and awareness; downtown Fresno needs these types of events to keep fresh blood pumping into its veins. It keeps it alive”

The live music performances will be a mixture of local artists that range from acoustic acts to Indie, Pop, Reggae, Alternative, and some R&B including Sacramento band, Stellar: A Tribute to Incubus. As it stands, the list includes Venture Gain, Migue Tropolis, More Thanwithout, Stephen Constantino, RoyAl P. RoyAlty.

For all the cosplayers, contests will run throughout the day with categories in Craftmanship, Showmanship, Group Cosplay for groups of 2-6, and of course, Children’s (ages 12 and below). Prizes vary between cash and collectible items. Visiting the event’s Facebook page will give more information about registering, along with rules and guidelines for competition.

Brew Con is a celebration of beloved universes created with adventure, supernatural leaps of faith, and (for most Marvel and DC characters) a need for prevailing justice. However, it isn’t the only thread that ties all attendees together. The sense of community and support for not only Fresno’s downtown revitalization but for local crafters across the Valley is also a driving motivator for Salazar to bring it all together.

“This can bring new business and awareness; downtown Fresno needs these types of events to keep fresh blood pumping into its veins. It keeps it alive,” Salazar expressed.

Saturday, November 17, Brew Con takes over Full Circle Brewing Co. in downtown Fresno from 11 am to 10 pm. Tickets are $6 in advance and available at PurplePass.com/BrewConFresno or $8 at the door. Kids 12 and under are free. VIP tickets are available for $20 and include earlier entrance (half hour), a limited-edition Brew Con t-shirt.