Port City Pop Con takes over the Wilmington Convention Center

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Submitted: Sat, 05/11/2013 - 3:31am
Updated: Sun, 05/12/2013 - 3:38pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For the first time, Wilmington is hosting a pop culture event at the Convention Center.

Port City Pop Con opened its doors Friday night to over 40 celebrities and fans who came dressed for the occasion.

“It’s so awesome to see everyone all dressed up,” Megan Martinez said.

Pon Con fans say coming to these kinds of conventions is liberating.

“It’s a good chance to get everyone out and show your inner nerd,” Collin Kelley said.

Fans came dressed as characters from Assassin’s Creed, Star Wars, and Silent Night for opening night.

The real stars of these blockbusters are taken aback by how many people admire their work.

“They build their own costumes and make their own backpacks,” said Ernie Hudson who played Winston Zeddemore in “Ghostbusters”. “It’s a real honor to see how people still respond to the movie.”

If you are searching to bring some of that on screen magic home with you, Earl Stokley specializes in creating movie quality masks.

“A lot of the people are fans of the films from the time they are young, and they want something that duplicates the film. What I try to do is duplicate the characters in the film exactly how they are in the film,” Stokley said.

Celebrities say they are grateful their work is still appreciated years later.

“I’ve had so many people come up and tell me how much Ninja Turtle meant to them growing up, that the cartoon show got them through some very difficult times,” said Renae Jacobs, the voice of April O’Neil of “Ninja Turtles”.

Saturday, Pop Con will be run from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. There will be a contest for the best costume.


  • erica says:

    that VIP access you mentioned was SUPPOSED to and PROMISED to come with 1 free celeb photo of choice AND access to the “after-party.” There were NONE given. This man is a liar and gipped people of their hard working money. I hope this man gets exposed. His con is a joke.

  • Vog46 says:

    I see the facilitator of this event was Mike Roberts, a Wilmington native, according to this news article:


    “It’s very rare that Taimak does appearances, so the fact that one of the first times that people will be able to meet him and get autographs signed and get their picture taken with him will be in Wilmington,” said Mike Roberts, Pop Con’s chief organizer. “We’re actually pretty excited about that.”

    Fair enough but I also note that since Texas has increased its film incentives that Mr Roberts has done this:
    “Roberts, who moved to Texas a year ago, said he toured ……”

    OOOoops. Seems as though industry leaders are going to Texas too – did they offer him anincentive?
    As for attendance?
    “He guessed Wilmington’s turnout would be in the thousands, adding the plan is to establish “something that can keep coming back every year.”

    Tickets for various levels of access this weekend range from $35 (Friday attendance only) and $45 (Saturday only) to $60 for a full weekend pass and $150 for VIP access, which grants early entry and admission to an exclusive party with celebrities among other perks.”
    $60 for a full weekend pass? That’s pretty pricey.
    And attendance in the thousands? What 2,000?
    Hate to break it to you but they need about 10,000 to pay expenses at the CC.
    And just who are most of these so called celebrities? Margot Kidder I know but everyone else?
    I just found it ironic that the guy in charge has moved to Texas…..

  • SurfCityTom says:

    I wonder how many of those $150 tickets were actually sold.

    I did not even realize Margot Kidder was still around.

    Ernie Hudson — did he not play the drug peddling high school principal in “The Subsitute” with Tom Berringer?

    If people were dropping this kind of money either the recession is truly over or they were accepting EBT cards.

  • SouthEastNC says:


  • SurfCityTom says:

    40; how much advance marketing by the Convention Center went into this?

    Since it also runs on Saturday, does that make it 2 events?

    Just for the record, did it generate enough ticket sales to cover CC expenses?

  • Vog46 says:

    There you go, asking business questions, again.
    The CC don’t need to turn no stinkin’ profit.
    It’s not there to turn a profit.

    But yes its 2 events and no they did not cover expenses, but it’s not their fault, there is no hotel attached. Everyone slept in tents pitched on the “field of dreams” Shoninger owns.

    Well at least there will be no traffic jams when they leave the CC parking deck.


  • taxpayer says:

    shows $7 Million dollars going to fund this white elephant.

  • Guest2020 says:

    I get enough of nerds on my weekly visit to the comic shop with my husband.

  • Rick Forrester says:

    Saw a Deathstroke Mask in video. Can anyone tell me who made it and how do I contact them?

  • Guest 1492 says:

    Bob, kinda nerdy, thick glasses, parts his hair in the middle, hangs out at comic book stores, has all of Margot Kidder’s movies …. that Bob.

  • Guest1313 says:

    Yippeee, someone is using the convention center. I’m sure that booking it wasn’t difficult.

  • Guest Reply says:

    It was a typo…was supposed to read…”Detention Center”…Ha!

  • ahsusa says:

    I was one of the Silent Hill girls that was shown at 1:05 :)

  • ahsusa says:

    What are you 12? Sorry these people have different opinions than you.

  • SouthEastNC says:

    “pop” does stand for “popular” – right?

    Just curious. Because comic fanboys and people who dress-up like video game or Star Trek characters… well, that just doesn’t scream “popular” to me.


  • Vog46 says:

    Not only do they pay $7M for it they also pay to promote it and other down town activities/arts etc…….
    Here’s some “highlights” of grants from our city
    The ARTS:
    $25,000 the new Wilmington Arts Council
    $10,000 Cucaloris Film festival
    $1,000 Wilmington Black Expo
    $15,000 Wilmington Youth Soccer (Don’t know why this is listed with arts….)
    $57,300 Community Arts Center
    $2,000 Martin Luther King Parade
    $10,000 July 4th Fireworks
    $127,500 Thalian Center funding
    $247,800 TOTAL ART FUNDING

    The Economic Development “team”
    $84,815 Wilmington Business Development
    $64,252 Wilmington Downtown Inc
    $115,766 Wilmington Film Commission
    $70,000 UNCW Entrepreneur Center


  • SurfCityTom says:

    Economic Development money. Look at how much they spend on Hinnant, Wilmington Downtown, and Johnny @ The Film Commission. $265,000 in total.

    And for what return?

    In the private sector, you know when to stop unproductive spending

  • Vog46 says:

    The entire thing should be wiped out, although, using UNCW center might be a good way to cut costs for some other things.
    but on the whole, yeah, I’d cut it…


  • Guest Reply says:

    Traffic Jams related to the Convention Center. Good one Vog…about spit out my coffee out reading those words :-)

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