Much like the Avengers came back to defeat Thanos, the Heroes For Kids Comic-Con is returning with a vengeance as well. Much like everything else, the Comic-Con missed its 2020 event last year, and Jessica Johnson said they are glad to be back.
“It’s great and everyone seems to be excited for it,” Johnson said. “Hopefully that translates to people coming through the door.”
The event will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Perry Park Center with tickets being sold at the door for $5. Children age 10 and younger are free with a paid adult. Active first responders and military members are also free of charge.
The proceeds from the event will be split between two non-profit organizations in the Missouri National Veterans Memorial and St. Jude’s Research Hospital.
In 2019, the event raised a total of $4,408 that was split between the Children’s Miracle Network and the Hope Therapeutic Horsemanship Center in Perryville.
The event will feature photos, a silent auction, costume parade and contest, artists, writers, merchandise, and comic book dealers.
However, the best part according to Johnson was the special guests that will be in attendance.
Philo Barnhart, a second generation Disney Animator, Johnson Anderson, who portrayed Shran in Guardian of the Galaxy 2, actor Matthew Atchley of The Gifted, and Dragonlance author Richard Knaak, and Charles D. Moisant of Silver Phoenix Entertainment are this year’s guests.
“We think that’s it’s absolutely awesome that they love what we are doing so much that they are will to take their time to come to our show,” Johnson said.
Most Perry County residents are familiar with Heroes for Kids, the Perryville-based fundraising organization that uses familiar comic book heroes to help introduce people to what they call real heroes — law enforcement, firefighters, and other first responders, along with the military. Group founders Lonnie Johnson and Dennis Manning may often be spotted at community events dressed in tights and capes.
But there’s a third member to that superhero trinity. Following the comic book model, if Johnson is Superman and Manning is Batman — their preferred alter egos — then that means Lonnie’s wife, Jessica Johnson, must be Wonder Woman.
While it was difficult to determine exactly how many people came through the door in 2019, Jessica Johnson estimated that a total of about 500 people attended the first event. She is hoping for more than that this year.
“I think we could double that number from all the people I hear that are interested,” she said. “That would be awesome. We are so excited for everything we have going on this year.”
Heroes for Kids is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates the money it raises to the Children’s Miracle Network, along with a host of other local charities.