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The 8th annual Tucson Comic Con is underway

Published: Nov. 6, 2015 at 7:52 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2016 at 2:08 AM MST
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(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The 8th annual Tucson Comic Con was already bringing large crowds to the Tucson Convention Center Friday evening.

More than 15,000 people attended last year's event, and even more people are expected to attend the weekend-long this year.

By Friday, hundreds of vendors, artists and fans were already there.

"I could not sleep like a wink last night. I felt like I was a little kid in bed the night before Christmas, I'm just like 'what am I going to do,'" said Jenn Hopkins, a local artist who was at the event on Friday.

The director of Tucson Comic Con said it's incredible how much the event has grown over the past eight years.

He said the first comic con was in a meeting hall with all locals and only had about a total of 500 in attendance.

Since then, the event has grown tremendously. Artists and vendors come out to this event from other cities all across the country.

"It's rewarding like times 100 I would say. I can't even put it into words," said Director Michael Olivares.

This year the event is drawing both local artists, like Hopkins, as well big names such as Mat Nastos, the writer of Phineas and Ferb.

Frank Powers, a local artist, said while he may not make much money during Tucson Comic Con, it's one of the most important weekends of the year.

He said he always finds time to pursue his lifelong passion of being an artist.

"I can do this til I'm 88. I can do this til I'm 98. And I won't stop. As long as this hand works in good to go. I'm always going to be pursuing this. That's just a fact," Powers said.

Powers is the creator of Pissed Off Panda, "a tiny Giant Panda with a Big chip on his shoulder," according to its Facebook page.

"It's about trying to make a name for not only yourself as a creator but also your entity that you're trying to launch....I want this to be the next big thing," he said. "The next Bugs Bunny. Mickey Mouse."

Tucson Comic Con will continue through the weekend.

Days and times: 

Saturday, Nov. 7: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 8: 10 a.m.to 5 p.m.

Copyright 2015 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.