Retro rules when Powerhouse Comic Con returns to Pleasanton

Original 'Captain Marvel' actor Jackson Bostwick will appear at third annual sci-fi, fantasy and comic event next weekend

Powerhouse Comic Con spectators in 2018 included a horror-house version of Little Red Riding Hood (right) and the Scarecrow (second from left). (Photo courtesy of Glen Camarda)

Kids of all ages (and those who are still kids at heart) can count on an out-of-this-world experience at the third annual Powerhouse Comic Con this weekend at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

From favorites like the cosplay contest and celebrity panels to racing simulators and a new multi-genre film festival, the popular sci-fi, fantasy and comic convention presented by Colossus Girl Entertainment on July 21 will give fans and artists alike the chance to mingle and appreciate -- and sometimes meet -- their best-loved book, TV and movie characters.

"It's honed in for artists and honed in for craftspeople; at Comic Con you get to see a lot of passion for things," said Pleasanton resident Sunny Parikh, who attended last year's event with several friends and estimates he's been to "seven or eight" comic conventions over the past five years.

"I love being able to see people put their passion and skill on display. That's what Comic Con sums up, is passion," he added.

Program attractions include an appearance by Jackson Bostwick, best known as the original Captain Marvel from the "Shazam!" television series in the 1970s, and voice actor and comedian George Lowe, who gave life to the animated role of Space Ghost on "Space Ghost Coast to Coast."

Former "Power Rangers" stars Jason Ybarra and Ilia Volok, Jon Provost from "The New Lassie" and professional artists that have worked for Marvel and DC Comics will also be on site.

Event organizers Dave and Marina Haworth, who "try to do something different every year," said they are "excited to be showing 16mm classics" for the new Psychotronix Film Festival, which will screen vintage cartoons, retro sci-fi and "weird short subjects."

An artist alley, tabletop games, and a gaming trailer loaded with more than 30 assorted games on PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch gaming consoles, and that can accommodate 24 players both inside and outside, are just some of the sights and activities that families can get into at the one-day extravaganza.

"We want to give the local community an affordable family-friendly event where they can not just shop but also meet celebrities and be involved in various activities -- and without breaking the bank," the Haworths said.

Powerhouse Comic Con takes place on Sunday (July 21) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Pleasanton. Tickets are on sale online at for a special online rate and at the door.

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