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Thousands teleport to downtown Phoenix for Comicon

Two attendees at Phoenix Comicon. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- Zombies, Power Rangers, comic book fans and more have descended upon downtown Phoenix for Comicon.

The annual event is going on this weekend at the Phoenix Convention Center. This year's convention features people in their favorite comic book and movie characters and booths where you can see all of the latest comic books and their creators.

Phoenix Comicon Spokeswoman Jillian Squires said you'll have your chance to meet several stars there.

"Everyone from Michael Rooker to Christian Bauer from True Blood, we've got the 'Babylon 5' reunion, 'Walking Dead,'" said Squires.

Numerous attendees were dressed as Storm Troopers from "Star Wars," Power Rangers, and even one woman dressed as Bettlejuice. Then there was Bill Smith. His green leprechaun-like suite is a 1970's anime character.

"Levon the Third is known as the greatest thief in the world," said Smith. "He loves the chase. He loves to steal."

When asked why he wanted to be associated with the character, Smith said it was because "I see a lot of myself in him."

When asked if Smith has criminal record, he laughingly replied "No, I don't have a criminal record!"

Standing next to Smith was Mary Anderson. She was dressed in a bikini as an anime character called Love Invader.

"I'm like the quintessential hot alien chick," she said. "Some people describe her as an 'oney,' the Japanese word for 'demon,' but she's really just cute and wants to have fun."

Squires said that this year's Phoenix Comicon is expected to attract 45,000 people over the stretch of the weekend.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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