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WEEKEND BEST BET: Winter Garden WonderFest
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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 5 years ago

Ocoee man organizes first Winter Garden comic convention

by: Zak Kerr Staff Writer/Reporter

 Winter Garden WonderFest

After the Lasso of Truth ensnared Scott Schlazer in his evil lair, he confessed he planned to bring the Orlando comic scene to Winter Garden next month, in the first convention he would organize.

Winter Garden WonderFest, believed to be the first comic convention in Winter Garden, will occur from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 30 at The Bella Room in Winter Garden.

“Nothing happens here (in West Orange),” Schlazer the Nefarious said. “All the conventions are in Orlando. I always wanted to do something on this side of town. I’ve been thinking about it four or five years. I know people who (host conventions) and in the industry. Just the fact that it’s happening here, not Orlando, is exciting. It’s for us locals, mainly. If i didn’t want it to be about locals I could have just gone to Orlando. My whole idea was to have it here.”

As a condition of his release from the lasso, dastardly Schlazer agreed to maintain an entry fee of $5 for the family-friendly event, which will include more than 40 tables of dealers and guests.

Heroes Landing and Mike’s Collectibles will be among the dealers at the convention, he said.

Events at the convention will include a cosplay costume contest, a live performance by Star Trek belly dancers Hips of Destruction, portfolio reviews with Jo Witherington from Humanoids Publishing and Dr. Geek’s Laboratory of Applied Science looking at science of the future.

Guests from within the ‘geek industry’ abound, including many Florida natives, such as Watson Wu. Wu has been a leading composer and sound designer for film, television, ads and especially video games. Among his best-known works are sounds for Assassin’s Creed, Transformers, the Need for Speed franchise, Lexus, The Voice, U.S. Army and several EA Sports franchises.

Other guests include Floridian David Cruz, who holds the world record for the arcade classic TRON and is one of few to have played a perfect game of Pacman; Sergio Cariello, who has drawn comics such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Hulk and The Avengers, as well as an action comic Bible; Jose Marzan Jr., who has illustrated for DC Comics on titles such as The Flash and Wonder Woman: Future’s End; and Austin Janowsky, who has drawn content for Iron Man and The Avengers.

Artists of other entertainment forms, such as music and acting, will also attend. This includes Vale Anoa’i, an actress, author, dancer and daughter of WWE Hall-of-Famer Afa the Wild Samoan, and Juan Montoya, an original member of the band Torche and current member of MonstrO and an extra of a new ABC series called Constantine.

Schlazer expected hundreds of local enthusiasts to attend, he said.

“I’m trying to bring what is happening east of Orlando over here to make it happen for (West Orange),” Schlazer said. “I’m hoping people in the West Orange area show the same interest as what goes on in the Orlando area.”

Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected]

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