VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Costumes, celebrities, artwork, and of course, comic books returned to the Virginia Beach Convention Center at the Tidewater Comicon.

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Thousands of people attended the in-person event, including Lisa and Emily Cortez a mother-daughter duo. They came dressed as Scarlett Witch and Dr. Strange.

“I like making the costumes, its really fun for both of us,” they said. “To kinda figure out how to make it and then see how it comes out, and see how people react to it.”

Some of pop culture’s favorite characters stopped by like Harry Potter and Princess Leia. Superheroes like Superman, Wonder Woman and Deadpool were also seen.

Popular video game characters, including Super Mario, and fast-food mascots, including Colonel Sanders, were also greeting fans.

For guests, it’s a welcome return. It is the first Tidewater Comicon since 2019.

“We love comic con. We’ve been coming to this one since 2017,” one attendee said. “We just love dressing up and doing cosplays, and coming out and seeing all the fellow nerds. Going to the panels and seeing all the vendors.” 

One fan, Evan Mertsch, got to meet his favorite celebrity – Norfolk native, Dawson’s Creek and Flash star, John Wesley Shipp.

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“It’s always special to come to a place where you have a connection,” Shipp told 10 On Your Side.

Comicons are popular across the country and globe, but means something different to each person Shipp added.

“I’ve done conventions in Peru, Ecuador, Paris, London, all over North America,” he said. “It never ceases to amaze me how much these stories mean to the audience, you know? And it means something different to everybody.”

The Cosplay and meet and greets continue through Sunday.