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Nerd alert: Minnesota's biggest Comic Con hits Twin Cities

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With all the superheroes in town this weekend, you're bound to be safe in the Twin Cities.

Then again, there'll be quite a few bad guys and zombies, too.

The heavy hitter in the world of comic book conventions is hosting its first Minnesota event starting Friday and thousands of fans of comics, science fiction, horror movies, and assorted other pop culture geekiness will be in their element, the Pioneer Press reports.

Many of those attending will relish the chance for some costume play – cosplayers, they're called. Adam Wells of Minneapolis, who will be dressed as one of the Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D, tells the newspaper he's stoked about this weekend's Comic Con: "It is a place where you can be the geek you've always wanted to be, but worried about people making fun of you."

No need for such worries at the Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con, which takes center stage at the city's convention center. William Shatner will be on hand to sign autographs for Star Trek fans. There will also be stars from Dr. Who, The Walking Dead, Lord of the Rings, and Nightmare on Elm Street.

Comic Cons started for comic book fans but in recent years have expanded to include enthusiasts of various TV shows, movies, and video games as well as comics.

Wizard World CEO John Macaluso tells City Pages "'Nerd' is a good word today. If you're not a nerd or a geek you're on the outside now."

Macaluso has been at the helm of Wizard World for two years and has doubled the number of Comic Cons it holds around the country, adding the Minneapolis event and seven others.

But by stepping in as the leading national organizer of big Comic Cons, Wizard World has ruffled the pages of those who have been putting together smaller local conventions for years.

KARE 11 reports the Minnesota Comic Book Association – an all-volunteer, non-profit group – was planning its 26th annual SpringCon for later this month long before Wizard World opted to bring its show to the Twin Cities.

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Comic Book Resources reports Wizard World has a history of conflict with local conventions around the country.

A Wizard World official tells KARE the group is not trying to harm the events of other organizations and believes the success of their events brings success to the genre.

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