Comicon wraps up successful weekend in Valley

PHOENIX - The 2011 Phoenix Comicon wrapped up Sunday night with an all-time record attendance and what organizers call the biggest names to ever attend the event.

Sunday brought sci-fi icons George Takei and Billy Dee Williams, along with comics legend Stan Lee, to the Phoenix Convention Center to speak and meet with fans.

Others who appeared throughout the weekend include Leonard Nimoy, Will Wheaton and the Valley's own Todd McFarlane.

"We've had an amazing turnout," said Comicon Marketing Manager Jillian Squires. "We got bigger with George Takei, we got Stan Lee out again and people are learning about us."

Squires said that out of the estimated 25,000 attendees, there were groups from Chicago, Florida and as far as Australia.

"Our name is spreading, that's really helping," she added.

One surprise from the afternoon was when actor Ernie Hudson took time out from signing autographs and taking pictures to say hello to the Arizona Ghostbusters, a fan club which dresses like the supernatural exterminators from the movies and raises money for charities.

"It's the greatest compliment you can have," said Hudson, who played Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore in the two movies. "(For) the work that you do and people love it enough to make it a part of their lives."

Hudson also said he's surprised the film has endured after nearly 30 years.

"I never thought, 27 years later, I'd be interviewing about Ghostbusters," the veteran actor said. "But it's nice that this movie caught the spirit of the people, kids grew up with it, it just means a lot."

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