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First Annual Twin Tiers Comic Con is Big Hit in Elmria

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: First Annual Twin Tiers Comic Con is Big Hit in Elmria
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ELMIRA, N.Y. -- More than a thousand people turned out for the first annual Twin Tiers Comic Con.

"We have over 40 artists and writers, most of them will sketch for you," said Mike Royle, a co-organizer of the event.

Increased popularity in the area's annual Hero Bot Con forced organizers to rebrand and restructure.

Comic Con featured video game tournaments, costume play, and movie screenings.

"A lot of firsts this year, we grew quite a bit," said Royle.

Among all the familiar superheroes and villains, there is a new face expected to hit stands at a local comic store in the near future.

Brian Swartout, who works with Elmira’s Equal Opportunity Program, is the co-creator and writer of the Green Guardian. He said Elmira's first superhero not only aims to promote literacy, but build character.

"The Green Guardian does fight crime but unlike what superheroes have become with guns and violence, and fist fights, he teaches let's figure this out," said Swartout.

In the first issue, a single parent steals a woman’s purse in an effort to feed his starving children. Using his superpower Oracle Vision, the Green Guardian doesn't fight the villain, but instead helps him see right from wrong.

"The story arc follows how the minor villain can ultimately redeem himself and the message is your past isn't important. It’s what you choose to do with your future. That’s what becomes important, that’s what EOP is all about," said Swartout.

Comic fans said the area can use the Green Guardian.

"It’s a good thing, especially the young people that start to read that, they need that, that guidance that they might not get from their own life," said comic fan Robert Swartout.

"I think it's cool and hopefully it helps people be more positive about the area," said fan Victoria Drake.

Comic Con organizers said they were expecting a turnout of about 1,500 people. They are already starting to plan for next year.

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