First Pop Culture Con Nov. 26-27 a blast from the past

The first-ever, exciting, enormous Chicago Pop Culture Show & Sale takes place Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 26-27 at the Pheasant Run Mega Center in St. Charles, giving visitors a spectacular blast from the past.

A year in the works, this new event builds on the concept of a comic convention with all kinds of vintage TV and movie, sports, music, sci-fi, comics and toy collectibles, memorabilia and displays.

They range from the 1950s and ‘60s through to the present world of gaming, interactive activities, celebrity autograph sessions, performances and guest speakers.

“Our newest Pop Culture Con endeavor will inspire the younger generations to appreciate the past,” says Tim Zurko of Zurko Promotions, an antique promotions business headquartered outside of Green Bay, Wisc.

Bob Zurko calls memorabilia collecting “an honest man’s addiction.” And feeding that addiction at the show will be 250 collectibles vendors, more than 40 special guests, interactive Cosplays and game tournaments, performances and so much more.

Zurko left his 20-year career as a package engineer a few years ago to take over the Midwest business that his father, Bob Zurko, started as a little flea market in 1968, after he decided he didn’t want to be a school teacher.

Some of Pop Culture Con highlights:

* Featured guests include actors Deep Roy who played various roles in “Star Wars,” “Doctor Who,” and “Star Trek;” Ari Lehman who was “Friday the 13th’s” first “Jason;” actor / director Fred Williamson (“The Hammer”) who produced films in Chicago in the 1980s, and long-time local TV horror host Svengoolie.

* Movie props from a variety of films will be on display, including those from “The Hunger Games,” “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Gremlins,” and “Batman and Robin,” to name just a few.

* Many movie animation artists, like Oak Park native Philo Barnhart (Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid”) and Japanese anime artists will display work-and-progress and autograph cels and posters from ‘60s to ‘80s films.

* Unique interactive games will be played, like the Cosplay competitions (dressing up as a movie, book, or video game character) and “Cosplay Feud,” a game based upon the popular game show “Family Feud.”

* In the Music Arena will be myriad rock ‘n’ roll collectibles — posters, concert tickets, vinyl records, instruments – along with live local band performances in the Music Arena.

* Countless sought-after baseball cards will be on sale and on hand NFL Super Bowl players Fred Williamson and Steve McMichael; champion wrestlers Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Jim Duggan and BTN’s “Big Ten Treasure Hunter” host John Arcand.

* Guest speaker Laura Quinn, author of “Punk Charming,” will discuss the music, fashion, television and film of the 1980s on Sunday at 10 a.m.

The endless excitement and fun starts at 9 a.m. on both days. Tickets — $10 for a one-day pass, $15 for a two day pass and a $145 Golden VIP Ticket — may be purchased here

Free admission for children under 12 with an adult and free parking.

Film critic Pamela Powell, with a master’s degree from Northwestern University, writes for The Daily Journal newspaper, Reel Honest Reviews and others and contributes to QVoice. Contact her at