Portland is home to throngs of comic book and gaming fans, but what it’s never had is a multi-day gathering celebrating superheroes, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, manga and all things pop culture.

But this weekend will correct this long-standing deficiency. The first Coast City Comicon starts up Friday and runs through Sunday, with events taking place at the Eastland Park Hotel, Space Gallery, Empire Dine & Dance and Geno’s Rock Club.

The convention features the usual dealer tables selling comic books and related merchandise and artist tables, where they’ll sign books. In addition, the event offers up gaming tournaments, film screenings, panel discussions, painting demonstrations and parties.

“A lot of these things are things I think are cool,” said Tristan Gallagher, who owns Coast City Comics and is organizing the convention. “It worked for the store, so I thought I’d try it for the convention. It’s sort of a blown-up, exploded version of what we do in the store.”

Kicking off the festivities is Friday night’s Nerd Rave at Space Gallery. The costume party serves up music by Waranimal, Heloise and The Savoir Faire, and DJ Pony Farm.

“The idea would be to (wear a costume) as nerdy as possible or as comic-book related as possible,” Gallagher said. “This is really a pop-culture phenomenon, not just about comic books. And just to prove it’s real nerd stuff, we’ll be giving away books.”

The giveaways will include the complete works of Philip K. Dick, a prolific and well-known science-fiction writer who died in 1982. One Sunday, a panel discussion will explore Dick’s work.

A number of locals will be at the convention. One is tattoo artist and painter Chris Dingwell, who organizes the Wet Paint Project events all day Saturday and Sunday. He has organized similar events in the past, and will be joined by other artists in live painting demonstrations.

Comic artists Renae De Liz and Roy Dillon, who recently moved to Cape Elizabeth, will be part of Saturday’s “Breaking into Comics” panel discussion. De Liz is the artist, creator and editor of “Servant of the Bones” and “The Last Unicorn,” both for IDW Publishing, as well as the forthcoming “Womanthology.” Comic artist and colorist Dillon has worked on “Servant of the Bones” and DC’s “Brightest Day,” among other projects.

The panel will offer insight into the professional side of the business.

Another panel presentation on Saturday explores “Self Publishing 101,” and will look at what it takes to go the independent publishing and distribution route.

On Sunday, a panel of experts will discuss “Cryptozoology in Comics.” Among the panelists will be Maine resident Loren Coleman, an internationally recognized expert on the subject.

The final panel discussion examines “Guerilla Film-Making,” and will include directors Ted Bohus, Rob Fitz, Barry Dodd and Shawn French, plus local special-effects makeup experts the Shoggoth Assembly.

Coast City Comicon also includes four film screenings, most notably the East Coast premiere of “Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts.” (Read more about the films in Dennis Perkins’ Indie Film column.)

One of the coolest (or nerdiest?) things about this event is the fact that $30 will buy you a pass for all the events.

“We figured we were a first year con, and we weren’t going to break even,” Gallagher said. “We just want to have a good time.”

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

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Twitter: AveryYaleKamila