Sgt. Slaughter was a headliner at JoeFest June 10, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News
Sgt. Slaughter was a headliner at JoeFest June 10, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

Sgt. Slaughter to return to Seventh Annual JoeFest

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

Discussions about boxed Buzz Lightyear toys, Col. Buzz Aldrin as a vintage G.I. Joe figure, or a Marvel character called The Buzz could be the topics of conversation at the seventh Annual JoeFest Toy and Comic Show June 21-23 at the Augusta Convention Center, 901 Reynolds St.

One local comics creator and podcaster has heard that rumbling for a while and sees the convention as the most unique, buzz-generating one of all the comics-related events held in the area.

Specks Thompson. Courtesy of Specks Thompson.

“Maybe it’s unique because it is the longest-running conversation in nerd space in the area,” said Specks Thompson, who will have a booth for the first time at this year’s event. He will be promoting his comics’ series “Legacy of the View.

JoeFest has grown in its seven years. It features 40,000 square feet of toys and comic related items with worldwide vendors and celebrities, according to JoeFest CEO Ed Schumacher.

“We draw over 5,000 attendees each year from around the globe, who travel to us to meet great guests such as Sgt. Slaughter and professional artists… such as Jason Crosby,” he said.

Crosby is an illustrator for Topps, Marvel and his newest work, the comic book, “Madballs vs. Garbage Pail Kids!” 

A returning event favorite is professional wrestler, Sgt. Slaughter. A ticketed breakfast planned with Sgt. Slaughter on Sunday, June 23.

According to, “Boasting one of the most recognizable names (and jaw lines) ever, Sgt. Slaughter is an instantly recognizable American icon to WWE fans and general pop culture enthusiasts alike. A former U.S. Marine who proudly served his country, “Sarge” burst onto the wrestling scene in 1974 using his real name, Robert Remus in the American Wrestling Association (AWA), working for and being trained by WWE Hall of Famer Verne Gagne.”

Those who purchase tickets for the “Breakfast with Sarge” event  will also receive a goodie bag, and they will be able to hear from Sgt. Slaughter and participate in a Q&A session. Tickets are $99 in advance and must be purchased by Saturday, June 22 at 3 p.m. If tickets are still left on  June 23, they will be $125 at the door.

With more than 200 vendors, there’s a mix of local as well as national.

Thompson will showcase his “Legacy of The View,” which is on its fourth issue with the fifth in development. It’s a story about a Southern teenager named Chaz, who’s an aspiring music engineer interning at his uncle’s recording studio. Balancing high school life with crafting the perfect sound for recording artists, Chaz also defends the city against something called the howl. Also, Thompson has one spin-off from it.

Thompson has had signings at ABX in Martinez (formerly in Augusta) as well as at various cons and has plans for some more local signings. He has had a creator table at Canacon in Augusta, Augusta Anime Con, and Power Comicon in Florence, S.C. through the years.

Patrons on June 10, 2023 at JoeFest Toy and Comic Convention. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

“I feel I have an advantage because I not only network with the other creators and shops in the city but with the regular everyday people who like comics but don’t go to comic book shops to buy books,” he said.

JoeFest has additional special guests/celebrities and collectibles other than G.I. Joe, and there are plenty of vendors specializing in those.

“We also have the voice of Captain Power, the amazing Tim Dunigan,” Schumacher said.

The website states that JoeFest 2024 is Dunigan’s first convention attendance in over 20 years. Dunigan also played con-man First Lt. Templeton “The Face-Man” Peck in the pilot for the 1980s hit The A-Team. Dunigan had several other roles in television and cinemas including “Mr. Smith” as Tommy Atwood, “Wizards and Warriors” as Geoffrey Blackpool, and in “Silver Spoons,” “Cheers”, “The Magical World of Disney,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Empty Nest,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Jag” and “Diagnosis: Murder.”

JoeFest does not just generate buzz about the celebrities but about toys and comics.

“JoeFest (via its vendors) stocks virtually every toy brand and has comic book vendors with over a million comics,” Schumacher said.

JoeFest will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to  5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

Correspondent Ron Baxley Jr. is a veteran journalist who has worked with multiple news organizations in his career. Subscribe to the Augusta Good News’ newsletter here.

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