Organizers expect more than 40,000 attendees and 400 exhibitors to take part in Indiana Comic Con beginning today in Indianapolis. Visit Indy Senior Vice President Chris Gahl says those totals, both increases over last year, are due in part to the "Gen Con Effect." He says the success of Gen Con, which has grown to nearly 70,000 attendees per year, has attracted other pop culture conventions. The event is expected to have a $3 million local economic impact.

This is the fourth year for Indiana Comic Con. Celebrity appearances at this year's event include "Batman Forever" star Val Kilmer, Nichelle Nichols from "Star Trek" and "Stranger Things" actress Millie Bobby Brown. More than 400 exhibitors will display and sell games, art and other pop culture merchandise to buy, sell or trade.

Gahl says Gen Con's massive success has "carved a path" in Indianapolis and shows other conventions that Indianapolis can successfully host large-scale gaming and pop culture conventions. Gen Con 2016 reported record-high turnstile attendance at the Indiana Convention Center with nearly 202,000 attendees. Late last year, Gen Con agreed to a one-year extension of its contract with Indianapolis, which now runs through 2021.

Comic Con runs Friday from noon to midnight, Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-midnight and Sunday from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Gahl says the event is a "really healthy convention and one that we hope to host moving into the future."