5 Cons to Come
By George Rose
February 28, 2019

Does anybody remember laughter?

One of my favorite parts of moviegoing is watching a handful of trailers on the big screen before the show. You get an idea of what’s coming out soon, can weigh the sneak peeks against each other and come up with a fun ranking system for which you’re most excited to see and it’s just part of the whole magical experience that defines what traditional moviegoing is like. Popcorn, cherry coke, comfy chairs, a dark theater, exciting trailers and a blockbuster feature. Well I can’t feed you over the internet and nobody wants to hear me complain about the newest Madea movie, so this weekend is getting restructured into some trailers of things to come.

That’s right, folks, the Spring Comic Con season is finally here and there are no less than five upcoming conventions on the East Coast that are set to rock the next four months. Sometimes trailers are better than the movie you’re about to see and I imagine that’s what’s going to happen this weekend with the release of Madea’s Family Funeral. So sit back and get ready for a quick sneak peek at all the amazing celebrity awesomeness that awaits us as we take in 5 Cons to Come!!! (SIDE NOTE: Those who have followed my Comic Con journey in the past already know that I only get autographs from celebrities that have a relevant and affordable Funko POP figurines available, and because of that you’ll see me list several amazing stars attending each event but maybe only a handful ending up as my targets for the day.)


WHAT: The semi-annual Philadelphia horror film and memorabilia convention
WHEN: March 8-10, 2019
WHERE: Crown Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ
WHY: Because all the exciting film genres (horror, superhero, sci-fi) deserve a convention to themselves and horror tends to take a backseat at the the major pop culture events like New York Comic Con. This is where your nightmares can shine and you can find A-list talent at cheaper prices than a standard Con.

STARS ATTENDING: DOLPH LUNDGREN (Aquaman, Rocky IV, Creed II), CHRISTINA RICCI (The Addams Family, Sleepy Hollow, Casper), MEATLOAF (Fight Club, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Bloodrayne), DYLAN McDERMOTT (American Horror Story, Olympus Has Fallen, Three to Tango), NEVE CAMPBELL (Scream, The Craft, Three to Tango, Skyscraper), FAIRUZA BALK (The Waterboy, The Craft), ROBIN TUNNEY (Vertical Limit, The Craft), RACHEL TRUE (Half Baked, The Craft), KATHY NAJIMY (Hocus Pocus, Sister Act), STEVE GUTTENBERG (Police Academy , Short Circuit), JAMES JUDE COURTNEY (Halloween ‘18), NICK CASTLE (Halloween ‘78) DANIELLE HARRIS (Halloween, Urban Legend), TONY TODD (Candyman, Final Destination), and many more!

PLAN OF ATTACK: It blows my mind that Christina Ricci has no Funko available despite her impressive list of iconic, genre-heavy roles. I don’t normally get a picture with someone unless I’ve gotten their autograph, though she would normally qualify as an exception to that rule given her killer filmography. However, it’s the first Con of the season and my first trip to Monster Mania last year proved very expensive because it’s so cheap. I got almost a dozen cheap autographs, but multiplying a dozen against any number is going to get expensive. With cutbacks in mind and the FIRST EVER GROUP APPEARANCE OF THE CRAFT WITCHES (!!!!!!!), here’s what I’m expecting given the Funkos available: Neve Campbell (Scream), Kathy Najimy (Hocus Pocus) and James Jude Courtney (Halloween ‘18), with the special/expensive group photo with the ladies of the Craft (Campbell, Balk, Tunney and True for $220).


WHAT: A celebration of comics and pop-culture in a family-friendly environment.
WHEN: April 12-14, 2019
WHERE: The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA
WHY: Because it’s the biggest of the conventions in the neighboring areas around Philadelphia. You can cover more celebrity ground than at Monster Mania but less than Wizard World Philly, which is bigger and therefore more expensive. The Great Philly Con is where I met a half dozen Power Rangers in 2018 and proves that sometimes it’s better to meet several B-though-F list celebrities than one or two A-listers for quadruple the cost. The Great Philly Con is good for “lower-level stars” like TV actors and voice-over actors from your favorite cartoons.

STARS ATTENDING: ALICE COOPER (musician, Wayne’s World, Dark Shadows), JACK GLEESON (Game of Thrones, Batman Begins), NANA VISITOR (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Friday the 13th ‘09), RICHARD HORVITZ (Power Rangers, The Angry Beavers), NICK FROST (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), ANSON MOUNT (Star Trek: Discovery, Inhumans), DOMINIQUE TIPPER & CAS ANVAR (The Expanse), MALCOLM GOODWIN & ROSE McIVER (iZombie), DEBI DERRYBERRY (Toy Story, Crash Bandicoot), KEONE YOUNG (GI Joe, Star Wars: Rebels), MIKE MCFARLAND (Dragonball Z, Attack on Titan), PAUL BLAKE (Star Wars: A New Hope), WALTER JONES (Power Rangers), MICHAEL DORN (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek movies), KENNY JAMES & CHARLES MARTINET (Super Mario games), ALAN OPPENHEIMER (The Neverending Story, Masters of the Universe), JOHN WESLEY SHIPP (1990’s The Flash, 2014’s The Flash) and more still being added!

PLAN OF ATTACK: So none of the names are so big that I feel compelled to pay tons of money for a professional photograph, although I may tag on a selfie to authenticate the autograph if the price for a autograph/selfie combo is cheap enough. Otherwise, I imagine I’m going to make a huge dent in my TV stars autograph collection with this group, which includes my following targets and their autographable Funkos : Alice Cooper (musician), Jack Gleeson (Game of Thrones), Richard Horvitz (Angry Beavers), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Anson Mount (Inhumans), Debi Derryberry (Crash Bandicoot), Mike McFarland (Dragonball Z), Paul Blake (Star Wars), Alan Oppenheimer (Masters of the Universe) and John Wesley Shipe (The Flash). There’s still time for stars to get added to the roster so my list of targets could grow.


WHAT: Washington, DC’s biggest Comic Con and one of the biggest in the East
WHEN: April 26-28, 2019
WHERE: Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC
WHY: Because even the tri-state area isn’t big enough to house all the great conventions of the world and Washington is still less than a three hour drive, a perfectly tolerable distance to be stuck in a car considering the top-notch talent that Awesome Con is known of getting out to celebrate their event. If I manage to go this year, it would be my first time attending. I was scheduled to go last year to meet Stan Lee, but he cancelled at the last minute and then never returned again (RIP).

STARS ATTENDING: ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL & ILAN MITCHELL-SMITH & KELLY LeBROCK (Weird Science), BRENT SPINER (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Independence Day), CARY ELWES (The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights), COLE SPROUSE (Riverdale, Big Daddy), GATES McFADDEN (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek movies), JASON ISAACS (Harry Potter, Star Trek: Discovery, Star Wars: Rebels), JOHN BARROWMAN (Doctor Who, Arrow), JON BERNTHAL (Punisher, Daredevil, Baby Driver), KEVIN SORBO (Hercules, Andromeda, Supergirl), LOU FERRIGNO (The Incredible Hulk, I Love You Man), MATT SMITH (Doctor Who, The Crown, Star Wars Ep 9), MICHAEL BIEHN (Terminator, Aliens), MIKE COLTER (Luke Cage, Girls Trip), MARTIN KOVE & RALPH MACCHIO & WILLIAM ZABKA (The Karate Kid, Cobra Kai), VAL KILMER (Batman Forever, Top Gun), WALLACE SHAWN (The Princess Bride, Toy Story), with so many more to get added.

PLAN OF ATTACK: Monster Mania’s guest list is pretty set-in-stone, whereas the Great Philly Con and Awesome Con are both in April and are at the peak period of adding new stars to the guest list. With this being the furthest Con of my season and already boasting a massive list of celebrities, anything is possible. This could be the Con I cut out to free up time and money for other Cons, although my college roommate lives in Maryland which makes this a tempting way to hang out with an old friend. If I do go, this is what’s likely to happen with the list that’s available; Brent Spiner (Star Trek), Jason Isaacs (Star Wars: Rebels since I already have his from Harry Potter), John Barrowman (Arrow), Jon Bernthal (Punisher), Lou Ferrigno (Hulk), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Wallace Shawn (Toy Story). Remember, not everyone has a Funko and some I already have (Val Kilmer).


WHAT: Philadelphia’s biggest convention of the year brings the biggest stars, too!
WHEN: June 13-16, 2019
WHERE: Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA
WHY: Because if there was only one convention to attend in the area this time of year, this is the one you go to. Last year had stars from Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and Avengers. So, yeah, if you care about pop-culture then this is the place to be. Unfortunately, the bigger you are, the more expensive you are. Although cost can prevent attending other Cons, that doesn’t stop your attendance here. If anything, this show becomes the prime example of how/why you should budget during these next few months to make sure there are funds for the best show that’s stuck all the way at the back end of the season.

STARS ATTENDING: It’s too early to tell. As of the end of February, almost four months out, not a single star has been added to the roster. Four months out is a bit early to have committed A-list talent, while the three shows before are proof that once you cross the three-month threshold that the list starts to rapidly grow in size. Two weeks out (like Monster Mania) is where the list tends to lock itself down, whereas Great Philly and Wizard World are still adding names every few days despite being only two months away. This goes to show why it’s crucial to plan for these conventions in advance; you can’t get too early of a jump start, and once the names start pouring in you have minimal time to find the right autographable Funko POP.

PLAN OF ATTACK: No stars means no plan, although I know this day will likely cost me anywhere from $500 on a tight budget to $1,000+ if I get to splurge. However, even $1,000 doesn’t go that far when you’re talking the biggest convention of the season. $1,000 might get me five A-list autographs, maybe one or two pictures and a little bit of shopping. I’m always most excited by this convention and most underwhelmed with the results, as the big names mean big spending which means smaller results. Still, it’s only four months away and it will be well worth the wait by the time all is said and done.


WHAT: The smallest and last convention is the biggest when it comes to DC TV.
WHEN: June 29-30, 2019
WHERE: New Jersey Convention & Expo Center in Edison, NJ
WHY: The most reliable convention is always small but jam-packed full of TV’s legendary DC Comics properties, with the occasional inclusion of Marvel’s Agents of Shield. It’s as consistent a convention as they come, as the celebs are always part of the DC TV world with many of the stars repeating their appearances each year. Consistency isn’t always key, though, as being the same each year makes this the convention to skip if funds are tight. Then again, it’s also the cheapest Con so being the last in line is still ok. Even if funds are too tight for multiple autographs, it’s still a great way to end a Comic Con season to spend whatever cash is left.

STARS ATTENDING: Even though Wizard World has no stars listed four months out, Heroes and Villains has a handful already on the books like KIRK ACEVEDO (Arrow, The Walking Dead), RICK GONZALEZ (Arrow, Mr. Robot), KATRINA LAW (Arrow, Spartacus), ROBIN LORD TAYLOR (Gotham, Accepted), DAVID MAZOUZ (Gotham)

PLAN OF ATTACK: Well I already have autographs from Robin Lord Taylor and David Mazouz from prior Heroes and Villains conventions I’ve been to, and the other three stars don’t have any Funko POPS. I could get Robin and David to sign different Funkos, but it’s too soon to tell. If no other good stars get added, I’ll redo those two guys. If newer stars get added I haven’t met, they could get bumped. It’s four months away with four conventions prior, so anything could happen. Until then, it’s going to be a long season of planning, saving, prepping, spending, autographing and MEETING CELEBRITIES!!! I mean, why bother loving Hollywood if you aren’t going to get excited seeing famous people?! I get starstruck easy and tend to make a fool of myself as a result but, lucky you, you’ll be there with me every step of the way to see what kind of shenanigans we can get into this upcoming Comic Con season.