5 Cons to Come
By George Rose
August 16, 2018
It’s that time of the season when summer blockbusters start winding down and the fall convention circuit starts reving up. Rather than waste all of the next few weeks having you prep for movies you probably aren’t going to pay to see, let’s take the dive together into what is sure to be a star studded Comic Con experience. Between the beginning of August and the beginning of November, there are no less than five conventions nearby that I’m hoping to hit up. Once this article goes live, I’ll have what I need to send out my applications for press passes so that we can try and turn this party up a notch. Keep your fingers crossed!
Like any good season filled with film-worthy Con experiences, my upcoming tour de force of fandom is coming with a series of five convention trailers. Below you will find the upcoming Cons I’m considering, a Top 5 list of celebs I hope to see at each (getting to meet and pay for five is always a realistic Con goal, especially when considering the time it can take in line), and a list of other stars that are planning to attend. My goals will always include people with an available Funko Pop that’s able to be autographed. Some stars below the Top 5 may not have been selected because they don’t have an available Funko Pop while others I may also try to get if future fortunes come into play before the event.
I hope you enjoy the trailers for the 5 Cons to Come and check back over the next three months to see where the adventures lead us. If you’ve read previous entries in the 5 Ways to Comic Con series, you know you’ll be in for a treat!
#1) MONSTER MANIA
August 17-19 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ
1) Robert Englund: Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy vs Jason
2) Tobin Bell: Saw 1-7, Jigsaw
3) Billy Zane: The Phantom, Critters, Titanic
4) Jackson Robert Scotty: Georgie from 2017’s IT
5) Nick Castle: 1978’s Halloween
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers, Drag Me to Hell), Carl Weathers (Predator, Rocky), Rob Schneider (Deuce Bigalow, Adam Sandler’s friend), Kane Hodder (Jason in Friday the 13th parts 7 - 10), Barbara Hershey (Insidious, Black Swan), Doug Bradley (Hellraiser), Henry Thomas (E.T. The Extra Terrestrial), Shannon Elizabeth (Scary Movie, Thirteen Ghosts), Pauly Shore (Bio-Dome), Sid Haig (House of 1,000 Corpses), Jack Dylan Grazer (2017’s IT)
The Good News: As the first Con of the season and my first time at a Monster Mania, it benefits the most from the money I haven’t spent yet. It’s been three month since my last Con and I’m ready to hand over my hard earned cash to celebrities. Did I mention that one of my biggest fandoms outside of Marvel is actually the gang of villains from the 80’s/90’s scary movies? With some of horrors hottest icons set to appear, it’s going to be a frighteningly good time.
The Bad News: The unknown can be a scary thing. Will I pay for autographs at each booth or at a central payment station? Is it only cash or is credit ok? Will there be Funko Pop vendors there to get some last minute purchases before meeting the celebrities? I’ve seen sloppy Cons before and, as wrong as it is, I’ve always imagined the fans of the horror genre to be of a grungier class of people than superheroes fans at a standard Comic Con. I hope I’m wrong.
#2) HEROES & VILLAINS FAN FEST
September 8-9 at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center in Edison, NJ
1) Ray Fisher: Cyborg from Justice League
2) Robbie Amell: The Flash, The DUFF
3) Robin Lord Taylor: Gotham
4) David Mazouz: Gotham:
5) Tyler Hoechlin: Supergirl, Teen Wolf
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow, Alias, Titanic), David Ramsey (Arrow), Katie Cassidy (Arrow), Kirk Acevedo (Arrow, The Walking Dead), Josh Segarra (Arrow), Echo Kellum (Arrow), Juliana Harkavy (Arrow, The Walking Dead), Drew Powell (Gotham), Erin Richards (Gotham), Sean Pertwee (Gotham)
The Good News: 2017 was my first year at this event and it was wonderful. Smaller TV stars from DC Comic shows made this a more personal, fan-driven function. Arrow’s Stephen Amell was the ringleader of the bunch and even had his Nocking Point wine company host a party on the Saturday night of the two-day convention. I had never partied with celebrities before that Con and was eager to see what new trouble I could get into in 2018.
The Bad News: Except this year the team leader had to cancel! Because there’s no Stephen there’s no Nocking Point, which means no great Saturday party. Without a party, two days aren’t needed. Technically, many of the stars are the same as last year while the new faces don’t have Funko Pops available. This is definitely the weakest Con and most likely to get cut.
#3) KEYSTONE COMIC CON
September 14-16 at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA
1) The Cast of HBO’s True Blood: Anna Paquin (X-Men), Stephen Moyer (The Gifted), Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike, Justice League), Kristin Bauer (Once Upon a Time)
2) Caroll Spinney: Sesame Street’s Big Bird
3) Kevin Conroy: Batman - The Animated Series
4) Maurice Lamarche: Zootopia, Pinky and the Brain
5) Troy Baker: Bioshock Infinite video game
Bam Margera (Jackass), Catherine Tate (Doctor Who), John Barrowman (Arrow, Doctor Who), Nolan North (Uncharted video game), Phil Lamarr (Futurama), Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain), Steve Whitmire (The Muppets), Mehcad Brooks (True Blood, Supergirl), Nikki and Brie Bella (WWE, Total Bellas), and some of the cast of NBC’s The Office (Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Creed Bratton, Leslie David Baker, Oscar Nunez)
The Good News: Ummm, did you see the True Blood reunion?! When is the last time anybody even saw Anna Paquin out in the real world? It’s mother F-ing ROGUE!!! Also, it’s the first time Keystone has done a Con. If this new company wants to keep hosting Cons, they’ll have to make sure this one goes well which hopefully means cheap prices and tons of giveaways!
The Bad News: This is Keystone’s first Con. Remember when I went to ACE’s first Comic Con in Long Island last December? A new producer of Cons can mean poor celebrity management, difficult autographing and miscommunication between the venue/celebs/fans/event staff. Let’s hope using the same location as Wizard World Philly Comic Con (typically in May/Jun) means things will be better for Keystone (and the fans) than they were for ACE. The other downside? This most exciting Con is the one I’m least prepared for. Time to go Funko Pop shopping!
#4) NEW YORK COMIC CON
October 4-7 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY
1) Jason David Frank: Power Rangers
2) Danai Gurira: Black Panther, The Walking Dead
3) Dean Cain: Lois & Clark, Smallville, Supergirl
4) Teri Hatcher: Lois & Clark, Coraline, Desperate Housewives, Tomorrow Never Dies
5) Jason Momoa: Aquaman, Justice League
Aisha Tyler (Archer), Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Sam Heughan (Outlander), David Tennant (Doctor Who), Mark Sheppard (Supernatural), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Steven Universe), Neil deGrasse Tyson (Cosmos), Phil Lamarr (Futurama), Rob Zombie (director of House of 1,000 Corpses & the Halloween remake), the cast of Boy Meets World (Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel, Will Friedle), the cast of Impractical Jokers (Brian Quinn, James Murray, Joe Gatto, Sal Vulcano), and the cast of Stan Against Evil (Dana Gould, Janet Varney, John C. McGinley)
The Good News: This is the premier Comic Con of both the East Coast and the Fall season. This is the second biggest convention of the year behind only San Diego Comic Con. The problem with great power, though, is the great responsibility that comes with it. I’ve been to six NYCC and they get larger and more crowded each year. Eventually, the bubble will burst. Some of the smaller Cons out there are starting to give NYCC a run for its money.
The Bad News: We’re just under two months out and we only have a fraction of the typical total number of celebs usually seen at NYCC. There’s still plenty of time for some big A-listers to jump on board, but Friday and Saturday tickets are already sold out. So, basically, this Con is selling out tickets with no promises of good celebs. Fans should try to get either a Thursday or Sunday ticket that remains, but which one is better? I’m sure more stars are coming but at this point in the game this biggest of Cons is actually the smallest in terms of star power. Unless they bulk up the guest list soon, this overly complicated Con might not be worth the trouble.
#5) RHODE ISLAND COMIC CON
November 2-4 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI
1) The Cast of Deadpool: Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic
2) Alan Tudyk: Wreck-It Ralph, Moana, Rogue One, Serenity
3) Ron Perlman: Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy
4) Karl Urban: Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Thor: Ragnarok, Dredd
5) Tim Curry: Rocky Horror, 1990’s IT, Clue
6) Ben McKenzie: Gotham, The O.C.
7) The Cast of 2017’s IT: Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff
8) John DiMaggio: Futurama, Adventure Time, Gears of War video game
9) Tara Strong: Harley Quinn in Batman - Animated Series, Teen Titans GO!
10) Billy Boyd: Lord of the Rings, Seed of Chucky
Tom Welling (Smallville), Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville) Danny Trejo (Machete, Predators), Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead), Finn Jones (Iron Fist, Game of Thrones), Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver, Stargate), Bam Margera (Jackass), Billy Zane (The Phantom, Titanic), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Jason David Frank (Power Rangers), Joey Fatone (N’Sync, My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Kevin Conroy (Batman: Animated Series), Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3), Laura Vandervoort (Smallville), Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight), Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Young Guns), the cast of The Walking Dead (Cooper Andrews, Jeremy Palko, Laurie Holden, Lennie James, Steven Yeun), and the cast of The Office (Angela Kinsey, Creed Bratton, Kate Flannery, Oscar Nunez)
The Good News: I’ve never been to a RICC before because it would take over four hours to drive there and I know of closer Cons. That was until I saw the guest list. There are so many worthwhile stars and so many of them have Funko Pop figurines available for autographs. It blows my mind that such a massive amount of stellar talent is going to this tiny little state Con and yet nobody that great is listed for NYCC yet. Should I skip NYCC to save up for RICC?
The Bad News: Remember what happened when I tried to go to Philly Comic Con last May? Yes, I was hungover from a bachelor party but sometimes you have a skip a Con if it’s too big for its britches. With a Top 5 list that I could barely narrow down to just 10, I may have to pass on RICC if my heart and wallet start to hurt from having to limit my celebrity selection. The four hour drive isn’t going to help and being the last Con on the list means funds will be tightest here.
Let’s also not forget, once convention season is over it’ll be time to start thinking about Christmas. I won’t have to chose between celebrities and spending on my family if I start planning for these Cons now. I just hope I can afford them all and you better believe I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I do. Check back soon to see how it all plays out!