Rhode Island Comic Con Center Spread

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Final info wasn’t available at press time, but there’s still plenty to share about Comic Con this year. All location information is subject to change; cons embrace controlled chaos, and often have to make changes up to the last second. Here’s what we know.

Location: Comic Con will be held at the Dunkin Donuts Center (One Lasalle Sq, PVD) and on the third and fifth floors of the Rhode Island Convention Center (One Sabin St, PVD). There will be a 18,000 sq. ft. tent outdoors behind the Dunk where you can find the dedicated Photo Op Area coordinated by Celeb Photo Ops – there will be screens showing schedules for four dedicated photo op areas, with lines for VIP passes and reg’lar folk. Geek Fest will be in the Omni Hotel’s Narragansett Ballroom – there will be a  movie viewing Room plus tabletop gaming, card games, magic spaces and more.

The Rhode Island Convention Center will have a special re-entry entrance at Rotunda, which is the nearest point to Kennedy Plaza. A few things to note:

  • The main exhibit hall is on the third floor.
  • In the main exhibit hall, from left to right: More premiere guests with tables and selfie stations and meet & greet lines (for VIPs and regular folk). Artists’ Alley, with dozens of talented artists, falling right in the middle of the concourse. Vendors of every size, type and description. Far to the right will be the Infusion Tattoo Pavilion, coordinated by Infusion Empire’s Marc Draben and featuring at least four licensed artists slinging ink at any given moment.
  • Panels will take place in the break out rooms on the fifth floor.
  • There is a Walking Dead Wing on the fifth floor as well, you’ll see it immediately when you get off the elevators.
  • Sci-Fi Speed Dating has a dedicated room on the fifth floor on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Kids Con, held for anyone from tiny Jedi to mini zombies, will be held in the Rotunda Room on the fifth floor.

 

ADA Access Policy: RICC & the Dunk will each have a sensory-reduced area for anyone with an ADA access badge. These are separate rooms designated as quiet spaces, secured and controlled by RI Comic Con staff, on the 5th floor of the Convention Center and on the lower concourse at The Dunk.

Maps:

Above: main stages of the Dunkin Donuts Center

Main stages of the Dunkin Donuts Center

Map of the third floor of the RI Convention Center

Map of the third floor (and main exhibit hall) of the RI Convention Center

Map of floor 5 of the Convention Center.

Map of floor 5 of the Convention Center.

Celebrity Guests:

There’s a guest to match many fandoms this year. Celebs from shows like “Doctor Who,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Rick and Morty” will be present, as well as those from movie franchises like Lord of the Rings, Avengers and Captain America. Norman Reedus, Andy Serkis, Mark Ruffalo, Sebastian Stan, Paul Bettany, William Shatner, Christopher Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Paul Reubens, Elijah Wood, Barbara Hershey, Dave Bautista, Richard Dreyfuss, Job Bernthal, Michael Colter, Gene Simmons, Jerome Flynn, Paul Wesley, Dolph Lundgren, Carl Weathers, Val Kilmer, John Cusack, Jason Isaacs, Freddie Prinze Jr, Billie Piper, Robert Englund, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Justin Roiland are all scheduled to be at Comic Con. Pre-Sale Autograph Guests Like Val Kilmer and Mark Ruffolo will be corralled on the Lower Concourse of the Dunk’s main floor. A “box office” system will queue fans into lines determined by whether they bought online or at the event. If you don’t have an autograph ticket you won’t want to go here. But if you have one, this is the spot for most of the guests.

What to Bring:
Water, Sharpie, chicken nuggies (or other less amazing snacks), portable phone charger, a bag for merch you buy, selfie stick (if you’re one of those people), a notebook for autographs if you don’t want to have to buy a picture to have signed, emergency cosplay repair kit, anything you can sit on that fits in a backpack (camp stool, stadium seat).

What to See:
Your celebrity crush, other nerds, bronies (but like, from afar), toys and merch galore, character merch you never knew existed, amazing cosplay.

What to Do:
Make obscure references to cartoons from 10 years ago, high-five random strangers, respectfully compliment people’s cosplays, make friends with people who are nerdy about the same thing as you, take lots of pictures (matchies!), especially pictures for friends who couldn’t come.

What to Expect:
Noise (squeals of delight, laughter, excited yelling), crowds (get cozy), needing to pee and the bathroom line being years long, and god-tier cosplays that make you feel both poor and inferior, but in exciting and interesting ways.

What to Wear:
Comfy shoes, a fanny pack, extra deodorant (there’s lots of people, it gets warm).

What Not to Do:
Faint when you see a celebrity guest, or cry, take pictures or video without permission (especially near vendors, or of cosplayers napping or eating) , block the hallways, touch things (or people!) without permission.

 

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