If you think you hear characters from Futurama around Providence next month, you’re not hallucinating. If at some point, you think you’ve seen the crew of the original Battlestar Galactica cross the street DownCity, you still won’t be hallucinating. And if you see Chewbacca walking through the Providence Place Mall … well, you get the idea.
Rhode Island ComicCon is coming to Providence.Rhode Island’s first comic book and media convention is scheduled for November 3 and 4 at the Rhode Island Convention Center.
Legendary voice actor Billy West will be among the event’s many recognizable guests. West launched his career in the early 1980s performing daily comedic routines on Boston’s WBCN. He left the radio station and became a writer and cast member on The Howard Stern Show during the early to mid-1990s, where he gained nationwide fame with his impersonations of Larry Fine and late Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. West created the characters of Ren & Stimpy, and most recently, Fry and Dr. Zoidberg on Futurama.
The two-day RI ComicCon will debut with a myriad of guests from comics, movies, animation, wrestling and television. It will host the first New EnglandBattlestarGalactica Reunion with Dirk Benedict (Starbuck), Richard Hatch (Apollo), Noah Hathaway (Boxey), Herb Jefferson Jr. (Boomer), Anne Lockhart (Sheba), Felix Silla (Lucifer) and LauretteSpang (Cassiopea).
“I’m feeling very excited for the event,” says producer Steven Perry, “The area really needed a show like this. I’ve been producing similar events for four years forAltered Reality Entertainment, and I’ve been a collector for over 30 years. We really wanted to take on a much bigger show.”
From the Star Trek franchise, John DeLancie(Q) and Gary Graham (Soval) will be appearing as well. Other fan favorites scheduled to appear include Nicholas Brendon (Xander from Buffy), Peter Mayhew (the legendary Chewbacca – see separate interview in this paper), Lee Meriwether (Catwoman), Mark Goddard (Maj. Don West from Lost in Space), Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers) and Larry Thomas,the “No Soup for You” guy from Seinfeld. Dozens of others are slated to appear, along with over 100 comic book artists.
“It’s really exciting to do one on this scale,” says Perry, “with so many artists, and over 50 celebrities.”
The weekend will also include a Magic the Gathering tournament on Saturday and a Pokemon tournament on Sunday. Saturday also features a special viewing of “CODE NAME: BLAST OFF”, the story behind the legend of GI Joe with Tristan Rudat and Ron Rudat, the original artist for the cartoon, who’s also responsible for creating COBRA, GI Joe’s nemesis. Sunday’s events include a game of CLUE with the original cast of the VCR/board game and a Costume Contest for kids and adults.
Rhode Island Comic Con is also participating in the SUPERCON 2K Video Game Competition. The competition will continue throughout the entire weekend.A portion of the convention’s proceeds, and donations from a special auction, will benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Rhode Island Comic Con is being produced and organized by Altered Reality Entertainment. In the past three years, the entertainment company has produced events including the Southcoast Toy and Comic Show and the Southcoast Paranormal and Psychic Faire. Current sponsors of RI Comic Con include Dave & Busters,Boston Area Toy Collectors Club,Gamer Soda, Papa Gino’s and GameStop-Providence. Tickets to RI Comic Con are currently on sale through Ticketmaster. For more information on Rhode Island Comic Con, visit www.ricomiccon.com or on Facebook.
Meanwhile, keep your eyes open for Jawas in the crosswalks.