Special Events

Austin Comic-Con Rolls Into Town This Weekend

Super heroes, space aliens and mythical beasts swarm our fair city at the Austin Comic Con returns.

Comic book conventions have become big business over the last decade - not just for the conventioneers themselves, but for entertainment companies looking to promote their latest big ticket products. No longer just a place for comic book fans to go to get an autograph from their favorite artist or meet Lou Ferrigno for the 32nd time (although you can still do that), comic cons have been invaded by movie studios, big name celebrities and, of all things, professional wrestlers, making them less a gathering of comic fans and more a celebration of pop/geek culture in general.

For the longest time fans would have had to travel to San Diego or New York to get this sort of mass media extravaganza. Luckily, Wizard World (the former publishers of the legendary comics-based Wizard Magazine) has taken the con experience on the road and they're bringing it to Austin this weekend.

While the bulk of any convention is spent browsing the vendors and interacting with fellow fans, the big selling point is, of course, the celebrity attractions. Luckily, the Austin Comic-Con isn't lacking in big names for the public to mingle with and pay out the nose to get an autograph from or take a photo with. Here's just a few of them you can expect to see this weekend (as usual, all guests are subject to change at a moment's notice):

Source: Flickr Creative Commons

William Shatner - Whether you know him from "Star Trek", "T.J. Hooker", "Boston Legal" or his Priceline ads, Mr. Shatner has been a pop culture legend for decades. If you thought having the whole cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" at the con last year was a big deal, you ain't seen nothin' yet,

Friday - 6pm: Photo ops, 6:45pm: autographs
Saturday - 11am: autographs, 2:15pm: photo ops, 4pm: Q&A panel, 5pm: more autographs.

Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Stan Lee - If you've seen any Marvel Comics based movie since the first X-Men movie was released, you've seen Stan "The Man" in a cameo of some sort. The (co-)creator of some of comicdom's most legendary characters, Stan has also hosted such TV programs as SyFy's "Who Wants To Be a Superhero?" and History Channel's "Stan Lee's Superhumans".

Friday - 4:15pm: meet & greet, 6pm: photo ops, 7pm: autographs
Saturday - 10:15am: autographs, 11am: Q&A panel, 12pm: autographs, 3:10pm photo ops.

Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Bruce Campbell - Maybe it's the chin or maybe it's his self-deprecating sense of humor. It could be the fact that he's starred in some of the most beloved geek movies of all time (the original Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness) as well as some underrated classics (Bubba Ho-Tep). Either way, Bruce Campbell is adored around the world for his work. And his chin. And he's in Austin this weekend.

Saturday - 1pm: photo ops, 2pm: autographs, 5:45pm: Q&A panel
Sunday - 11am: autographs, 12pm: photos, 1pm and onward: autographs

Source: Flickr Creative Commons

John Cena - WWE Superstars and other pro wrestlers are no stranger to the comic con scene. Former WWE Champion (and genuine comic book fan) CM Punk made the rounds last year. This year, arguably the biggest star in the wrestling world, the 14-time World Champion (and current holder of the WWE's World Heavyweight Championship) John Cena comes to Austin to answer your questions, sign your shirt and probably fit in a couple of Make-A-Wish Foundation requests while he's at it - before heading off to his hometown of Boston (Austin to Boston, apparently) to main event the Survivor Series Pay-Per-View

Saturday - 12pm: photo ops, 1:30pm: autographs, 3pm: Q&A panel

These aren't the only big names to show up this weekend, either:

Norman Reedus - The Boondock Saints, "The Walking Dead"
Robert Rodriguez - director, Machete Kills, Sin City
Scott Bakula - "Quantum Leap", "Enterprise"
Jewel Staite - "Firefly", "Warehouse 13"
Ian Ziering - "Beverly Hill 90210", Sharknado
Ralph Macchio - The Karate Kid, My Cousin Vinny
James Marsters - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Torchwood"
... and many more....

You can still get tickets at the Wizard World site
3-Day passes are $80 in advance, $90 on site
1-day pass for Friday or Sunday: $40 in advance, $50 at the door
1-day pass for Saturday: $50 in advance, $60 at the door

If you're attending on Saturday and are worried about missing the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, well, one - that's super extra geeky and we salute you and, two, fear not, for there shall be a screening of it during the con.

Austin Convention Center

500 East Cesar Chavez


Tags: events, celebrities, austin comic-com, john cena, william shatner, stan lee, the walking dead, star trek

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