Geeks, nerds, and comic book lovers alike will gather for the annual River City Comic Expo at the Statehouse Convention Center Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11. The two-day event is full of panels, costume contests (cosplay), vendors and more. This year’s event also includes the Little Rock Picture Show which will take place on Friday.
According to the website:
“The Little Rock Picture Show, now a part of the River City Comic Expo, is set to have the world premiere of the sci-fi feature length film ‘Diverge’ from Little Rock native James Morrison.”
The event has a large number of special guests including artists, writers, and filmmakers, such as Nichelle Nichols, Felix Silla, and Neal Adams. Nichols is a legendary actress once discovered by Duke Ellington. She played Lt. Uhura, fourth in command of the Starship Enterprise, in the TV series “Star Trek.” Silla is an Italian-born actor who has a legendary career dating back to 1955. He once performed for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Some of his acting roles include Litvak in “The Black Bird” and Cousin Itt in “The Addams Family” TV show. Adams is a well-known artist who helped with such comic heroes as Batman, X-Men, Green Lantern/Green Arrow and Deadman. Adams is credited with modernizing the Batman character transforming him into the “Avenger of the Night” persona.
River City Comic Expo has created an app for this year’s event which can be downloaded for Apple, Android or Windows phones.
Talk Business & Politics was able to catch up with Brent Douglass, a founder of River City Comic Expo, ahead of the event.
TB&P: How many years have you held the River City Comic Expo?
Douglass: This will be our 5th year.
TB&P: What is usually the most popular part of the expo?
Douglass: Cosplay contest and the guests. Everyone loves the detail put into making a costume.
TB&P: How does your expo compare to other comic expos across the country?
Douglass: We are still a young con. Other comic cons (New York, SDCC, Chicago, Wondercon) have a long history and sponsorships that help them draw in guests that draw large crowds. We aren’t there yet. Each year we continue to grow larger than the previous years.
TB&P: What is the geekiest thing attendees will find at the expo?
Douglass: No telling. Unfortunately, I’ll be running around and will probably miss all the good stuff. Cosplay is one of the most popular parts of the comic event. Cosplay is where fans will dress as one of their characters in a comic book, movie or anime story.
According to Wikipedia, cosplay is:
“. . . . a contraction of the words costume Roleplay, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture and a broader use of the term “cosplay” applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage. . . . Favorite sources include manga and anime, comic books and cartoons, video games, and live-action films and television series.”
Fans create their costumes and sometimes spend months perfecting it for the next comic expo. For regular attendees of comic cons such as Jimmie Glover of Nerd Love, it is a chance to tap into their creative process and show off their designs.
“Cosplay gives me a creative outlet,” he said. ”I get to make something cool. Other people get to see it and I love the reactions.”
The doors open at 10 am on Saturday. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.