The Indiana Comic Convention will return to downtown Indianapolis this weekend, with hundreds of vendors and dozens of celebrity guests in tow.
As in years past, the convention will include three days of live entertainment, a cosplay contest, interactive activities and autograph and photo opportunities with actors and artists.
Tickets start at $30 for a day pass and $60 for weekend admission. The event will run from 12:30-10 pm Friday, 10:30 am to 10 pm Saturday and 10:30 am to 5 pm Sunday at the Indiana Convention Center.
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“Part of what I think is my personal mission in life is to stand up and share the joy and the love that I get from my fans, and that’s the reason I go to Comic Con,” Giancarlo Esposito, a featured guest, told actor IndyStar.
“Because I feel released from the attachment of being a star, being a guy there to make money, being a guy there to bolster his ego. I feel connected to the human experience that I think we all wish to be connected to.”
Esposito is perhaps still best known for the scene-stealing role of Gus Fring in AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.” But he has also appeared in several geek-revered series in the last few years, including the Amazon adaptation of the comic book series “The Boys,” Disney’s “The Mandalorian” in the “Star Wars” universe and as the villain in the latest installment of the “Far Cry” video game series.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic has put a dent in the ability for actors to interact with their fans, and he always looks forward to conventions. He has attended a few this year as in-person events have begun to ramp back up.
“I’ve sort of found the way of translating and quoting the message that I have to live life to the fullest and to make connections that we’ve so sorely missed over the last few years, and to be able to be in a space of wonder, joy and enchantment,” Esposito said. “And I find that to be what the Comic Cons are about.”
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Other actors appearing this weekend include Diane Guerrero (“Doom Patrol,” “Encanto”), Cary Elwes (“Princess Bride,” “Stranger Things”), Tara Strong (“Fairly OddParents,” “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” ), longtime Mario and Luigi voice Charles Martinet and a trio of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” alumnae: Brent Spiner (Data), Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher) and John de Lancie (Q).
NSYNC member Joey Fatone, comedian Pauly Shore, video game voiceover king Nolan North and former Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter will also be on hand, among many others.
Most of the celebrity guests will be available for autographs, and many will pose for photos at ranging from $50-$80.
The cosplay contest on Saturday will award a $5,000 grand prize, plus a variety of $500 and $200 consolation prizes in various categories.
Other events include performances from improv comedy troupe Penguin Knife Fight, virtual reality and console gaming exhibits, an escape room and an Easter egg hunt.
A full schedule of panels, autograph signings and activities can be found on the convention’s website.
The convention is one of several run annually across the country by the Imaginarium Agency and began in 2014.
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Rory Appleton is the pop culture reporter at IndyStar. Contact him at 317-552-9044 and firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @RoryDoesPhonics.