WILMINGTON, MA – Pop culture fans will be converging at one of the largest celebrations of popular culture in New England, the Northeast Comic Con and Collectibles Extravaganza. This holiday event takes place December 5th and 6th, 2015 at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, Mass. (99 Fordham Road, 01887). Show hours are 10a-6p on Saturday and 10a-5p on Sunday.
This year’s event highlights include a holiday shopping experience for nerds and the people who love them, voice actor workshops and script readings, free-play video game arcade and tournaments, children’s activities, celebrity autograph signings, panel sessions, plus 150 vendors of vintage and modern toys, comic books, collectibles, art, jewelry, fashion and popular cultural artifacts. In between holiday shopping, guests of all ages will enjoy live music and entertainment.
This year’s celebrity guests range from local heroes to international superstars, including NECC panelist and guest John Wesley Shipp, best known for his role as Barry Allen on CBS’ “The Flash” (1990-91) and then as Barry Allen’s father Henry in the new “The Flash” TV series on the CW Network. Shipp’s other memorable roles include Dawson’s father Mitch Leery on the drama “Dawson’s Creek” (1998-2001), and roles in daytime soap operas including Kelly Nelson on “Guiding Light” and Douglas Cummings on “As the World Turns,” which earned him his first Daytime Emmy.
Families will love meeting the cast members of the classic “A Christmas Story” film, including original cast members Zach Ward (“Scut Farkus”), Scott Schwartz (“Flick”), Ian Petrella (“Randy”), and Yano Anaya (“Grover Dill”), along with Caseen Gaines, the author of the definitive book on the film. In addition, Santa Claus will be appearing with the cast for a photo opportunity – the perfect holiday card.
“Lost in Space” is celebrating its 50th anniversary at NECC, featuring original cast members Marta Kristen (“Judy”) and Mark Goddard (“Don West”) along with full-size replicas of “Robot” and the family’s “Chariot” vehicle.
Comic Guest of Honor George Pérez is a Marvel and DC comic legend. He is a writer and illustrator of legendary comic book titles, such as The Avengers, Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Wonder Woman and Superman reboots. George will be signing comics he worked on at no charge, with a limit of six at a time, and doing quick sketches for fans for $40.
Other great comic and animation artists at NECC include Zombie King Arthur Suydam, Disney legend Philo Barnhart (“Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”), Joe St. Pierre (Spiderman), Joe Carmagna (Guardians of the Galaxy), Alex Simmons (Archie) and Rusty Gilligan (Heavy Metal) among many others. Comic book collectors will want to arrive early to get a limited edition Marvel Lucasfilm Star Wars Force Awakens comic book with a unique-to-NECC variant cover art.
New to NECC and for the first time at a fan convention: Andrew WK, a musician, philosopher, writer and performer will greet fans on Saturday December 5th only. Andrew WK will participate in a panel on “Careers in the Creative Arts” and will sign autographs at no charge before performing at the convention’s official After Party at Shriners Auditorium. (See website for tickets to the afterparty and details.)
Other celebrity guests include Nakia Burrise and Catherine Sutherland of the “Power Rangers,” Kadrolsha Ona, the “Queen of the Paranormal,” puppeteers Bill Diamond (Fraggle Rock,” “Little Shop of Horrors”) and Noel MacNeal (“The Muppets,” “Bear in the Big Blue House”) and the voice actors of “Sonic The Hedgehog” and “Sonic Boom,” Mike Pollock, Cindy Robinson and Bill Freiberger.
Whether they visit to explore future careers or just enjoy imaginative play, kids are welcome in the NECC K!DZ area, with creative events, education and attractions just for young fans. Learn how to sketch or show off your skills, and all about puppetry. Learn how video games are created and careers in technology with ITT Technical Institute. Enjoy free video game play and tournaments with prizes in the Game Underground gaming area. The Starship Horizons Bridge Simulator gives everyone an opportunity to act as crew on an interplanetary spaceship with play included in admission. For Doctor Who fans, a full-size TARDIS replica offers photo opportunities for Whovians. A professional parade/theater and cosplay mask maker Eric Bornstein will conduct workshops and stage presentations, and young actors can meet “A Christmas Story” cast and learn about their experience as child actors in the entertainment industry.
According to seasoned show producer Gary Sohmers, “This holiday Comic Con features the largest selection of quality vintage pop culture collectibles and memorabilia, along with unique celebrity experiences in a more personal, intimate setting than larger, overcrowded conventions.”
Sohmers continued, “Whether you attend to explore careers in the creative arts, meet celebrities and experience panels and workshops, or just stroll and holiday shop, Northeast Comic Con has something for everyone: the collector, video gamer, cosplayer, illustrator, anime fan, or sci-fi geek.” Sohmers is CEO of Image Meet and Greet, a seasoned pop culture expert and producer of fan events and conventions is also known for his 13-season role as an appraiser of pop culture, collectibles and toys on the PBS TV program “Antiques Roadshow” and appearances on WBZ radio and his “Calling All Collectors” radio programs.
It isn’t a Comic Con without cosplay, and Northeast Comic Con invites costumed guests to the Cosplay Stage to show off their imaginative attire in a variety of fun contests and games. NECC’s signature cosplay events are focused on creativity, with prizes and bragging rights in three categories: Create-A-Hero, Create-A-Villain and Create-A-Character contests each day for creative cosplay with a back story. A complete list of safety guidelines for cosplay and prop weapons is online: NEComicCon.net.
For budding actors seeking a career as a “voice” in cartoons, video games, film, anime, and TV/radio, the Voice Actors Workshop is a unique opportunity to learn from three successful voice actors. The workshops are only open to ten people each day (Saturday and Sunday) to enable a quality learning experience, and will feature the talent of the “Sonic Boom” TV program and the “Sonic the Hedgehog” franchise: Mike Pollock, Cindy Robins, and Bill Freiberger. These seasoned actors will talk about the process, technology, and industry tips, and then participants may interact with the talent in a lively Script Read on stage at Northeast Comic Con. This separately ticketed career workshop includes early admission to NECC, front row seats for the script read, a special badge, and autographs for only $99 per day.
For guests seeking a holiday photo with Santa in cosplay attire but don’t want to go to the mall dressed to impress, NECC offers a Santa photo station with a green screen offering a wide range of imaginative photos for purchase just in time for the 2016 holiday season, or just as a keepsake.
The Shriner’s Auditorium Fez Room restaurant/bar will feature food and beverages, live entertainment, and pop culture trivia contests. On Saturday night, December 5th, the Fez Room will be transformed into the 7th Annual Rock & Soul after party, a separate ticketed ($35) event starting at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 5th that includes free NECC admission on Sunday Dec. 6th. The party will feature comedians and food and beverage, and a concert from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m.; only 200 tickets are available. Featured performers include Andrew WK in a special solo show, Charlie Farren (Farrenheit, Joe Perry Project), Barrance Whitfield, Tsunami of Sound and others to be announced.
With free parking and hotel packages, Northeast Comic Con ticket prices are among the lowest in the industry. Saturday adult advance tickets are $25 on Saturday ($30 at the door) and Sunday adult advance tickets are $18 ($25 at the door). Adult weekend passes are only $30 in advance ($40 at the door). Children under age 7 are free with a paid adult, and kids ages 7-13 are only $10 in advance or $15 for a weekend pass ($15 and $20 at the door). Advance Superfan VIP tickets are $300 and include early bird entry on both days, priority seating and front of line for autographs, many photo opps and autographs, along with one of the limited edition exclusive Marvel Lucasfilm Star Wars Phantom Variant Comic Book and admission to the Rock & Soul After Party ($35 value).
Bring a gently used coat to donate to the Caring Partners Coats for Kids Drive and save $5 off your ticket if purchased at the box office. For VIP packages and tickets: https://register.growtix.com/e/northeast_comic_con_winter_2015.
(NOTE: The above press release is from Dennehy Public Relations.)
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