As someone who doesn’t get to attend many conventions, you can’t fathom how excited I am for this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con. I got to visit in 2013 when the guest list was mostly ’80s film stars, and my starstruck moment was shaking the hand of C. Thomas Howell. This year, I’m looking forward to meeting one of my favorite actresses, as well as covering some of the awesome panels! Here’s what to expect if you’re in the Providence, RI area from November 6th-November 8th.
RICC isn’t a themed con, but you can certainly suss out a few trends for their 2015 lineup. If you can’t wait for Episode VII, there’s Star Wars a-plenty to tide you over. Carrie Fisher is the big name guest, with her own celebratory panel. Unfortunately, the RICC Facebook page announced last night that she has to post-pone her appearance. There’s also a slew of supporting actors, without whom that galaxy far far away would simply not be the same. This includes Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar) and Garrick Hagon, whose role as Luke’s friend Biggs was majorly cut down in A New Hope. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them as well as Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett) weigh in during the “Behind the Masks” panel. And speaking of masks, there’s also a Q&A for David Prowse, the physical actor of Darth Vader.
And what convention would be complete without an appearance from the 501st Legion? Darth Vader and Stormtroopers from the fan-based organization will join Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) as guests in today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. You can find them outside the Dunkin Donuts Center in the main lobby at 2:45pm, along with Providence’s Mayor Elorza, DD general manager Lawrence Lepore, and RICC’s owner Steve Perry.
The guest list has been steadily growing all year; Ming Na Wen, Karen Gillan, Ron Perlman, and Frank Welker, to name a few. Star Trek and Power Rangers are also popular this year, and if you’re into The Walking Dead, there’s a panel where you can pick the brains of Hershel, Shane, Merle, and Father Gabriel. I’m particularly looking forward to Alex Kingston, known for her roles on ER and Doctor Who. And I have this sinking feeling I’ll regret it forever if I don’t make it to Orlando Jones’ Live on Stage panel on Sunday.
One of the unique staples at RICC is Kids Con: a series of organized events on November 7th and 8th, oriented for fans 12 years of age and under. Activities for this year include a workshop for creating comic strips, a gaming tournament, How to be a Puppeteer, and a magic show. There’s also various dance parties and a story time with costumed characters. Anybody else suddenly want to be a child again?
RICC is also host to several geeky vehicle appearances: this year you can see Herbie the Love Bug, the DeLorean Time Machine, Supernatural‘s Impala, an SUV from Breaking Bad, a SHIELD truck, and many more! And of course you’ve got the celebrity autograph and photo opportunities. Although most are to be determined, $40-$50 is the average cost for a celebrity autograph.