Years ago, a lead such as “The nerds are coming! The nerds are coming!” might have been apropos for this kind of story. But unless you’ve been living in the Phantom Zone the past 10 years, it’s clear that the nerds are not coming. They’ve already arrived.
Top grossing movies such as The Avengers ($1.5 billion worldwide), ratings bait television shows like The Big Bang Theory (20 million-plus viewers an episode) and record-breaking digital entertainment such as Grand Theft Auto 5 (a Dr. Evil-worthy $1 billion in sales after only three days) are testaments to that.
If there is a type of event that brings nerds of all shapes and sizes together, it’s a comic con, an event San Antonio is no stranger to. But while Texas Comicon and LoneStar Comic Con are nice, quaint events held in small locales, they don’t announce to the world that San Antonio is ready for a higher form of nerd.
But now, as clear as a bat signal emblazoned across the night sky, it seems our metropolis has finally proved itself worthy, perhaps ready to one day join the likes of big-name con towns such as New York City, Atlanta and (dare I say it?) San Diego.
Alamo City Comic Con, brainchild of one Alfredo “Apple” De La Fuente, kicks off its inaugural convention on Friday, October 25, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. With it comes three glorious days of celebrating TV, movies, comics, games and the culture that surrounds them.
“I worked at the San Diego Comic Con and I just loved the energy, how it was the [gathering of] pop culture” De La Fuente said. “I asked myself, ‘Why can’t San Antonio have that?’ We are big collectors. We love that stuff in San Antonio. San Diego Comic Con has a huge San Antonio presence. A lot of our artists travel down there. Why can’t we do something local?”
Any con worth its salt must provide an enjoyable mixture of celebrities (of the television and movie variety), panels, artists (and their wares), toy vendors (the rarer the toy the better) and cosplay (short for costume play, which can approach performance art). One look at ACCC’s lineup and it’s clear that its founder’s stints working for industry heavy-hitters DC Comics and Warner Brothers have left him uniquely situated to deliver guests and panels that would be right at home at more established cons.
ACCC does take a different approach than most cons though, by keeping a lot of the focus on comic books, which are quickly becoming afterthoughts at the very conventions they helped spawn. De La Fuente hopes to change that.
“I think people see Hollywood and the celebrities, and the comics kind of get missed. They get lost. [Like at Wizard World in Austin], maybe this is controversial, but artists don’t like to go there. They go when they are offered a free table. I don’t know if it’s a failure of leadership, or maybe they just don’t have the right push, but it’s expensive and they place the vendors first. I take care of artists.”
De La Fuente puts comic books, and the artists who create them, front and center.
“I include actual artwork in all my VIP packages. I want people to have that. Meeting a celebrity, that is what, five or 10 minutes? It’s cool, but if you own a lithograph, something from an artist, that can be for a lifetime. Hopefully that inspires some people.”
“Inspired” could by used to describe De La Fuente himself: Inspired to turn SA into a full-fledged nerd hub, if only for one weekend a year. With a solid inaugural lineup, Alamo City Comic Con seems poised to do just that. Here’s some sage advice for you jedi to follow on this new, potentially awesome, quest.
Dates and times are subject to change. Visit alamocitycomiccon.com/panels-screenings for up-to-the-minute info.
’80s Transformers Reunion
Definitely more than meets the eye, voice actors Dan Gilvezan (Bumblebee), Hal Rayle (Shrapnel, Snarl and Primacron), and Paul Eiding (Perceptor) will take part in a panel. Friday noon–12:45pm and Saturday 11–11:45am
Back to the Future
Attend a dramatic (and sure to be quirky) reading of the movie script by Sean Astin, Rob Paulsen and others. When they hit 88 words per minute, you’re gonna hear some serious S#!%. Saturday 5–7pm
Adam West and Burt Ward, the Dynamic Duo, reunited. Need I say more? Awesomesauce. Saturday noon–12:45pm
Breaking Into Comics
Offering aspiring artists development opportunities and the chance to be face-to-face with movers and shakers, Aspen Comics will be on hand to help those trying to break into the comic industry. Saturday 2–2:45pm
Featuring the lovely Nadia Anton, Nicole Marie Jean, MarieDoll, Leanna Vamp and not as lovely Spencer Doe, come see these professional cosplayers strut their stuff and show you how it’s done. Saturday 4–4:45pm
Halo: Chatting with the chief, Steve Downes, voice of Master Chief
The voice of one of the most iconic videogame characters in history, the gravely elocution provided by Downes can emasculate the manliest of men and turn a seemingly benign “Hello” into the most epic greeting ever. You’ve been warned (and teased). Friday noon–12:45pm
Machete: Danny Trejo and the making of the new film
Maybe the only other man who can pull off a BMF-embroidered wallet, Danny “Hola DEA” Trejo will be on hand to talk about Machete Kills and just generally look badass. Saturday 1–1:45pm
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
GO! GO! Go see Steve Cardena (Red Ranger), Walter Jones (Black Ranger) and David Yost (Blue Ranger) to relive your childhood (and maybe adulthood) memories. Spandex optional. Friday 1–1:45pm
Star Wars: Peter Mayhew, Ray Park, Jett Lucas
See everyone’s favorite walking carpet/Sith apprentice (whose screen time was cut—hee, hee—criminally short), and a prequel Padawan (and winner of the genetic lottery) in our not so far away town. Saturday 3–3:45pm
Walking Dead Cast Members
Post-apocalyptic lovebirds Steven Yuen (Glenn) and Lauren Cohen (Maggie) headline this Walking Dead gathering. See them as well as other (living and undead) cast members. Sunday 2–3:45pm
Alamo City Comic Con
$10-$85 General Admission
11am-8pm Fri, Oct 25
10am-7pm Sat, Oct 26
11am-6pm Sun, Oct 27
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
200 E Market