Each year, the Cincinnati Comic Expo invites a full roster of comic book creators and sci-fi/fantasy movie and TV stars. Here’s the lowdown on the artists and celebs you can meet when you’re not playing games, attending panels, and possibly even meeting the love of your life.
The Celebrity Guests
The “headlining” guest in 2018 is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jamie Lannister on “Game of Thrones.” Just to refresh, Jamie is the one-time ruthless warrior who, due to the intervention of Brienne of Tarth and a severed hand, discovers his feelings.
Other guest highlights are: Cary Elwes (Wesley from “The Princess Bride”), LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Summer Glau (River from “Firefly” and “Serenity”), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca!), Karl Urban (Eomer from “Lord of the Rings”), and Benedict Wong (Wong from the Marvel Cinematic Universe).
Comic Book Creators
Diverse as it may be, the Cincinnati Comic Expo is mostly about the comics. Sixty artistic contributors to your favorite titles will be on hand. Prominently featured is Mike Zeck (“G.I. Joe,” “Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars”), but will also include Darryl Banks (“Green Lantern”), Amy Chu (“Red Sonja, “Poison Ivy”), Dawn McTeigue (“Batman,” “Wonder Woman”), Neal Adams (“Batman”, “Superman”), Art Baltazar (“Hellboy”), Buzz (“X Factor”), Kristina Deak-Linser (“Dawn/Vampirella”), Dave Scheidt (“Adventure Time”), Siya Oum (“Lola XOXO”), and many more.
Celebrity guests are potentially available for autographs, professional photos, and selfies. Prices range from $20-$80. Check www.cincinnaticomicexpo.com for specific details on who’s willing to do what and for what price.
If you’re single and looking for someone who shares your obscure and uber-hip tastes, speed dating at the Expo might be for you. Hourly sessions take place at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, 2, 4, and 6 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday. There will also be noon sessions both Saturday and Sunday for the LGBT+ community. You will receive your results during your session. Speed dating goes down in Room 236 on the second floor. To register, visit Booth 254 on the main floor.
The Expo’s workshops and panels are geared toward both fans and aspiring creators. Topics include sketching, writing, getting published, competitive cosplay, and more.
The Expo holds a costume contest every year for fans who put their blood and sweat into making their costumes. Anything store-bought will get you laughed out of there, not to mention disqualified. The individual contests are organized by experience. The categories are: Youth, Novice, Journeyman, and Master Class. There is also a Best Group category for two or more cosplayers who want to enter together, and a Best Prop category, with no accompanying costume needed. Prize money ranges from $25-$1000. Visit www.cincinnatiexpo.com for complete rules. The contest takes place in the Queen City Panel Room (Rooms 200-205) on Sept. 15 at 6 p.m.
Tabletop gaming is available on the second floor in Room 206 all weekend. There’s open gaming, competitions, demos, and raffles. Games include Munchkin, Thanos Rising, Colony, Whistle Stop, Favor of the Pharaoh, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Boardgame, and more.
WANT TO GO?
What: Cincinnati Comic Expo
When: Sept. 14-16. 3-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Cincinnati
Cost: $20-$55 (adults), $5 (kids)
More info: www.cincinnaticomicexpo.com