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By Lee Roberts

North Carolina Comicon Raleigh NC March 17-18 2018

This weekend, March 17-18, 2018, in Raleigh, NC, the Oak City NC Comicon is taking place. Starting at 10AM on Saturday to 7PM and then on Sunday 10AM to 7PM, Raleigh will be hosting a lot of talented guests as well as having some fun panels and I'm betting there will be lots to see and buy with the vendors. It's going to be a very exciting weekend up in Raleigh. Why do I say that? Well, check out this short list of some of the great talent that will be the con.

Walter Simonson is one of the most talented artists to have worked on Marvels The Might Thor comic. Not only is he a talented artist but he's also a talented writer, and is the creator of Beta Ray Bill.

Louise Sinmonson – this talented writer and editor has worked on some of the biggest titles out there and part of some huge storylines like DC's The Death of Superman as well as so many Marvel titles like Web of Spider-Man, X-Factor, and many more.

Adams Hughes draws some of the most beautiful looking covers that I've ever seen. If you want to try to get some of his works from Catwoman or Wonder Woman then you better expect to pay a bit for them because no matter what he draws, it's a wanted issue.

Kevin Eastman is a name that almost every comic fan knows and though the common non comic book reader might not know his name they will know his characters. Kevin Eastman is the co-creator of the legendary Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That's right, those pizza eating teen turtles in a half shell are created by Kevin Eastman and he will be in Raleigh. Though I want to tell you now if you want to meet him then get in line early.

James Douglas is a force to be watched out for but there's a reason for that, he's the boxer known by the name of Buster Douglas and he's the guy that knocked out Mike Tyson and become the Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.

Orlando Jones ends this list of the few of the talented guests at the show this weekend and he's one fine actor. He's written for shows like A Different World and Madtv and even had his own show the Orlando Jones Show. He's one that shouldn't be missed at this con.

If going to see the guests isn't your cup of tea, then maybe the panels will be. Just check out the list of all the panels for Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, March 17

11:00 AM

Room 306: MadTV

It’s a laugh filled trek down memory lane as superstar actor Orlando Jones reminisces about his days on the sketch comedy television show, MadTV.

Room 201: Jen Cohn Talks Pharah From Overwatch

She’s your favorite character in Overwatch. You’ve heard her give all that great game dialogue a million times. Now it’s time to learn more about the woman behind Pharah – how did she get involved with this game? Does she play it herself? What’s it like to hear your voice coming out of a completely digital character? And how can you, yes you in the audience, take that next step toward a career in voice acting?

Room 202: RaDAdventures Podcasts

“RaD Adventures” is a network of podcasts focused on adventure comics with hosts Ruth and Darrin. In our presentation, we will discuss the comics covered in all three of our podcasts. We’ll also talk about the interactions we’ve had with creators Ron Randall, Mike Grell, and Mark Schultz through the podcasts.

Room 203: Upgrade My Cosplay with Caz Cosplay

Cosplayers with advanced skills in foam, thermoplastics, props, armor, tailoring, makeup, and leatherwork come together to discuss the tips and tricks that help bump your cosplay to the next level. Audience members are encouraged as questions on how to upgrade a current or future project.

Room 204: Basic Armor Patterning

Come see how the process of armor making begins as the designers at Ribbons and Rivets lead participants through making their own bracer pattern. All tools and materials are provided for this free workshop. Participation limited to the first 20 attendees.

12:00 PM

Room 306: Buster Douglas Video Game Challenge

He punched out Mike Tyson, and now you have the chance to challenge him! Join former Heavyweight Boxing Champion, James “Buster” Douglas, as he hosts a retro video game challenge where con testaments play the classic Sega Genesis video game, James “Buster” Douglas’ Knockout Boxing. The champion will go on to play in the finals against Buster himself!

Room 201: Walter Simonson Q & A

Welcome industry legend, Walter Simonson, as he talks about his long career as an artist and writer for high-profile books like X-Factor and Thor!

Room 202: Finding God in Comics

Comics, Graphic Novels, Movies, and Gaming can help us go deeper into the big questions about what we believe about life, identity, purpose, justice, and God. You are invited to be a part of this all “question and answer” panel with with Faith and Fandom’s Hector Miray, Ultimate Comics’s Chris Poirier, and Will Rose, Pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chapel Hill NC. All questions, faiths, and backgrounds are welcome.

Room 203: Writing Comics

You’re here because you love reading comics, but have you ever thought about writing your own? Talk with comics professionals like Tini Howard (Hack/Slash), Jeremy Whitley (Unstoppable Wasp), and Chris Sims (Swordquest, Deadpool: Bad Blood) about what it takes to be a comic writer!

Room 204: Lightning Dogs-The Greatest Animated Series You’ve Never Seen

A squad of canine commandos are trapped on a post-apocalyptic Earth – can they defeat Glampire’s mutant armies and return home? Join the writers and artists of Lightning Dogs (Nerdy Show’s Cap Blackard, Doug Banks, and Tony Baldini) as they share production art, the on-going saga of breaking in from the outside, discuss the animation, comics, films, and action figures that inspired the series, and tell the tale of how one dumb joke can change your life.

1:00 PM

Room 306: The Wild Tarney Show

Come play, “The Wild Tarney Show!” A “Price is Right” style game show that takes the your favorite comic books and movies, and turns them into games of chance where you, yes YOU could win big! Arrive up to 10 minutes early to submit your name with one our lovely and talented assistants, get a name tag, and see if you ​ get​ called to COME ON DOWN!!!​

Room 201: All Ages

Do you have kids? Are you a kid? Just a kid at heart? Great news! Some of the industry’s favorite creators are here to talk to you about the best books on the shelves for people of all ages! Join Chris Giarusso (G-Man, Mini Marvels), Art Baltazar (Aw Yeah Comics), Franco Aureliani (Tiny Titans), and Brian Smith (Madballs) about the kinds of comics kids like and how adults can use comics to help kids develop a love for reading!

Room 202: Color of Fandom presents Indie Comics for Every Fandom

Whether you’re into sci-fi, superheroes or the super natural, we’ve got recommendations of new indie comics for you to try.

Room 203: Science in Comics

We know comic books are great ways to show off your writing or artistic talent, but it’s also important for a creator to know about science. Join comic writer Jeremy Whitley (Unstoppable Wasp) and scientist/science communicator/science historian/sociologist Darrell Stover as they talk about the importance of getting the science right in your books and where people just get it so hilariously wrong. We’ll talk about examples like Shuri from the Black Panther movie and Nadia, the new Wasp, and how science can connect to kids of all genders and races. And don’t worry – there won’t be a quiz at the end.

Room 204: Animation World Building

Join superstar creators Brandon Graham (King City, Prophet) and Corey Kalman (Amerikarate, Fightinator) as they discuss animation and what goes into creating brand new worlds!

2:00 PM

Room 201: How to Pitch to IDW

Professional editors Sarah Gaydos and Joe Hughes talk to you about what editors do at IDW and how to make the perfect pitch – and what major mistakes to avoid!

Room 202: Comic Books in Education

Comic books and pop culture are a great tool to bridge student interest with various core subjects. Come learn more about how to connect!

Room 203: Introduction to Charity Cosplay

Interested in charity and cosplay? Join CausePlay Carolinas for their panel on how to get involved with costuming for a cause. Panelists will talk about their experiences with charity cosplay and the type of events they do.

Room 204: Cosplay Diversity

Diversity in the cosplay world is on the rise, but we still have a long way to go. Join Charlie Rocket and a panel of POC cosplayers as they discuss common issues for cosplayers of color and how they overcome them!

2:30 PM

Room 306: Kevin Eastman Panel

Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, is here to talk all about the original decision to make a serious martial arts book about giant turtles and how wild this universe of material has gotten since then!

3:00 PM

Room 201: Get Published

Join YA novelist Scott Reintgen as he reads from his new book, Nyxia Unleashed, then walks you through how to find an agent and get your own book out there!

Room 202: ZINES: From the Photocopier to Kickstarter

What is a zine, and how do you get involved in making one? Explore the history of self-publishing both as a political/artistic statement and as a community-builder within fandom, then learn some tips and advice about how to get started on your own DIY printing adventure.

Room 203: NerdSlam

The Nerd Slam is a winner take all contest in which contestants will be putting their wits on the line against other opponents. The unique part of this contest is that all participants will be putting their own individual knowledge of their favorite show, video game, comic, etc against others with their own Nerd Specialty as well. Think Wolverine(comics) vs Dragonball Z (manga) in a bracket style King of the Hill WINNER TAKE ALL!!

Room 204: Video Game Music Challenge

How well do you know video games? Come test your knowledge with 30 video game songs, from NES all the way up to Wii with prizes given with each answer!

4:00 PM

Room 306: GRAWL

Greensboro Ladies Arm-Wrestling returns to Comicon for another round of exciting arm wrestling competitions, including Harley Quinn vs. Poison Ivy! Challenge your best friend or ‘frenemy’ to an arm wrestling competition at our open table in exchange for a $5 donation to our general operating fund.

Room 201: Video Game Production

We know you love playing games, and here’s your chance to learn how your favorites were made! With guests including industry professionals like Jen Cohn (the voice of Pharah from Overwatch) and Richard Case with Red Storm, you’ll hear all about what goes into taking a cool idea to the hottest download and what you can do to next to pursue a career in game design. You’ll never play the same after this one!

Room 202: Color of Fandom presents Black Panther

Join us as we break down our favorite parts of the movie and why this movie is so significant.

Room 203: Fanboy Faceoff

Fanboy Faceoff is an interactive debate panel based on the Screen Junkies / CleVVer Movies web series. Participants will have the chance to convince the audience of their character’s supremacy for the chance to win prizes. The Panel is Hosted by Fanboy Faceoff Screenwriter Hector Miray.

Room 204: Queer Comics

Queer Comics have been seeing better representation over the last couple of years, with prominent books like Iceman, Kim & Kim, and America. Which ones get it right? Come talk about your favorite Queer characters in comics with industry pros like Tini Howard (Assassinistas, Hack/Slash) and Sarah Gaydos (the Love Is Love anthology) and find out where to get more!

5:00 PM

Room 201: Video Game Construction

Video game development is a complex task, involving art, modeling, layout, and physics. However, with commercial game engines that are available these days, it has become much easier for independent and hobbyist game developers to make small scale video games. Learn how to set up a game level in Unreal Engine, and the basics of interactivity.

Room 202: Unboxing With Buster Douglas

Sometimes a world famous boxer just wants to do the opposite. So, he unboxes. Join former Heavyweight Boxing Champion, James “Buster” Douglas and his co-host, Neatoco’s Seth Fischer, as they discuss pop culture and surprise each other and the crowd by opening mystery boxes of toys and comics and all sorts of weird and fun stuff! This show is going to be a knockout!

Room 203: Foam-How to Paint, Prime, and Seal

There’s now one perfect way that works for every foam project. Whether it’s a rigid props or an armor piece that has to move with you come learn the best materials, tools techniques to finish your foam project and make it last!

Room 204: Rogue 105th-Titanic

What happens when Stewie Griffin is King Of The World? The vocal engineers from the 105th Squad read the script for Titanic in voices from all fandoms as well as taking audience suggestions!

6:00 PM

Room 201: IDW’s Ghostbusters

VSince bustin’ Gozer the Gozarian, Vigo the Carpathian, and Ivo Shandor the boys in beige have been busier than ever. Fortunately their poltergeist pulverizing has been thoroughly documented in IDW comics. Join writer Erik Burnham, TMNT/ Ghostbusters co-author Tom Waltz, Doug Banks of the RPG audio drama Ghostbusters: Resurrection, GB expert Jeremy Tarney, and (g)host with the most, Nerdy Show’s Cap Blackard for a spirited discussion about the continuing legacy and latest adventures of the Ghostbusters.

Room 202: Bad Fanfic Dramatic Readings (Rated R)

There’s no limit to foul fan fiction. Turn horror into humor with dramatic readings of depraved smut in styles suggested by the audience. You can join in, too! But no one under 18 admitted without a parent present.

Room 203: Horror Cosplay Demonstration

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make a spooky or fun latex mask but didn’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Horror cosplayer Donttouchmymilk Cosplay will show you the basics of how to make a latex mask without the use of a head cast. Please note: Because this will include using latex, this panel is not safe for attendees with known or possible latex allergies/sensitivities.

Beltway Banthas

Star Wars has always been and will always be political. What’s made the franchise so successful is its universalist messages and themes that unite the vast majority of audiences. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is different. Something about it is uniquely divisive. In this panel we will explore the political undertones of The Last Jedi, both in-universe and the external forces in our own world that gave us the latest installment of the Star Wars saga.

Sunday, March 18

12:00 PM

Room 306: American Gods – Behind The Scenes!

Orlando Jones stole the show as trickster god Anansi in the Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. Find out more about his life in the film industry and what it was like to work in such a fan-favorite role!

Room 201: The Look and Sound of Online Gaming

TWe all know you love playing games, but do you know what goes into giving you that amazing immersive experience? Join Jen Cohn (voice for Overwatch’s Pharah) and Jackie Craft (Blizzard’s favorite professional cosplayer) to talk about what it takes to bring digital characters to life and how you can get started in your own career behind the scenes!

Room 202: Color of Fandom presents Geek Trivia

Come test your geek knowledge in a fun trivia game (using Kahoot). We’ll have prizes for the winners of each of our categories (Steven Universe, Dr. Who, Walking Dead)

Room 203: Retro Video Games Are Dying!

This panel will shine a light on the need for the historical preservation of retro video games. Join comic illustrator and game historian, Dexter Morrill, as he discusses the differing methods and current philosophies surrounding the preservation of video games through his original comic, The Fate of Owari! This panel is a huge opportunity to raise awareness and attempt to define what it means to preserve video game history for future generations.

Room 204: Podcasting 2.0

The hosts of The Joy of Geek and Name Redacted are back for an in-depth discussion on taking your podcast to the next level. Whether you have a podcast or you’re looking to start your own, hear some advice from a group of veterans and pop-culture gurus. Audience questions are welcome.

1:00 PM

Room 201: Buster Douglas Q&A

Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion, James “Buster” Douglas talks about punching his way into pop culture and sports history. From his underdog beginning to his triumphant upset over Mike Tyson, Buster has proven that everybody has got a Cinderella story in them!

Room 202: Cos-Professional

Your armor looks amazing. Everybody’s taking pictures of it. But how do you go from Con popularity to getting paid for doing what you love? Professional Cosplayer Jackie Craft will tell you all about her experience with companies like Blizzard and competitions like Cosplay Melee!

Room 203: Keenspot Spotlight

Keenspot’s east coast talent acquisition scout Rob Potchak hosts this announcement and Q&A panel devoted to the longtime comics publisher! Beginning eighteen years ago as a pioneering publisher of webcomics, in recent years Keenspot has branched out into monthly print comic books.

Room 204: War Rocket Ajax Live Podcast

Chris Sims (X-Men ’92, Deadpool: Bad Blood) and Matt D. Wilson (Supreme Villainy, Everything Will Be Okay) bring the Internet’s most destructive comic book and pop culture podcast to the stage for a special live show! Join Chris and Matt as they talk to special guest Tini Howard about her work in comics and her dream to own multiple crock pots for WrestleMania nights, along with a Q&A and all sorts of fun!

1:30 PM

Room 306: Kevin Eastman Interview

Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, is here to talk all about the original decision to make a serious martial arts book about giant turtles and how wild this universe of material has gotten since then!

2:00 PM

Room 201: The Renaissance: From Harlem to Saturday Morning

This panel examines Black representation in animation, from the mid-20th century to today. Join a diverse panel of creators as they not only speak on what has come before but usher in the brand new era of Black-led animation.

Room 202: Humans and Paragons: Super-Hero Justice

Explore with experts from a variety of backgrounds the connections between the stories we tell ourselves about justice and the justice we actually practice in the real world. With both super-heroes and the justice system currently at the forefront of our culture, super-hero fans have an opportunity to revisit this topic like never before.

Room 203: Leatherworking 101 Workshop

In this 90-minute primer for the basics of leatherwork lead by the designers at Ribbons and Rivets, participants will edge, burnish, dye, seal, and decorate their very own wrist cuff. All tools and materials will be provided. Just bring a pair of hands. Materials fee is $20, and participation is limited to the first 20 attendees.

Room 204: It’s Not Your Fault

Abuse and bullying are hard topics, but unfortunately many of us have suffered from it. Our panelists open up about their experiences with this, along with the toll it has taken on their mental health, and how they have overcome this.

3:00 PM

Room 306: Video Game Challenge with Buster Douglas

He punched out Mike Tyson, and now you have the chance to challenge him! Join former Heavyweight Boxing Champion, James “Buster” Douglas, as he hosts a retro video game challenge where con testaments play the classic Sega Genesis video game, James “Buster” Douglas’ Knockout Boxing. The champion will go on to play in the finals against Buster himself!

Room 201: Louise Simonson Q & A

The ladies of Terrabite take you through the trials and tribulations of being female in nerd culture. Come prepared to learn more about ways to connect with other women in nerd culture as well as amazing content you should check out by women.

Room 202: IDW Kids

Hey, kids! Do you like drawing? Or writing? Want to learn what makes a comic book a comic book? Let’s talk about how you can become a real comic book creator, straight from the people working in comics today!

Room 204: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness

Mutagen Man, Wyrm, The Pizza Thrower, The Utroms, Cudley the Cowlick… The Ninja Turtles are weird. Like, really, really weird. IDW TMNT writers Tom Waltz and Erik Burnham and artist Ben Bishop are joined by Nerdy Show’s Cap Blackard to celebrate the legacy of Ninja Turtles and the series’ myriad mutations across all continuities.

4:00 PM

Room 306: The Wild Tarney Show

Come play, “The Wild Tarney Show!” A “Price is Right” style game show that takes the your favorite comic books and movies, and turns them into games of chance where you, yes YOU could win big! Arrive up to 10 minutes early to submit your name with one our lovely and talented assistants, get a name tag, and see if you ​ get​ called to COME ON DOWN!!!​

Room 201: Women in Nerd Culture

The ladies of Terrabite take you through the trials and tribulations of being female in nerd culture. Come prepared to learn more about ways to connect with other women in nerd culture as well as amazing content you should check out by women.

Room 204: Video Game Development II

First-person shooter has been a popular genre in video game, from Call of Duty to Overwatch. Powerful tools provided by game engines make it a lot easier to build the shooting mechanics. In this panel, the panelist will show simple ways to make projectile and hitscan weapons, as well as damage and health mechanics. (Attending Video Game Dev 1 is not required for this panel)

5:00 PM

Room 306: Cosplay Showcase

You’ve loved seeing all these costumes all weekend, and it’s time to crown winners! Did your favorite make the cut? Come watch the best of the best compete for the Con’s ultimate prizes!