Fans came out in full force for the annual event known as Rhode Island Comic Con. This was their 6th annual event in the city of Providence. What started as a small event in just one room at the Rhode Island Convention Center, has now become the largest event in the state. Due to the great demand, they expanded a couple of years ago into the Dunkin Donuts Center which is attached to the Convention Center. You can`t truly get a good feel of the magnitude of the event until you come out and experience one for yourself. The Dunkin Donuts Center alone has two full concourses (upstairs and downstairs) completely filled with vendors, merchandise and everything in between. Beyond that, there is the Dunkin Donuts Center arena floor which was completely filled with all of the headline celebrities signing autographs.
This year by far was the biggest and best lineup yet for Rhode Island Comic Con. Headliners included Carl Weathers, Dolph Lundgren, Weird Al, Sebastian Stan, Paul Reubens, Jason Isaacs, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Gene Simmons, Paul Wesley, Paul Bettany, Dave Bautista, Robert Englund, Michael Colter, Barbara Hershey, John Cusack, Billie Piper, Justin Roiland, Ian McDiarmid, Tom Wilson, Christopher Lloyd among others.
Dave Bautista had 2 different photo op sessions (both sold out) and his autograph line was one of the largest seen all weekend. Dave was there Sunday only and the demand for him was a sight to see. This was a super rare appearance as he`s never done a wrestling convention and just starting now with the Comic Con appearances.
The Arena floor of the Dunkin Donuts Center was very well organized and improvements were certainly made from prior years. Each year as you grow as a convention, you realize what works and what doesn`t work, so you`re constantly changing with the demands each year.
Lines ran smoothly into the Dunkin Donuts Center through out the weekend. The line was so big at times, that it wrapped around the entire convention center outside. Saturday tickets and weekend passes had sold out prior to the show. VIP passes also sold out in advance and Sunday was pretty close to a sell out as well. Even Friday which was the slowest of the three days was jam packed with fans in both buildings.
Professional photo ops were run this year by CELEB PHOTO OPS which were an awesome company. This was their first Rhode Island Comic Con and i believe they did an amazing job. Lines went very smoothly and i still can`t get over how quick they went without issue. The 8x10 photo retrieval was amazingly quick and ready for you just moments after the photos were taken. Celeb Photos Ops were leaps and bounds better than prior photo companies and the fan feedback seemed to echo that.
The Rhode Island Convention Center was completely filled with vendors, Artist Alley, vehicles and tons more celebrities. Celebrities at the convention center included Sean Astin, Lou Ferrigno, Theo Rossi, Judith Hoag, William Shatner, Tony Danza, Jason David Frank, Jeremy Palko, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Joey Fatone, Robert Hays, Jonathan Ke Quan, Brittany Daniel, Judge Reinhold, Amanda Bearse, Ted McGinley, CCH Pounder, David Della Rocco, George Wendt, Adrian Paul, Sam Jones, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Nakia Burrise, Hilary Shepard, Steve Cardenas, Catherine Sutherland, David Mazouz, Michael Cudlitz, Charles Fleischer, Jeanne Basone, Bret "Hitman" Hart, Rey Mysterio, Sting, Christian, Christy Hemme, Melina, Howard Finkel, Joonas Suotamo, David Morrissey, Brian O` Halloran, David Garrison, Wallace Shawn, Sadie Sink, Lita, Trish Stratus, Gates McFadden, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Julian Glover, Chris Sarandon, Marina Sirtis, Jerome Flynn, Ross Marquand, Samantha Newark, Terri Runnels, Caroll Spinney, Gil Gerard, Felix Silla, Clare Kramer, Meg Foster, The cast reunion of The Revenge of the Nerds and so many more!!
I covered the after party Friday evening which was hosted by the stars of Super Troopers. A great crowd turned out for the after party and there were celebrity cameos, cash bar, Live DJ, food and overall just a great time.
I was lucky enough to be on hand for the Lou Ferrigno private birthday party with a half dozen people or so as we celebrated his 66th birthday with a cheesecake from GREGG`S restaurant! Lou is a big fan of cheesecake and never had the famous GREGG`S cheesecake until now. He gave it a rave review and absolutely loved it. We sang happy birthday to The Hulk and he then did a facebook live video showing off the party.
I was also honored with the opportunity to cover the Bill Diamond productions puppet reveal. He revealed four puppets all from The Ed Sullivan Show (1968). They were given to Bill as a gift from both Frank Oz and Jim Henson. Rhode Island Comic Con owner Steve Perry, actor Felix Silla and actor Gil Gerard were all on hand for the reveal ceremony to enjoy the special moment. The legendary Caroll Spinney (Big Bird / Oscar the Grouch) also stopped by to check out the classic puppets as this was certainly a great moment in history.