Your Ultimate Guide to Comic Con Honolulu 2017
Celebs from “The Princess Bride,” “Hercules,” and “Fight Club 2” at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.
Photos: Tien Enga
See actors Cary Elwes of The Princess Bride, Kevin Sorbo of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Jewel Staite of Joss Whedon’s cult series Firefly. Maybe meet award-winning comic illustrator David Mack of Kabuki and Fight Club 2 fame. It all goes down at the third annual Comic Con Honolulu, returning to the Hawai‘i Convention Center Friday through Sunday, July 28–30.
Thousands of comic, gaming and science fiction fans will gather to watch exclusive screenings and stage events, listen to celebrity panels and sci-fi/tech aficionados and compete in tabletop and video game contests.
In the Artist Alley, pick up unique handmade work by more than 50 talented local artists and artisans: a painting inspired by ’80s movies by local illustrator Cheyne Gallarde, crocheted pineapple-creature keychains by Loads O’ Cuties, or a comic book of original Hawai‘i superheroes by independent comic creator Christopher Caravalho and Mana Comics. “I love checking out the work of the artists around me,” says Gallarde. “If it’s your first time, I would definitely take your time and browse the Artist Alley.”
Guests for this year’s event are a who’s who among the sci-fi, television and video-game communities, including Elwes, Sorbo and Staite; illustrator Mack; Marvel’s Doctor Strange screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, who is expected to make a big announcement soon; and voice actors Nolan North of the videogame Uncharted and Sandy Fox, who has portrayed Betty Boop for Universal Studios since 1991. They’ll be available throughout the weekend for panel talks as well as autograph sessions and photo ops.
GEORGE TAKEI AT COMIC CON HONOLULU IN 2016.
“It’s about a great experience for fans, but the convention’s also a full-fledged show for the whole family,” says Comic Con Honolulu Chairman Marlon Stodghill, because because you can play video games, watch videos, as well as have a chance to meet people who share your interests.
“Some conventions, you don’t always get daily panels with the guests. You can pay for an autograph or photo, but if you also just want to ask a question, there’s that chance at Comic Con Honolulu. The Q&A sessions are lively and a lot of fun,” Stodghill says.
There’s an official Comic Con Honolulu app you can download with a full listing of events throughout the weekend or you can go online here. If you’re not sure where to begin, here’s a quick roundup of some cool events happening:
Let’s Roll: Getting Started in Role-Playing Games
Friday, July 28, 1 to 2 p.m., Main Stage
Don’t know your dungeons from your dragons? This informative panel will get you up to speed on what exactly a tabletop role-playing game is, how to play and create characters, navigating rules and scenarios, and will finally explain the mystery of 20-sided dice. (Hint: Try to always roll a 20 for maximum fun.) Perfect for those new to role-playing games or players who want to hone their abilities.
Hawai‘i Horror Ball Presents: A Horror Fashion Show (18+)
Friday, July 28, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Room 316 A/B/C
Miss Vamp Hawai‘i beauty pageant producer and KTUH FM radio host DJ Nocturna hosts an evening of thrilling fashion by local, cutting-edge fashion designers. Inspired by characters from horror films, literature, comics and beyond. The latest outfits promise to be exciting and provocative. (Interested in joining the show? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Live-Action Board Game: The Unusual Suspects Game for Cosplayers
Friday, July 28, 7 to 8 p.m., Main Stage
In the party game Unusual Suspects, the witness to a crime takes turns answering questions from detectives about a lineup of suspects. The questions relate to the suspect’s personality and, based on what the detectives can deduce, other suspects are eliminated until only the criminal remains—or they accidentally let the wrong suspect go free. For this large-scale, live-action adaptation, attendees in costume are encouraged to play as suspects, with questions corresponding to each different character. How well does the witness know the suspect characters? Do the detectives know the characters well enough to ask the right questions? Join the game and test your skills.
Board Game Radio Show: “Star Trek Panic”
Saturday, July 29, 12:15 to 1:05 p.m., Main Stage
This one-of-a-kind live interactive stage reading features local voice actors portraying Kirk, Spock and the other characters of Star Trek: The Original Series, while bringing to life the board game, “Star Trek Panic.” As the Starship Enterprise is attacked from all sides (Dammit, Bones!) and the crew has to save the ship, the audience provides sound effects and musical tracks during the play-through performance. Learn about the game and become embroiled in this outer-space adventure..
Saturday, July 29, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Room 316 A/B/C
Catch some of the best costumed characters of the convention at the cosplay contest, a showcase of incredible handmade or personally assembled outfits inspired by heroes from comics, video games, film and TV. Can you recognize them all?
Mānoa Medieval Combat Club
Sunday, July 30, 10 a.m. to noon, Room 312
Whether you’re an experienced martial artist or you and your buddies just whack each other with plastic lightsabers, the Mānoa Medieval Combat Club welcomes all to join in this simulated battle using safely padded mock weapons. It’s described as “all of the fun of combat with none of the dismemberment!” on the Comic Con website. And good for exercise and flexibility in a friendly and supportive environment. (Please note Comic Con Honolulu’s weapon and prop policy here.)
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars
Sunday, July 30, 3 to 4 p.m., Room 316 A/B/C
Hawai‘i’s longest-running improv theater group On The Spot Improv presents a live and interactive staged reading of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back converted into Early Modern English. Ian Doescher, a Portland scholar who holds a doctorate and is presumably a huge Star Wars fan, reinterpreted George Lucas’ space opera with a twist from the Bard: Now it’s The Empire Striketh Back, where all spoken word been converted to Shakespearean, complete with iambic pentameter. Meanwhile, the audience provides soundtrack and special effects for the live actors to respond to.
Doescher’s genius translation yields such gems as, “The bounty hunters sent by Jabba make / Pursuit to win the price upon my head. / So I must go once more unto the depths / Of my old life, find Jabba of the Hutt / And pay his ransom, thus to free my soul.” All that from this original Han Solo line in the film: “Well, there’s a price on my head. If I don’t pay off Jabba the Hut, I’m a dead man.”
Local companies are offering discounts for convention attendees. Present your badge to score some deals:
A free cookie with the purchase of a sandwich at Subway Kapi‘olani.
Eight-in-one topping pizza and 20-ounce soda lunch special for $6, or a single large three-topping pizza for $15 at Papa John’s on Kapi‘olani Boulevard.
10 percent off your order at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers on Kapi‘olani Boulevard.
Interested in joining the party? Pre-registration has closed for this year’s event, but plenty of tickets are still available at the door. It’s $40 per person on Friday, $55 on Saturday and $40 on Sunday. Or save with a three-day pass for $65. Kids ages 10 and under get in free with a paying adult.
Comic Con Honolulu, Hawai‘i Convention Center, 1801 Kalākaua Ave., comicconhonolulu.com