The Hippo


Jun 2, 2020








Comic Con 2015. Photo by J. McDonald Media.

Before and after party fun

Lip Sync Battle Kick-off: 25 spots, 18-plus event, free; submit song choice and second song choice to, plus name and age, at Radisson Center of New Hampshire Curriers room, Friday, Sept. 16, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Screening of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension: Friday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m., includes Q&A with Lewis Smith and W.D. Richter, $12, at Cinemagic Theatres, 1226 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 644-4629
Granite State Comic Con Drink & Draw: Saturday, Sept. 17, at 9 p.m., at the Thirsty Moose, 795 Elm St., Manchester,, which has 100 beers on tap and will have comic-themed cocktails
Dancin’ To Bantha Trax after party: Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., at the Radisson, $10, DJ, costume contest, drinks, Robbins Studios and Photography, games courtesy of Gamer’s Sanctuary, live body painting by Chameleon Colors, 18 and older only
Granite State Comic Con
Where: Radisson Center of New Hampshire, 700 Elm St., Manchester
When: Saturday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (VIP entry at 9:30 a.m.), and Sunday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., VIP entry at 9:30 a.m.
Admission: $20 for a Saturday or Sunday pass ($25 at the door), $35 for a weekend pass ($45 at the door), free for kids younger than 10, VIP pass $65, includes early entry and after hour event access, T-shirt, goodie bag (must order VIP ticket by Sept. 15)
Other entry fees: $20 for Dragonball Z Regional Entry
Contact: Double Midnight Comics, 245 Maple St., Manchester, 669-9636,,

King Con
Supersized Granite State Comic Con features guest stars, lightsaber duels and cosplay

By Kelly Sennott

 The Granite State Comic Con has officially grown to its full capacity at the Radisson.

The event is happening Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18, and will take over every available function room at the hotel — including the recently added Armory Ballroom.
“Last year, we had everything in the Expo Center, and we were crunched for space. To accommodate more people and more things, we added [the Armory],” Double Midnight Comics co-owner and festival co-organizer Chris Proulx said via phone. “The whole convention scene in general is just booming. You’ve got kids, you’ve got adults, you’ve got men, women and teenagers. It’s all over the map these days.”
Inside this new room, visitors will find the FanZone, also new, which includes the Kids Con (with things like coloring and activity tables, face painting, cartooning and drawing lessons and Disney character storytimes), costume groups, Harry Potter-themed interactive magic classes and lightsaber dueling.
The lightsaber dueling class is organized by Granite State Saber Academy, a recently formed organization spearheaded by J.D. Lauriat, a Star Wars fan who’s studied martial arts and stage combat for almost 30 years, and who also holds regular classes at The Knights Hall on Lake Street in Nashua. 
The class includes direction on how to choreograph and execute staged lightsaber fights with a partner; participants typically range in age from kids to 50-plus. 
“Everybody has, at some point, picked up an empty wrapping paper roll and pretended it was a lightsaber,” Lauriat said via phone last week. “Here, people can live out their over-the-top fantasy style fights. Everything is designed to be safe.”
Besides these new additions, Comic Con, now in its 14th year, will feature most of the same details that have made it a destination event. Cosplayers will walk the streets, courtyard and hotel hallways, and out front will sit a big Optimus Prime replica truck.
Inside, there’s so much programming, it’s impossible to hit everything, so attendees should plan their days accordingly. Panels fill both days and tackle all kinds of themes and topics, including but not limited to voice acting, cover art, Batman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, audiobooks, head-sculpting and creator-owned comics. Artists will exhibit and demonstrate all weekend long.
For hard-core gamers, there’s a Dragon Ball Z regional qualifier, HeroClix Realms open championship and a Gamer’s Sanctuary arcade room full of ’90s era games (Pokemon, Pac-Man, Mario Kart) with tournaments you can enter for $1.
Celebrity guests include Adrian Paul (actor from Highlander series), Steve Cardenas (actor from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) Ian Whyte (actor from Game of Thrones, Alien vs. Predator), Dave Barclay (puppeteer from Return of the Jedi), Jeremy Howard (actor from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows), Dameon Clarke (actor from Dragon Ball Z), Samantha Newark (actor from Jem and the Holograms) and Lewis Smith (actor from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai). 
And from the fan community, visitors will get to meet the New England Brethren of Pirates, The Hero Army, the 501st New England Garrison & Rebel Legion, Kingdom of Goldenvale live-action role players and representatives from The Angry Geeks show and Mark Pinksten, whose nerd magic show is inspired by Star Wars, Dr. Who, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Marvel Comics and Jaws.
If two full days of geek programming aren’t enough, the con includes a number of supplemental events, like a screening of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Friday night with a Q&A with Lewis Smith and W.D. Richter. Saturday night, there’s a Drink & Draw event at the Thirsty Moose, which Proulx expects a lot of weekend comic book artists to attend, and an after party at the Radisson.
This year, Double Midnight Comics owners and festival organizers hired CrowdFood to bring five food trucks to sit along Pleasant Street, so that instead of breaking your day up with a sit-down lunch, you can make a quick pit stop, grab a sandwich and get your food to go so you don’t have to miss anything. 

®2020 Hippo Press. site by wedu