Yellow City Comic Con to feature 'Star Wars,' 'Power Rangers,' other celebs in new location
By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Ten years ago, zombies were niche favorites and only the most devoted comic-book geeks knew who Ant-Man was.
But with the ever-rising popularity of genre fare like The Walking Dead and Marvel Comics superhero movies, what was once relegated to the fringes of pop culture is now totally mainstream.
That helps explain the growing popularity of events like Yellow City Comic Con, now celebrating its third anniversary by moving to a larger venue. YC3 opens with a preview session Friday and full sessions Saturday and Sunday in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex South Exhibit Hall and Regency Room, 401 S. Buchanan St.
"Who hasn't heard of Iron Man? Who doesn't know who Loki is?" said Josh Wilson, a YC3 board member. "That has given us the opportunity to create an event like YC3 that normally would have only went over in a metroplex area, in a large city."
YC3: Attack on Amarillo promises to be four times larger than previous years, organizers said.
It will open with a VIP night at 5 p.m. Friday, featuring panels with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers stars David Yost (Blue Ranger/Billy) and David Fielding (Zordon), actors Coleman Youmans (The Walking Dead) and Tim Rose (Star Wars), voice-over stars Mike McFarland (Dragonball Z) and Amarillo native Trina Nishimura (Attack on Titan), and a dance.
The con runs from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; VIP ticket-holders will get in 30 minutes early.
More than 150 exhibitors, professional artists and regional cosplayers will be on hand throughout the con.
Saturday's activities include:
- 10:30 a.m.: YouTube panel with Adam Morris
- 11:15 a.m.: Creating comics panel with Robot Friday's Thomas Clemmons
- Noon: Coleman Youmans of The Walking Dead
- 12:45 p.m.: CCP Comics (including Dead Robot and Systim)
- 1:30 p.m.: "It's Morphin' Time" panel with David Yost and David Fielding
- 2:15 p.m.: Cosplaying panel with Desert Rose Cosplay, Kaia Cosplay and MCubed Cosplay
- 3 p.m.: Voices of Funamation with Mike McFarland and Trina Nishimura
- 4:15 p.m.: Tim Rose, Admiral Ackbar in the Star Wars films
- 5 p.m.: Comic collecting
- 6 p.m.: Ramen noodle eating contest
- 7 p.m.: Adult cosplay contest
Sunday's activities include:
- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Coloring contest
- 11:15 a.m.: Xbox One Bingo begins
- 2 p.m.: Kids cosplay contest
Organizers said it's not just pop culture's embrace of genre fare that's making YC3 so popular.
"I know on a local level, from my own personal experience, is that it's a family event," board member Cody Seaton said. "I'm of a generation who really grew up with this stuff ... and now I'm able to share with my children."
But Seaton added that the embrace of comic-book culture has broadened the con's audience, as well.
"You can be a football jock or the science nerd or the math whiz — you can all come together and enjoy," Seaton said.
Later this week, I'll post an interview with Nishimura, who'll tell how she went from community theater in Amarillo to being one of the most in-demand anime voice-over artists in the industry, and Yost, who'll talk about his struggles with living as a gay man while starring in a popular children's show.
Tickets are $15 for Friday's early access and dance or for a pass for Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $5 for children ages 5 to 12 (or free for those 4 and younger) or $10 for active fire, police and military (with IDs). VIP packages are $100, including early access to celebrity guests, prime seating in panels and more. A VIP pass for Friday, plus weekend-long regular access, is $30.
For information, visit www.yellowcitycon.com.