By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
The sixth-annual Ama-Con pop-culture convention will feature the author of the next Game of Thrones, the voice of the Power Rangers' most-feared villain and more.
The con runs 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday in multiple rooms in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex, 401 S. Buchanan St. A Geek Prom runs 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Admission is $5 for a one-day pass or $8 for a two-day pass.
"There's so much to be excited about at this year's Ama-Con," said Stacy Clopton Yates, public relations coordinator for Amarillo Public Library, which puts on the con with Friends of the Amarillo Public Library. Proceeds benefit the Friends' various educational activities and programs.
The excitement starts with headliner Patrick Rothfuss, author of the Kingkiller Chronicle novels, which Lionsgate announced last year would become a feature film and TV series with creative producer Lin-Manuel Miranda. As GoT winds down on HBO (only a season and a half left), many are predicting Rothfuss' works will become the new superstars of the high-fantasy realm.
"This is not the first time we've invited (Rothfuss), but the timing hasn't worked out. This year it did, and we are grateful for the fact that our persistence paid off," Clopton Yates said. "I imagine if it was next year or the year after, we wouldn't be able to get him."
He'll sign books at noon and 5 p.m. Saturday, and he'll deliver the con's keynote address at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, both in the Hospitality Room. He'll also take part in a panel discussion, "Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men: Moral Choices and Character Development," at 3 p.m. Saturday, also in the Hospitality Room. Joining Rothfuss on the panel will be YA sci-fi and thriller author Rachel Caine and Amarillo-based YA novelist A.G. Howard.
The con also is packed with other activities and events ():
Artists of all ages can enter the Ama-Con art show. Entries are due at the Civic Center between 2 and 6 p.m. Friday; fill out this registration form to take part.
Age divisions are 5 to 12, 13 to 18, and 19 and older.
Judges are myself; Alex Gregory, Amarillo Museum of Art curator of art; and Mark Morey, Amarillo College humanities instructor.
Robert Axelrod, the voice actor behind Lord Zedd and Finster in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, will sign autographs at 4 p.m. Saturday in Panel Room 2 in the Heritage Ballroom. He'll also lead the "Lord Zedd's Voice Over 101" workshop at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in Hospitality Room.
Attending such cons is a highlight of Axelrod's year, he said.
"It's very rewarding to find all of these fans," Axelrod said. "I think it's the satisfaction of knowing that we're remembered for our work on these shows. That's important to us."
Registration opens at 10 a.m. Saturday for gaming tournaments in the con's gaming hall, including Hour of Devastation at 11 a.m. Saturday ($10 entry fee); Warhammer 40,000: Fate of Konor at 11:30 a.m. Saturday ($15 entry fee); Forces of Will and Warmachine: Hordes steamroller tournament at noon Saturday ($10 entry fee for each); and Super Smash Brothers at 1 p.m. Sunday ($5 entry fee).
A miniature painting competition begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, and a free Magic the Gathering workshop begins at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Free arcade and board game play will take place on both days.
Screenings of popular anime and anime-inspired films and series will take place throughout the con in a special viewing room inside the Heritage Ballroom:
- Astro Boy at 11:15 a.m. Saturday
- My Little Pony at 12:15 p.m. Saturday
- One Piece at 1:15 p.m. Saturday
- Magic User's Club at 2:15 p.m. Saturday
- .hack//Legend of the Twilight at 3:15 p.m. Saturday
- Pokemon: The Movie 2000 at 4 p.m. Saturday
- Digimon Adventure Tri: Reunion at 5:30 p.m. Saturday
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie at 12:15 p.m. Sunday
- Whisper of the Heart at 1:45 p.m. Sunday
- and When Marnie Was There at 3:45 p.m. Sunday
Costume enthusiasts will enjoy several panels and competitions, as well as vendor booths throughout:
- Kids cosplay at noon Saturday in the Regency Room
- Gaming cosplay prejudging round at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Regency Room
- Foamsmithing workshop with Cosplay Cory and Frostbite Cosplay at 1 p.m. Saturday in Panel Room 1 in Heritage Ballroom
- Gaming cosplay finals at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Regency Room
- Sci-fi and steampunk cosplay prejudging round at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Regency Room
- "Frankensteining Your Cosplay" panel with Dat Ashe Cosplay at 4 p.m. Saturday in Panel Room 1
- Sci-fi and steampunk cosplay finals at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the Regency Room
- Anime cosplay prejudging round at 12:15 p.m. Sunday in the Regency Room
- "Extreme Cosplay" panel with Frostbite Cosplay at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in Panel Room 1
- Anime cosplay finals at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Regency Room
- Comics cosplay prejudging at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Regency Room
- "Costuming in a Galaxy Far, Far Away" discussion with 501st Legion, Rebel Legion and Mandalorian Mercs in Panel Room 1
- and comics cosplay finals at 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the Regency Room
In addition to vendor booths and booths featuring regional comic book artists, panel discussions and other events include:
- "Comics in the Golden Age" with R. Cat Conrad at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Panel Room 2
- Web comics discussion with Amy West at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Panel Room 1
- Professional artists sketch-off competition at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in Hospitality Room
- "The Men Who Made Marvel" with Kevin Hill at 1 p.m. Sunday in Panel Room 2
- Amateur artists sketch-off at 3 p.m. Sunday in Hospitality Room
- and "Drawing Hands and Feet" with Amy West at 4 p.m. Sunday in Panel Room 2
- "Power: The Rise of Women in Pop Culture" with Amarillo-based YA author Libbi Duncan at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Panel Room 2
- "How Libraries Change the World" panel with Rachel Caine, inspired by her Great Library series, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Panel Room 1.
- And a steampunk poetry slam at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Hospitality Room.
Activities geared specifically for children include the building of "asteroid launchers" at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, "How to Draw Monsters & Villains" with Amy West at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, cubelets activities with Don Harrington Discovery Center at 4 p.m. Saturday, "Drawing Cats & Dogs" with artist Blake Orvard at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, DIY fidget spinners at 3 p.m. Sunday and Kool Aid painting with DHDC staffers at 4 p.m. Sunday, all in the Kids Room in the Heritage Ballroom.
Ama-Con "keeps getting bigger every year," Clopton Yates said. "We think it is an amazing opportunity for our community. It gives geeks of all ages a chance to see one another, to enjoy their fandoms together.
"And it's a chance to remind people how much of this pop-culture stuff we love has roots in literature and comic books," she said.