Ama-Con expects thousands for pop-culture celebration
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Ama-Con returns Saturday. Not everyone is arrested, don't worry.

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Organizers hope to crush previous attendance records when Ama-Con returns for a fifth year Saturday.

The comic book, anime, gaming and steampunk convention, organized by Amarillo Public Library, will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex North and South Exhibit Halls, Regency Room and Heritage Ballroom, 401 S. Buchanan St. (See full schedule below.)

"This is our fifth Ama-Con, and we've been delighted every year that it has grown," said Stacy Yates, the library's PR coordinator. "There are people who go to cons all over the country who tell us consistently that Ama-Con is the most fun ... that the people who attend are the coolest and that the con is really well organized."

The con debuted in 2012, when it drew about 1,600 people. Last year, attendance had grown to about 5,000, and organizers hope to draw 8,000 or more this year.

Highlights will include:

  • Appearances by Steve Blum, who voiced Spike Spiegel on Cowboy Bebop and Wolverine in various cartoons, among hundreds of other credits; Theo Nicole Lorenz, creator of Unicorns Are Jerks and other adult coloring books; Joe Shine, author of I Become Shadow; J.W. Kinsey, finalist on GSN's Steampunk'd; A.G. Howard, author of the Splintered series; Shanna Peeples, 2015 National Teacher of the Year; and Mark Oshiro, creator of Mark Reads and Mark Does Stuff
  • Kids, comics, gaming, anime, sci-fi and steampunk cosplay contest
  • Gaming tournaments, including WarhammerMagic the GatheringDragonball ZSuper Smash Bros. and more
  • More than 175 booths featuring comic books, gaming supplies, steampunk accessories and more
  • A Geek Prom from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday
  • A screening room featuring anime movies on Saturday and geek-culture documentaries and children's shows from Panhandle PBS on Sunday
  • and more.

It's all in celebration of nerdery at its finest, which has never been more popular — or more accepted.

"My opinion, for what it's worth, is that the internet and pop culture have fed one another," Yates said. "The fact that so many movies have been made out of comic books and anime and manga kind of means that anybody can be a geek.

"There was a time when it took a lot of work ... but today, because there are so many options for learning about things, for finding the comics themselves, for seeing the movies, it makes it a lot easier to participate in geek culture, and we think that's awesome."

Admission is $8 for both days or $5 for one day. Visit Ama-Con's website or Facebook page for more information.

Here's the full schedule:


  • 10 a.m.: Magic the Gathering Super Invitational Qualifier 1K tournament (registered players only; registration at 9:30 a.m.)
  • 11 a.m.: Ama-Con opens; free play/gaming demos begin
  • 11:30 a.m.: Warhammer 30K tournament
  • 11:30 a.m.: Fruits Basket screening
  • Noon: Kids cosplay contest (Regency Room)
  • Noon: Heroes vs. Villains in YA Literature panel by Shanna Peeples (Heritage Ballroom)
  • Noon: Super Smash Bros. tournament
  • Noon: Warmachine Hordes tournament
  • Noon: Halo 5 grinder on demand
  • 1 p.m.: Cosplay 101 panel (Regency Room)
  • 1 p.m.: Cowboy Bebop screening 
  • 1 p.m.: Superhero activity in kids' room (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 1 p.m.: Star Wars X-Wing tournament
  • 1 p.m.: Forces of Will tournament
  • 2 p.m.: Make Your Own Coloring Book presentation (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 2 p.m.: Yu-Gi-Oh tournament
  • 2 p.m.: Halo 5 tournament
  • 2:30 p.m.: Romeo x Juliet screening
  • 3 p.m.: Gaming cosplay contest (Regency Room)
  • 3 p.m.: Cowboy Bebop panel
  • 3 p.m.: Liquid nitrogen ice cream (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 3 p.m.: Dragonball Z collectible card game tournament 
  • 3:45 p.m.: Origins of Batman presentation (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 4 p.m.: Black Cat screening
  • 4:45 p.m.: Sketch-Off
  • 5 p.m.: Coloring book activity (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 5 p.m.: Steampunk Maker presentation
  • 5 p.m.: Halo 5 tournament
  • 5:30 p.m.: Comics cosplay contest (Regency Room)
  • 5:30 p.m.: Noragami screening
  • 7 p.m.: Geek Prom


  • Noon: Ama-Con opens; free play/gaming demos begin
  • Noon: Warmachine Hordes tournament
  • 12:30 p.m.: Cosplay prop making panel (Regency Room)
  • 12:30 p.m.: The Many Voices of Steve Blum panel
  • 12:30 p.m.: Thank You for Playing screening
  • 1 p.m.: Harry Potter wands duels (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 1 p.m.: Super Smash Bros. tournament
  • 1:30 p.m. Drawing Hands and Feed presentation (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 2 p.m.: Odd Squad: The Movie screening
  • 2 p.m.: Halo 5 grinder on demand
  • 2:30 p.m.: Anime cosplay contest (Regency Room)
  • 2:30 p.m.: Steampunk poetry slam (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 3 p.m.: Stomp rocket activity (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 3 p.m.: Cosplay: Crafting a Secret Identity screening
  • 3:30 p.m.: Fan Fiction for All panel (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 4 p.m.: SciGirls screening
  • 4:30 p.m. Sci-fi / steampunk cosplay contest (Regency Room)
  • 4:30 p.m.: Digital art presentation (Heritage Ballroom)
  • 5 p.m.: Make Your Own Lightsaber (Heritage Ballroom)


Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at on Facebook.