UPDATE JUN 22
Appearing as Darth Maul in Star wars, Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe, Toad in X-Men, and many more
2018 is an exciting year for Palm Springs as it welcomes it's second annual comic con to the convention centre. Just like birthdays, you can never have too many! This inaugural year boasts an impressive line-up with some heavy hitters in the voice-over world; chances are even if the names don't ring a bell, you will have heard them on tv or in your favourite RPG, so let's introduce you to them.
Ray Park- The orifinal Darth Maul who has had appearances in movies like Solo, G.I. Joe , and his upcoming role in Snake Eyes
Ray Stevenson - An actor whose varied roles include Volstagg in 'Thor', Frank Castle a.k.a. Punisher in 'Punisher: War Zone', Marcus in the 'Divergent' trilogy and Isaak Sirko in 'Dexter'.
Sean Schimmel - A.k.a. the voice of the one and only Goku in 'Dragon Ball Z'. His other voice-over credits include Bronk Stone, 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' and Master Khan in the TNMT TV series.
Although these three are the only ones offering pictures (for an additional price), the guest list is extensive, some of my personal favourites being:
Janeshia Adams-Ginyard - This incredible woman has recently leapt into the limelight as the stunt double for Danai Gurira ('Black Panther', 'Avengers: Infinity War'). Expect to see more from her in the near future in the latest Godzilla saga - 'King of Monsters'.
Jeremy Shada - Jeremy has been acting since the age of seven and landed the role of Finn in 'Adventure Time' at just 13!
Grey Griffin - I don't know where to begin...Her voice has been spread across your TV and Gaming screens, most iconically as Daphne in 'Scooby Doo'. She has also brought to life Azula 'Avatar: The Last Airbender', Catwoman 'Batman: Arkham City', Captain Marvel in the 'Avengers Assemble' TV series (and various video games) and a plethora of other characters in 'Adventure Time', 'Baulder's Gate', 'Green Lantern' TV series and 'Neverwinter Nights'.
The list just keeps growing and no matter whether you go to expos for the artists, celebrities, writers or cosplayers, this event will be another big step forward in establishing the city as a hub for creatives and enthusiasts alike.
The city of Palm Springs has a lot to offer and opens its doors to tourists throughout the year. To make the most of your time, here are some local tips and tricks to help you avoid the crowds and venture towards some of the valleys hidden gems:
Best Shake - Great Shakes have become famous in the valley winning multiple awards for their creamy cold treats and will serve up your shake with a mini donut on top!
Best Burger - Woody's Palm House, on South Palm Canyon, close to Ramon rd, this local haunt has live music every day of the week and some of the best American bistro food I have had here. Their fried pickles are to die for and the onion rings freshly cooked and hand battered....If you haven't had an onion ring, made to order, you need to get to Woody's! They even have a happy hour 3-6 for reduced drinks and appetizers.
Brunch - Broken Yolk is a California staple with large portion sizes and reasonable prices, this brunch will have you full for most of the day. There's tonnes to choose from and bottomless mimosas to help with the decision making. Tasty!
Happy hour - LULU's is one of the chicest places to hang out in the downtown area, with 3-course menus and an all-day happy hour (if seated in the bar area) so great for a quick lunch and some cheap drinks. The average drink price is $6 which will get you anything from spirit and mixers to wine and beer and even house cocktails.
All American Diner - Ruby's takes you back to the 1940s and has, in the past, incorporated rollerblades into their service style! Combine that with iconic red booths, sky-high milkshakes (where they bring you the overpour!) and a miniature steam train whizzing around overhead and you have a fun filled lunch for the whole family!.
Coffee - Koffi, voted Coachella valley's number one coffee shop, is locally operated and has become renowned for it's special roast. Prices are reasonable and the service is always excellent! You can even take a bag home with you.
24hr food - Whether you're in the mood for pancakes or mexican, downtown palm springs has you covered 24/7. There's the usual taco bell and Wendy's but go slightly further afield and you can get IHOP and Castanedas to suit all your late night needs.
The Valley has plenty of events every weekend, so keep an eye on Facebook to see what's going on if you need to get out of the Con for a while, but with all of the vendors, talks, Cosplay and atmosphere down at the convention centre, you will be hard pressed to drag yourself away!
COMIC XPO LOW DOWN
Palm Springs Convention Centre, 277 N Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs, CA, 92262
Weekend - $52
VIP (Weekend+Tshirt+Lanyard) - $72
Friday Concert - $20
Friday Concert - 8pm-1am
Saturday Showroom - 10am ribbon cutting by Sean Astin
10am-7pm Showroom open
Saturday Hypnotist Ron Stubbs with Comedian Justin Rupple - 8pm
Sunday Showroom - 10am-5pm Showroom open
Friday, June 22
8:00pm American Punk Band, Make Out Monday, featuring front man Jeremy Shada (Finn-Adventure Time)
9:15pm The best of pop and rock from L.A. based Rock Sugar, with Jess Harnell (Wakko Warner - Animaniacs, Transformers)
10:30pm to 1:00am wrap up the night with DJ Carlos Ferro! (Gears of War).
Arcade room, Cosplay yoga, Pokemon League, Twisted Toonz, Sean Rich Museum (Pirates of the Caribbean collection), Cosplay contest, Photo Ops, Concert and more!
PALM SPRINGS WEATHER WARNING
Expect heat and lots of it! This year it is predicted to be around 105ºf for the duration of the con, so drink lots of water, stay inside in the lovely air con and pick your cosplays wisely!
Tessa Gregory, 05/29/2018