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Gearing up for Niagara Falls Comic Con

It’s game on for Charles Martinet. The California resident has spent the last few days cramming in as much sight-seeing adventures as he could into his first trip to Niagara because, starting Friday, his calendar will be pretty full. “I’m enchanted with Niagara Falls,” he said Wednesday. “It is absolutely beautiful.”

Martinet, who has been the voice of Mario in Nintendo’s flagship video game franchise for the past 27 years, will be among a number of celebrity guests at the sixth annual Niagara Falls Comic Con which starts Friday. His voice can be heard in more than 100 video games including Skyrim, The Lord of the Rings and Tiger Woods PGA Tour. In the Mario series, he also voices Baby Mario, Luigi, Baby Luigi, Wario, Waluigi and Toadsworth.

“There’s a magic to comic cons,” Martinet said. “People getting together in these friendly, safe environments to hang out with people who love the same things they love.” Approximately 27,000 people attended the 2016 event at the Scotiabank Convention Centre and organizers expect to top that figure this year. “Ticket sales have exceeded last year’s ticket sales,” said Chris Dabrowski, show manager and co-founder of the popular event.

“And, Sunday is trending to be the busiest Sunday we’ve ever had.” Celebrity guests appearing Sunday only include writer/director Kevin Smith, WWE wrestler Sting and Eric Braeden, who has played Victor Newman on the daytime drama the Young and Restless since 1980. This will be Braeden’s first foray into the comic con arena.

“I don’t know if Eric knows what he’s in for in terms of the line up of fans he’ll be meeting,” Dabrowski said. “He’s probably one of the bigger buzz celebrities we’ve ever had and from a different demographic than we’re used to.” This year’s celebrity line-up includes horror legend Robert Englund, Barbara Eden and Caleb McLaughlin from the Netflix hit Stranger Things.

There will be Q&A panels and cosplay contests, along with more than 100 exhibitors. Additions this year include a replica of Optimus Prime from Transformers and the Batcopter from 1966. “There’s not an inch of this building that we don’t utilize,” Dabrowski said.

Comic Con is also assisting in a March and ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday at 9 a.m. to celebrate the Canadian release of the much-anticipated Wonder Woman movie. Fans who show up in costume – or Wonder Woman colours of red, blue and gold – will be shuttled to Niagara Square Cinemas for a free advance screening of the film. Meanwhile, Dabrowski is already busy preparing for the 2018 event.

“We already have guests booked,” he said. “We have as much fun planning the event as the guests do attending the event.” WHAT: Niagara Falls Comic Con WHERE: Scotiabank Convention Centre, 6815 Stanley Ave.

Niagara Falls WHEN: June 2 to 4 TICKETS: Friday – £23.95, Saturday – £36.95, Sunday – £28.95.

Three-day pass – £65.95. www.niagarafallscomiccon.com

Would you dress up for a comic convention?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

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