By Avery Wood
The second annual Comic Con Palm Springs has been announced and will be occurring August 25-27, 2017 and according to creator Christopher Spellman, it is going to be bigger and better than last year’s already impressive event.
After the success of the last year’s event, with 15,000 people in attendance according to the website, this year will include even more exhibits and attractions. Spellman is committed to expanding the event each year, saying, “We’re going to make it bigger and better and more exciting while maintaining the integrity that fans expect.” Prominent writer and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, who cut the ribbon to initiate the event last year, will once again be in attendance. Spellman is confident that this year, the event will be even more successful since “many more people are now aware of it [and] excited earlier because of what we accomplished last year and trust that we’ll produce an A-level comic con for the attendees.”
This year’s featured guest at Comic Con Palm Springs is actor and comedian Tom Kenny, most notably known for voicing the character SpongeBob SquarePants. Other special guests include voice actress Dana Gaier of Despicable Me; voice actress Veronica Taylor of Pokemon; and comic illustrators Katie Cook and Catt Staggs, among many others. Returning events include CCPS Symphony Pop Live ’17, CCPS Downtown Palm Springs’ Zombie Walk, Escape Room Zombie Maze, Geek Speed Dating, Lego Exhibit Room, Arcade Expo, VR Lounge, CCPS Costume Contest with $1,000 Grand Prize and the Geek Film Fest. As for what has changed since last year, Spellman says, “We have more experiences for people to have fun for three days… maybe they won’t be able to do it all, which is customary,” adding that there are “two nights of parties, one with performances by bands,” which includes a band fronted by Tom Kenny. New attractions include a Zombie Café; Weaponry from Pirates of the Caribbean, hosted by Sean Rich of Pawn Stars; CCPS Fashion Show featuring Christopher Straub of Project Runway; and CCPS KidsCon, with more events being planned.
Comic Con Palm Springs will be held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, located just two miles from the Palm Springs International airport and walking distance from the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, which is offering room specials in association with the event. The Riviera Palm Springs is also offering room specials. According to Spellman, Comic Con Palm Springs had the most attendees of any event hosted at the Palm Springs Convention Center last year. Spellman believed that Palm Springs would be the ideal venue for the event because he sees the community thriving, saying, “We’ve grown into a full-fledged city in our valley… very entertainment driven… growing with families… Palm Springs has become a large home for people, when I see the growth of Las Vegas, it reminds me of that.” He goes on to say, “Locally, it’s just great to work with great people… the whole city and the valley… helped support this.” The attention gained by the event wasn’t only from local residents. “We’re drawing a lot of people here,” Spellman says, “we had people coming in from almost every state. He notes that New York was third on a list of states that fans traveled from, with some attendees coming from as far as Canada and London, according to Spellman.
The event was founded and produced by Christopher Spellman, who has been working in the entertainment industry for 18 years, with eight of those years being in the comic industry, and is promoted by BB Ingle. Tickets can be purchased on the website, comicconpalmsprings.com. Three day general admission, $57 in advance and $67 at the door, includes all free events; an entry badge; and a program. Three day VIP admission, $97 in advance and $107 at the door, adds VIP line access into all free events; CCPS “VIP Collectible” t-shirt; CCPS “Collectible” print; 10% discount at official CCPS merchandise booths; and entrance into Saturday night CCPS after-party. One day entry is available starting at $25 and tickets for all active military, police, fire, and EMT personnel are discounted. Applications to become a sponsor or exhibitor are available on the website.