MERCED — California Republic Comic Con, Merced’s official comic con, will return to the Merced County Fairgrounds on Sept. 16. With three buildings, and more than 40,000 square feet, California Republic Comic Con (CRCC) is the Valley’s largest “geek culture” convention south of Stockton.
This year’s celebrity guest lineup includes Gary Lockwood, the star of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey. 2008” will mark the 50th anniversary of the science fiction film.
Lockwood also is credited with playing Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell in the Star Trek pilot episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” He will be joined by Sean Kenney, best known for his role in Star Trek as the crippled Christopher Pike in “The Menagerie,” and as Lt. DePaul in “Arena” and “A Taste of Armageddon.”
Star Wars fans can meet Julie Dolan who has voiced Princess Leia Organa for “Star Wars Rebels,” “Star Tours — The Adventure Continues” and numerous Star Wars videogames, and Stephen Costantino who who portrayed one of Jabba’s Gamorrean Guards in “Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.”
Also appearing at California Republic Comic Con actors Jimmy Hunt (“Invaders from Mars”), Alison MacInnis (“Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue”) and Steven Skyler (“Power Rangers Samurai”), as well as comic book artists and creators Chris Marrinan (“Excalibur,” “Wonder Woman”), Matt Haley (“Wonder Woman 77,” “Judge Dredd,” “Superman), Tobe Daranouvong (Villain Comic) and Omar Morales (“CruZader: Agent of the Vatican”).
Attendees will also be able to shop from various exhibitors and creators, meet local cosplayers and fan groups. The program also features Violette Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in Merced County, a cosplay contest with a trophy and cash prize for the winner, a retro video game room with more than 4,000 games to play, free Street Fighter Tournament, laser tag, and a live concert with performances by Steven Skyler, Stephen Costantino and “La La Lando the Musical.”
Show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Merced County Fairgrounds. All ages welcome. Tickets available online at www.california republiccomiccon.com (adult 13 and older $10, kids 5-12 $5, ages 5 and under free) or at the door (adult 13 and older $15, kids 5-12 $8, ages 5 and under free).