The Race to ACE
The third annual Albuquerque Comic Expo is hitting the Convention Center this weekend for three days’ worth of pop-cultural awesomeness. In addition to all the comic book, video game and sci-fi entertainment, there’s plenty of film- and TV-related content to occupy your time.
For starters there are tons of great media industry guests. How about starting off at 8 p.m. on Friday with a karaoke meet-and-greet featuring Nicholas Brendon (Xander from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”)? That’s how ACE rolls, giving guests an interesting way to mix and mingle with one another. So who else can you expect to run into at ACE’s various autograph sessions, panel discussions and Q&A gatherings? There’s a strong emphasis on voice actors this year, led by the multitalented Billy West (Stimpy from “The Ren & Stimpy Show,” Fry from “Futurama”). Veronica Taylor may not be a household name, but she provided the voice for Ash in the “Pokémon” series as well as the voice for April O’Neil in the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” cartoon. Both will appear in a “Voice Acting in Movies and Video Games” panel at noon on Saturday.
Other TV and movie actors making the pilgrimage to ACE include Dean Stockwell (“Quantum Leap,” “Battlestar Galactica”), Claudia Wells (Back to the Future), Glenn Morshower (Transformers, After Earth, X-Men: First Class) and David Yost and Walter Emanuel Jones (the Blue and Black Rangers, respectively, from “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”). ACE is also paying tribute to the soon-to-disappear, locally shot phenomenon “Breaking Bad” with a special Q&A featuring actors Giancarlo Esposito, Steven Michael Quezada and Jeremiah Bitsui. (That one’s 5 p.m. on Saturday.)
In addition to shaking hands with and asking question of the stars, you can also take in a few films at this year’s ACE. Rocky Horror New Mexico will present a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show complete with live shadowcast (7 p.m. on Saturday). There will, of course, be an anime room with all-day screenings of Japanese animated features and series. Most exciting of all, TromaDance New Mexico will return for its 10th anniversary Film Festival (2 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday). This year’s lineup will spotlight “the latest and greatest in cutting edge indie cinema” as well as a “best of” collection of films from years past. Among the films you can catch are the new Troma slasher Father’s Day and a special screening of the shot-in-Albuquerque zombie flick The Stink of Flesh. Surviving members of the cast and crew (including, it must be noted, myself, having appeared as the curiously perverted “Lt. Vega”) will be in attendance for this 10th (or so) anniversary screening. As if that weren’t enough to get you out, the film will be presented for the first time in public in 3D!
Albuquerque Comic Expo runs Friday, June 21, through Sunday, June 23. Get over to abqcomicexpo.com for a complete lineup of guests, vendors and events.