We are excited to be partnering with Orchestra Iowa to welcome Tommy Tallarico to Cedar Rapids Comic Con 2017!
*PLEASE NOTE: Tommy Tallarico will be at Cedar Rapids Comic Con for a limited time during the the event. He will be at the Orchestra Iowa booth from 10:30am-1:30pm. Be sure to also get tickets to see Tommy perform at the Video Games Live concert after the convention!
Tommy Tallarico is a veritable video game industry icon. As one of the most successful video game composers in history, he has helped revolutionize the gaming world, creating unique audio landscapes that enhance the video gaming experience. He is considered the person most instrumental in changing the game industry from bleeps & bloops to real music now appreciated worldwide by tens of millions of fans. As a well-recognized on-air television personality, live performer and composer, Tommy brings his in-depth knowledge, years of experience, and love of cutting edge multimedia to the masses. Tommy has worked in the gaming industry as a designer, product manager, producer, writer, games tester and heads of both music and video departments. He produced, co-created, wrote and co-hosted 3 internationally award-winning syndicated and network television shows as well as creating, producing and hosting the continuing worldwide touring sensation Video Games Live. Aside from touring around the world with Video Games Live, he is currently producing a $7 million worldwide touring Disney music spectacular arena show launching in 2013.
An accomplished musician, Tallarico has been writing music for video games for more than 23 years. He has won over 50 industry awards and has worked on more than 300 game titles; to date, they total sales of more than 100 million units and over four billion dollars in revenue. No one in the history of the video game industry has ever worked on more titles and projects. In 2008, he was enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records with a two page feature article and interview and currently holds 3 Guinness World Records
including the person who has worked on the most commercially released video games. In 2012 during the Game Developers Conference he received a Lifetime Achievement Award and is also in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. for his contributions to the game industry. In 1994, he founded Tommy Tallarico Studios, the multimedia industry’s largest audio production house. In video games, television, film, radio, soundtracks, toys and even on floats in the New Years Day Rose Parade in Pasadena CA, Tallarico’s music has been heard by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Tommy is a cousin of rock star legend Steven Tyler (nee Tallarico) and in 2002 Tallarico’s music was used as the opening song for Aerosmiths’ “Girls of Summer” world tour. His top titles include Earthworm Jim, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Disney’s Aladdin, Spider-Man and Metroid Prime as well as top selling popular game franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, Madden Football, Mortal Kombat, Time Crisis, Unreal, Lineage, James Bond, Blitz Football, Knockout Kings, Test Drive, Scooby Doo, WWE & Twisted Metal. His score for Advent Rising has been noted as “one of the greatest musical scores of all time” by websites such as Yahoo, Gamespot and others.
We are incredibly excited to welcome Michael Hogan to Cedar Rapids Comic Con 2017 as a guest of honor.
Everybody knows the XO, Colonel Saul Tigh, of the Battlestar Galactica! Hogan has well over a hundred film TV and audio credits to his name. The terrifying werewolf killer, Grandpa Gerrard Argent on MTV’s Teen Wolf, General Slade Wilson/Deathstroke on Smallville, Sean Barlow on The Mentalist, General Donovan on Falling Skies.
As a voice actor, some video games are The Elder ScrollsV: Skyrim as General Tullius, Fallout: New Vegas as Doc Mitchell, Mass Effect 2 & 3 as Captain/Commander Bailey. He and his wife, Susan Hogan, (Captain Doyle Franks on BSG) met and married while attending the National Theatre School of Canada in the late sixties. They have graced stages and screens, together and separately ever since. So say we all!
Full Filmography: http://www.imdb.
We are excited to welcome Jeff Balke to the guest lineup for 2017.
Jeff Balke is an Award Winning Comic Book Colorist who has worked on more than 200 books, and has worked with companies such as Marvel, Image, Zenescope, and Storm King Productions. Jeff has been nominated twice for the Eagle Awards for Best Comic Book Colorist, and won the Shel Dorf Award in 2011 for Colorist of the Year. Jeff currently owns and operates Jeff Balke Studios an Animation and Cartooning Studio which specializes in 2D Animation. Jeff Balke Studios first animation short is due for release in early Spring.
We are excited to welcome Steve Potter to the guest lineup for 2017!
As a child in the 1980s Steve Potter’s family had recognized his skill in art and often dreamed of him growing up to work for Disney. To this Steve replied, “I just want to work for Mad Magazine and Garbage Pail Kids!”
Fast-forward to present day, things have come to fruition. Potter is best known for his work on the Topps trading card series Garbage Pail Kids working alonside his favorite Mad artist Tom Bunk and drawing lots of boogers and farts! Hired by Topps in 2013, Steve quickly secured his spot among the veteran artists and continued on with additional Topps brands including Wacky Packages, Star Wars: Rogue One, and most recently The Walking Dead. Since he is now a Lucasfilm/Disney approved artist he sort of…in a roundabout way…technically…works for Disney? Maybe his Mom and Dad can overlook all the zits and vomit and still be proud?
We’re excited to welcome S. Clarke Hawbaker as a guest to Cedar Rapids Comic Con 2017!
S. Clarke Hawbaker has worked in the comic industry since 1984. Most notably for Marvel as the penciller on Nomad. He was worked for Marvel, DC, Image, and many independent companies from interiors to trading cards. Stop by his booth to get a complete list of his work.
Cory Hamscher is a comicbook artist from the more-than-corn state of Indiana. He broke into the business in the late 90’s doing work for Avatar Press, Chaos! Comics, and Devil’s Due Publishing (G.I.Joe & G.I.Joe vs Transformers).
Cory has spent most of the last decade working for Marvel as a penciller and/or inker on many titles including X-Men ’92, The Incredible Hulk, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, Mar. Adv. Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Powerpack, Giant-Size Hulk, Avengers Academy, X-Men Forever, Deadpool Corps, and Skaar Son of Hulk. He was also the artist on the relaunch of Supreme for Image Comics in 2012.
Some of Cory’s most recent credits include X-Men ’92 #5 & #10, Dark Tower #4, All-New Ghost Rider #8-10, Spider-Man Spectacular #1, Captain America: Homefront. and the indie miniseries Judges.
We’re excited to welcome Frank Fosco as a guest to Cedar Rapids Comic Con 2017!
Frank is best known for his stint on the 23 issue run of Image Comics’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
He’s done work for DC on Legionnaires, Superman/Elseworlds, Steel, Robin and Zero Hour among other DC works.
He has also contributed pencil work for Marvel on The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine: A 12 issue 40 year anniversary of The Fantastic Four paying homage to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
He’s done numerous backups for Image’s Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon which includes long runs on Vanguard and Frank’s creation Ethrian.
Frank has also been an artist for Kingstone Media’s publications, 101 Questions and the Bible volume 7.
This post will be updated and shared regularly as new rules and regulations are created, adjusted, etc. We don’t want to be the rules police… but here are a few rules that will make sure everyone has a good time.
Rule #1: Badges, Wristbands, and Entry Areas
A badge (VIP Admission Badge) or wristband (General Admission wristband or Level 2 Admission wristband) is required to attend Cedar Rapids Comic Con.
Those with General Admission wristbands can only enter the first floor of the convention (the vendor hall).
Those with Level 2 Admission wristbands or VIP Admission Badges can enter all areas of the convention, including the vendor hall, the upstairs tabletop gaming room, the upstairs video game room, and the speakers/session room.
Children aged 12 and under are allowed free admission to the convention, so long as they are with a paid adult (up to three children per paid adult). If the paid adult has a General Admission wristband, the accompanying children may only enter the first floor of the convention with that adult. If that paid adult has a Level 2 Admission wristband or a VIP Admission Badge, they accompanying children may enter all areas of the convention with that adult.
Rule #2: Unaccompanied Minors
Children under the age of 16 should be accompanied by an adult at all times. We try our very best to be a welcoming convention for people of all ages (hence our free admission policy for kids 12 and under), but for liability reasons, we can’t allow minors to run around freely at the event. We’re a family friendly event, but we’re not a daycare.
Rule #3: Anti-Harassment Policy
We’ve posted this in a few places in response to questions, but we’re posting it here as a standalone message.
People will be dressing in costume at this event. For those unaware, this is also known as “cosplay.” While this is a family-friendly event and we hope everyone will be dressed appropriately with that in mind, we understand that costuming is a form of expression.
WITH THAT SAID: Cosplay is not consent.
Keep your hands to yourself. If you would like to take a picture with or of another CRCC attendee, always ask first and respect that person’s right to say no. Be respectful, be nice, and be kind to each other.
If a person engages in harassing behavior, we will take prompt action in any form we deem appropriate, including expulsion from the convention with no refund. Our policy applies to EVERYONE at the convention. Exhibitors, Fans (Attendees), Speakers, Guests, Professionals, Press, Staff, Volunteers, and Security are all subject to our anti-harassment policy and will be held to the same standards.
If someone’s behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness the same happening to someone else, you should immediately contact one of our volunteers or security immediately.
If necessary, we will contact local law enforcement, provide escort, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to make sure they feel safe for the rest of the event.
Rule #4: Cosplay Rules
Weapons policy: No functional or real weapons are allowed.
New for 2018: No simulated, fake, or prop weapons that could pass as real. Our volunteers and security folks will have the final say on this… so if you have any reason to believe that someone might think the weapon is real, do not bring it.
We reserve the right to not allow entry of weapons we think will cause issues of any kind.
Costume Request from the organizers: We recognize and appreciate the extremely wide range of cosplay options… and while we strive to make sure everyone who attends the event is treated in a safe way, there is a time and a place for all kinds of costumes. Because of the family friendly nature of Cedar Rapids Comic Con, we request that all costumes be considered appropriate attire that can be viewed by those of all ages.
Rules #5: Respect guests’ rules for photos and autographs
Cedar Rapids Comic Con is welcoming a small number of celebrity and creator guests for the 2018 event. In order for us to make sure we comply with the guests’ contracts, please respect all rules noted by them at the event for photos, autographs, etc. The photos (even with a cell phone) are not typically free, nor are autographs. Our guests are highly sought after professionals and deserve to be compensated fairly for their appearance.
When I was in elementary school, I was definitely a nerd.
One of my favorite memories from my childhood was when my mom finally caved after months of my begging and bought me this “fake alien in a jar” decoration from Spencer’s gifts and I spent the rest of the weekend setting up my “laboratory,” which included mostly bottles and jars filled with water dyed with food coloring. I somehow got my hands on white jacket (which served as my lab coat) and construction goggles (lab safety is important, okay?) and I would play scientist. Also included were print outs of what I was sure were real aliens that I’d found on the internet in the computer lab at school, carefully tucked away in page protectors.
Another one of my favorite memories was when my mom surprised with me tickets to see Power Rangers Live. My mom somehow scraped together enough cash for exactly one ticket for the front row (which I received as the family’s biggest fan). The rest of the family sat up in the nosebleeds while I got to see THE REAL POWER RANGERS!!! up close. During the event, I somehow mistook a hand gesture from one of the Power Rangers for an invitation to come up on stage. Well, these were my heroes. You better believe I ran up the stairs of the stage and was quickly carried back to my seat by a Putty (the pawns used by the big bad guys every episode). I’m not too proud to admit that this scared the crap out of me and I definitely cried (I was 6-years-old, okay?!)… but man, what a memory. These memories were, and still are in my mind, pure magic.
There are other examples and stories, but this post of less about me and more about why I’m so insistent on keeping tickets for kids free. I was very lucky to have a family that supported my nerdiness. I didn’t grow up rich, but I had a family that made sure I got to have fun and take part in the things I wanted to do. If there had been a comic convention anywhere near where I grew up, I am sure I would have begged to go. And unfortunately, the only comic shop near my home was only open for about a year before closing.
These days, nerdiness is a lot more mainstream that it was when I was a kid. Marvel and DC are cranking out a new movie every year. Tony Stark is easily one of the most recognizable people in the world. Kids lined up with their parents and saw a new Star Wars movie last year. It’s cool to be a geek now!
There are more and more comic cons popping up around the country every day. But they aren’t all accessible to families. Cedar Rapids Comic Con is filled with tons of things you can buy… but that’s not all there is to do. For 2017, we’ve added an entire second floor to the convention. We have an entire room filled with board games you can play. We have an entire room dedicated to video games that you can demo and play. We have the speakers room where people can learn about comic books, creating their own board games, see a costume contest, and more. 2017’s Cedar Rapids Comic Con is offering nearly double what we did last year. Kids are still free.
I am 100% dedicated to making sure Cedar Rapids Comic Con is the most affordable convention for families in the Midwest. Nerdiness is obviously more acceptable these days… but that doesn’t mean it’s accessible for everyone. Big conventions like you find in Chicago and even Des Moines can cost families hundreds of dollars just to attend (not including transportation and hotel if you stay overnight). That simply isn’t feasible for many families. I was lucky growing up, but there’s no way my family could have made the trip to Chicago for $1,000+ weekend to appease my inner-nerd. There’s no way I could have experienced the “magic” of meeting a real life Iron Man or Wonder Woman. That’s why I’m so set on keeping our kids tickets free, and our overall price for adults affordable.
After last year’s convention, I heard from a ton of parents that their kids had “the time of their life” at Cedar Rapids Comic Con. I saw pictures of kids’ eyes lighting up as they took pictures with Super Man. I saw kids learning how to play Magic the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons for the first time. I heard from parents who were thankful for affordable day out with their family because they weren’t sure if their kids would be into the event, but they ended up staying around all day. I saw kids dressed up as their favorite heroes being treated as though they were that hero. I dare say that we helped make some of that “magic” for the kids who attended. When you attend Cedar Rapids Comic Con, you help make that magic too.
For everyone who has already purchased tickets, and to those planning to attend, thank you. You’re really helping us make something special.
-Preston Moore, Chief Organizer of Cedar Rapids Comic Con
Cedar Rapids Comic Con is excited to announce that Frank Mentzer will be a guest at Cedar Rapids Comic Con 2017.
Frank Mentzer is an Old School gamer best known for writing five D&D rule sets (Basic, Expert, Companion, Masters, and Immortals) and other D&D products with his friend and co-author Gary Gygax.
Frank was at TSR from 1980 to 1986 and is one of the best-selling authors in the history of the industry, with tens of millions of copies of his works published during that era. His other creations include the legendary Temple of Elemental Evil (with Gygax) and the game version of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
He won the title of #1 Dungeon Master (1980) and an Origins Award for GameMaster Secrets II (1993). Frank has been a game auctioneer at the world’s largest game auction (GenCon) for almost 30 years.
Frank spent the last two decades in other business but, now that he’s ‘retired’, recently started this new publishing company, “Eldritch Enterprises,” with Tim Kask and Jim Ward (both ‘founding fathers’ of the game industry in the 1970s) and Chris Clark (of Inner City Games).
Frank is happily married, was once a professional musician, and has always had a dog.