Schedule

The following is the schedule of the events for the Grand Rapids Comic-Con on October 20-22, 2017, at the DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.

Friday, October 20

An easy to print schedule for Friday, October 20 with descriptions is here.

Saturday, October 21

An easy to print schedule for Saturday, October 21 with descriptions is here

Sunday, October 22

 An easy to print schedule for Sunday, October 22 with descriptions is here.

A printable schedule of all cosplay programming activities at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con is here.

Panel Descriptions

Main Stage

Friday

3:30 pm

Tony Isabella

Tony’s Tips

Join Tony Isabella, creator of Black Lightning, co-creator of Misty Knight and Tigra, 44-year veteran of the comics industry for a lively discussion of well, everything. We’ll talk comic books, giant monster movies, blogging and the development of his characters for television shows including Netflix’s “The Defenders” and the upcoming “Black Lightning” on CW (well, what he is allowed to tell us).

5:00 pm

Julian Glover

He’s been a right hand man to Darth Vader, sent his spider children to kill Harry Potter, and attempted to end both James Bond and Indiana Jones. Learn what it takes to have a villainous career in Hollywood.

6:30 pm

Kane Hodder

It takes a special guy to play Victor Crowley in the Hatchet films and Jason Voorhees in four Friday The 13th movies. Learn how Kane Hodder became one of the greatest cinematic monsters of all time and what is ahead for him in the future.

Saturday

11:00 am

Jim Steranko

Captain America and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. artist Jim Steranko talks about how he tied in traditional graphic arts into the world of comics and revolutionized the field. Expect him to share a few great stories as well.

12:30 pm

Batman: The Animated Series

Adrienne Barbeau, Loren Lester, Diane Pershing, Clive Revill, and Brandon Vietti discuss their roles in the influential television series and its impact on pop culture throughout the years as well as Batman’s legacy.

2:00 pm

Billy Dee Williams

Lando Calrissian form the Star Wars films discusses his role in the famed franchise as well as his role in Tim Burton’s Batman and The LEGO Batman Movie.

3:30 pm

Godzilla

Tsutomu Kitagawa and Mizuho Yoshida discuss Toho Pictures and their roles as the King Of All Monsters in various Godzilla films as well as their other kaiju roles.

5:00 pm

Costume Contest

One of the biggest moments of any comic-con! Make sure to check out some of the best costuming at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con and root for your favorite to win! Judged by the cosplay guests Sweets4aSweet, Chaotic Neutral, Superkayce, Karmada Cosplay, and Knightmage. Hosted by Allen Stewart.

Sunday

11:00 am

Jim Cummings

Jim has played many iconic voices for Disney and Warner Brothers, and he will discuss his role in shaping your childhood.

12:30 pm

Gates McFadden

The person who played Dr. Beverly Crusher in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation” TV shows and movies discusses the role as well as being a producer and director.

2:00 pm

Kevin Sorbo

The star of “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and  “Andromeda” discusses his roles in the well known TV series as well as what the future holds for him.

3:30 pm

Kids Costume Contest

“Batman: The Animated Series” Costume Contest

Grand Gallery A-C

Friday

4:00 pm

Source Point Press

Getting Your Work Published

The fine people at Source Point Press will inform all you potential writers and artists what publishers are really looking for and how to get your work seen by the masses.

5:30 pm

Douglas Paszkiewicz

The Secrets Of Comic Book Illustration

A great comic book is great art that tells a story, and this requires the learning of many simple but important techniques. In this panel Eisner Award-nominated illustrator Douglas Paskiewicz (Arsenic Lullaby, Mad Magazine, The Tick)  shows you the secrets behind the magic: how to lead the readers eye, create mood, make sure they see important elements without making it obvious. Why and when to use certain panel sizes. The inside and outs of perspective and vanishing points.  If you are hoping to break into the field, or just have a love for comics, this is a great panel to attend and learn the insider tricks that the pros use make a story that sucks in the readers and grabs hold of their imaginations

7:00 pm

Jason Spisak

Kid Flash on “Young Justice” and The Joker in various LEGO straight to video films, Jason discusses the challenges of giving a voice to such well known characters and where his career is headed next.

Saturday

12:00 pm

Film Festival

Lots of independent and student short films will grace the big screen.

7:30 pm

Punk Rawk Concert

The Krabs, Shoebox, Desiring Dead Flesh, and The Scants peel the paint off the walls with a barricade of noise.

Sunday

11:30 am

Catherine Sutherland

The second Pink Ranger on “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” takes us behind the scenes of the iconic 90’s television show and its long lasting impact on pop culture.

1:00 pm

James Marshall

The “Twin Peaks” star discusses the bizarre David Lynch creation, its resurrection, and where it is headed next.

2:30 pm

Rob Miller

Armor Fabrication On A Budget

A participant in the SyFy show ‘Face Off” as well as giant prop builder, Rob discusses the art of making armor and larger fabrication items with limited funds and resources.

Grand Gallery D

Friday

3:30 pm

R2-D2 Builders Club

Ever wanted to build your own R2-D2 unit or another droid from the Star Wars universe? Members of the R2-D2 Builders Club will be available to answer your questions and let you know how to join them.

5:00 pm

That ONE Team

Introduction to FIRST Robotics

FIRST Robotics team #4967 That ONE Team will be demonstrating their competition robots and talking about FIRST Robotics and their team. FIRST is a program to get students ages K-12 to pursue engineering and STEM interests.

6:30 pm

Film Screening: Space Debris

Inspired by classic sitcoms and low-budget sci-fi, Space Debris follows the inept crew of the rocketship Typhon as they travel the galaxy eliminating pesky bits of space junk, all the while encountering aliens, black holes, and the captain’s angry ex-girlfriends. Cast in attendance.

Saturday

11:30 am

501st Legion Of Stormtroopers/Rebel Legion

What Is The 501st/Rebel Legion?

Join the Empire and support our troops! Have you ever seen those guys dressed in those amazing Star Wars outfits and wanted to join them? Here is your opportunity to learn about the charity costumed troupe and learn about how you can join them in

1:00 pm

John Giang

John is a designer for Industrial Light and Magic, and his work has graced the screens in films such as Iron Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Pacific Rim. He will show a demo reel of the movies he has worked on and give a general intro to concept art in film.

2:30 pm

Derek Padula

Dragon Ball Culture

Discover the origin of Dragon Ball’s culture! The world’s most-recognized anime and manga series is inspired by over 5,000 years of Eastern and Western culture. In this presentation, best-selling author and Dragon Ball scholar Derek Padula will introduce you to Akira Toriyama’s greatest sources of inspiration. He will forever change how you see your favorite series.

4:00 pm

Couch Potatoes Unite!

Star Trek v. Star Wars: Battle for the Stars

Couch Potatoes Unite! returns to GR Comic Con with another battle for the ages. This time, we will produce our best copycat of “Celebrity Death Match” – except “celebrities” will be characters from Star Trek and Star Wars, here. Who is the best female leader? Captain Janeway or Princess Leia? Who shot first? Han Solo or Commander Riker? We may even do a dummy round of intra-universe debates. The galaxy far far away frays as we rumble in the neutral zone. Can CPU! keep those Stars aligned?

Sunday

11:45 am

Blue Box Timelords

How To Handle The Science Of Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey Stuff

Grand Rapids’ newest Doctor Who cosplay group discusses their cosplay group, what they are trying to accomplish, and how you can join them in their adventures.

1:15 pm

The Finest

Recruitment In The Fight Against Cobra

The Finest is a GI Joe cosplay charity group that has chapters all over the country yet is just starting in Michigan. Learn how you can be involved in this new group. Yo, Joe!

2:45 pm

Erica O’Rourke

Successful Worldbuilding

A vivid, compelling fictional world draws readers in and makes them never want to leave. An inconsistent, implausible one, however, makes them flee, and an overly detailed one will put them to sleep. It’s easy to write yourself into a corner or lose yourself down the rabbit hole of internet research. The key is balance – between story and setting, detail and pacing, research and creativity. This program will examine the elements of successful worldbuilding, demonstrate techniques and resources, and identify common pitfalls to help you strike the most important balance of all – creating a world and actually writing in it.

Grand Gallery E-F

Friday

5:15 pm

Robert Pope

Playing in Somebody Else’s Sandbox:  Cartooning Famous Characters of Animation and the Comics Page

Robert draws numerous classic charactres, including Scooby-Doo and the Peanuts gang. In this panel Robert will discuss working with characters such as these professionally and legally.

6:45 pm

Allen Stewart

Comics in World War II

During World War II, GI’s read more comic books on the front lines than children in their neighborhoods back home.  Allen, the curator of the Hall Of Heroes Museum in Elkhart, Indiana, will reveal some of the most interesting historical facts that happened during this tie that made The Golden Age of comics so great! If you enjoy or are interested in the Golden Age of comics then this is a must attend!

8:00 pm

Adrienne Barbeau

Adrienne Barbeau discusses her lengthy career in horror and sci-fi films such as Creepshow and Escape From New York and TV shows such as “Maude” and “Carnivale”.

Saturday

11:15 am

Randy Zimmerman

Drawing For The Little Ones

Independent comic writer/artist/publisher Randy Zimmerman does a drawing seminar the the littlest artists at the show. Learn how to draw Spongebob Squarepants and Mickey Mouse!

12:45 pm

Great Lakes Ghostbusters Coalition

We Need You!

The world’s most famous fictional paranormal aberrition gatherers will tell you about their adventures and charity work, and how you can be involved. Who ya gonna call?

2:15 pm

Comfort and Adam

The Science of Shipping

“Shipping” is when a fan imagines possible romantic relationships between two characters in a story. Shipping is big, but why do we do it? Join husband and wife comic creators Comfort and Adam and special guests Greg Weisman and Thom Zahler as we talk about all the reasons we love our ships; from biological drivers to emotional and intellectual hooks, from the vast history of literary fiction to the present day. But that’s not all! In the second half, panelists and audience will be creating a new couple that Comfort and Adam will draw live!

3:45 pm

Brandon Vietti, Greg Weisman, Christopher Jones, and Jason Spisak

Transferring Comics To The Screen and Vice Versa

Directors, producers, comic artists and voice actors discuss the challenges of taking a comic book and transferring it to a television show or movie and the expectations that fans have in this delicate and complicated process.

Sunday

11:15 am

Comfort and Adam

How to Make Comics and Not Suck!

There are a whole lot of mistakes you can make when starting out making comics, but you don’t have to! Join award-nominated creators Comfort and Adam as they teach you all about writing and drawing comics by examining the missteps they made early in their careers. Come see a fun (if potentially embarrassing) presentation of all Comfort and Adam’s rookie comic creation flubs and how they grew and improved, learning to be your best by avoiding their worst!

12:45 pm

Clive Revill

Clive discusses his role as The Emperor in Star Wars episodes 5 and 6 as well as his other voice acting roles throughout his career.

2:15 pm

Stuart Sayger

Drawing With Dramatic Light and Color

The artist from The walking Dead and Bionicle gives a drawing demo and show how he makes his pieces.

3:45 pm

Derek Padula

Goku’s Hungry! What’s for Dinner?!

Discover the over 100 food-based puns in Dragon Ball, including carrots, chestnuts, radishes, apples, and vegetables of all kinds! You’ll learn the secrets behind the names of your favorite Dragon Ball characters, and see how Akira Toriyama uses food as a source of inspiration.

Grand Gallery Overlook C

Friday

3:15 pm

Royal Manticoran Navy

Come Sail Away With Us

The Royal Manticoran Navy is a newer cosplay club in the area which is the Official Honor Harrington Fan Association based on David Weber’s Honorverse and other sci-fi reading. Check out what the club has to offer in the area.

4:45 pm

James Lowry

Lightsabers for Every Budget: How to Find a Cosplay Lightsaber to Meet Your Needs

Practical advise on how to make or purchase a lightsaber for costuming or dueling purposes to meet and budget. This panel will cover everything from empty costume hilts starting at about $20 all the way to sourcing custom dueling sabers with sound, lights, etc. that can cost over $1,000. Presented by an experienced saber smith and 501st Legion member.

6:15 pm

Eric Hodson

Join Erik Hodson and other great comic artists for a quick, 1 hour sketch! Purchase a $1 raffle ticket for a chance to win original art pieces from Hodson and other various artists. All proceeds benefit the Scleroderma Foundation Michigan Chapter. Scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, is a chronic connective tissue disease, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Scleroderma affects children, men and women.  Scleroderma ranges in severity from mild to life-threatening. The Michigan Chapter helps Michigan patients and their families cope with scleroderma through mutual support programs, peer counseling, physicians referrals, and educational resources. This is a fast-paced family friendly event and audience members are welcome to offer their ideas to the artists!

8:15 pm

Doctor Mortose

Join Doctor Mortose and his odd gang of weirdos as they record an episode of their straight to public access cable TV show and learn more about Michigan’s horror host.

Saturday

11:00 am

Harp Twins

Camille and Kennerly will do a question and answer panel so you can learn more about them, their videos, and the art of playing the harp.

12:30 pm

Cosplay Stars

Cosplay 101

Join our cosplay guests as we discuss some tips and tricks and a few of the ups and downs in this fun free form discussion all about the magical world of cosplay!

1:45 pm

Karmada Cosplay

Intro To Sewing

So you want to start making cosplay costumes – but aren’t sure where to start? Join Karmada Cosplay for a seminar focusing on the basics of how to choose a costume, pick patterns, some sewing basics and more! Ideal for the beginner cosplayer, but all are welcome!

3:00 pm

Knightmage and SuperKayce

Cosplay and Charity

Two of the major cosplayers in the Midwest discuss using their skills to raise money and create awareness for local charities, and how you can do the same.

4:15 pm

Steve Geiger

Making Comics The Marvel Way

The former managing art editor for Marvel Comics discusses the art style of marvel and their distinct way of doing comic books, and what can be learned from their creation process.

Sunday

11:00 am

Cosplay Stars

Cosplay and Confidence

Join our cosplay guests as they discuss conquering body image issues and gaining confidence in cosplay. Everyone can cosplay, regardless of weight, height, race, gender or even financial status! Learn ways to boost your self-confidence, and deal with bullying and adversity in cosplay!

12:15 pm

Karmada Cosplay

Schlepping Like A Cosplay Pro

Making a costume at the last minute? Hey me too! Join Karmada Cosplay to learn all sorts of techniques and basic designs that’ll get you a costume in a hurry. Topics covered will include how to create simple costume pieces from basic shapes, and some general sewing techniques to help you on all costumes. Recommended for intermediate to advanced cosplayers, but all are welcome!

1:30 pm

Cosplay Stars

Intro To Makeup

Our cosplay guests give an introduction for the use of makeup, contacts, and wigs. They also give tips on how to pose for photos and more.

2:45 pm

Eric Anderson

Celebrating 20 Years of SG-1

We will look at characters, props/items and stories that made “Stargate SG-1” so amazing.

4:00 pm

Charles Carden, April Carden, and Marjorie Steel

Star Trek – 50 Years and Growing!

Come enjoy a discussion about the history of this majestic franchise with some super fans! All ages welcome

Grand Gallery Overlook D

Friday

3:00 pm

Sweets4aSweet Cosplay, Chaotic Neutral Cosplay and Karmada Cosplay

Cosplay Intro to Foam and Thermoplastics

Three of our cosplay guests discuss the sorcery behind making amazing looking armor and accessories for your costume using foam and thermoplastics.

4:15 pm

Karmada Cosplay

Found Item and Closet Cosplay

Having troubles sewing a costume from the ground up? Maybe you don’t feel like creating everything from scratch? Never fear! Found-item cosplay can help! This seminar focuses on advice and suggestions on how to make costumes out of garments and supplies you find in your house, the thrift store, and more!

5:30 pm

Arie Boon, Caitlin Boon, Audrey Quinn, and Dan Wallace

The Arrow-Verse: A Quiver of Theories

This panel is back for its second Grand Rapids Comic-Con, and has a full quiver of the CW’s Arrow-verse theories to discuss! Be prepared for a group discussion, as participation is encouraged! The panelists will explore theories, as well as the results of last year’s smash hit The Arrow Death Pool. Beware! There will be more spoilers than speedsters on The Flash! We recommend being up to date, because once you know a spoiler, there’s no boarding the Waverider to fix the aberration.

7:00 pm

Mandalorian Mercs

Find out what it takes to join the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club, how they make their armor and hear from the mercs themselves about their group!

Saturday

11:15 am

Dan Monroe

Creating Your Style

A quick panel on figuring out the best style to use for your project.  From illustrations for children, to comics for the broad base.  How to develop the style to appeal to your customer.

12:45 pm

Vegan Black Metal Chef

Creating A Youtube Personality

The one and only Vegan Black Metal Chef discusses the creation of his character and the inspiration behind it as well as how to create those crazy dungeon videos.

2:15 pm

Joey Domina, Mia Bronston, Dannie Sue Bushroe, and Zach Balakas

What Did He Do!?: A Guide on How to Portray Deadpool in a Good Light

This panel will revolve around Deadpool. Portraying the character in a positive way while still retaining some of the characteristics he is known for, also how to interact with those who don’t want to be interacted with.

3:45 pm

Julia Yob and Ian Mockerman

M.Y. Musical World: Writing Fourth-Wall-Breaking Fantasy

Ian Mockerman and Julia Yob, the creative minds behind M.Y. Musical World’s “TIP$,” “Inferno,” and, most recently, “Princess Story,” invite you to go on an adventure with them to discover how exactly they make their dreams come to life. Discuss their writing processes with them: designing dialogue, structuring songs, and overall story crafting.

Sunday

11:30 am

Brent Clark Rogers

Several Decades of Strong Female Characters

Strong females in the comic book world is nothing new. Join comic historian Brent Clark Rogers as he discusses the history of women in the comic book world, their strength over the years, and their impact on today’s culture.

1:00 pm

J.David Spurlock

Wallace Wood Estate

David Spurlock remembers Wally Wood, Frazetta & More: Spurlock is an award-wining author and publisher who has worked with many of the top names in comics. Spurlock has worked on a number of documentaries and also represents the estate of the late, great, EC, MAD, Mars Attacks and Daredevil comics creator Wally Wood. Stop by to hear behind the scenes stories about the greatest comics creators of all time.

2:30 pm

Cole Cummings

Turning a Comic into an Animation

Cole will be explaining the varies steps on how to turn a comic strip/comic book into an animation short or series.

Grand Gallery Overlook E-F

Friday

3:30 pm

Ken Johnson

The Legacy of “Batman: The Animated Series”

Ken Johnson has written four books on the legacy of the famous animated television show, and here he discusses the show’s impact on pop culture.

5:00 pm

Dirk Manning

WRITE OR WRONG: Creating Comics By The Numbers

Whether you’re a writer or an artist, finding the time, energy, and finances to create comics can be daunting to the point where it completely stifles the creative process. Writer Dirk Manning (NIGHTMARE WORLD, TALES OF MR. RHEE. etc.) not only understands this struggle and has found ways to overcome and thrive by adhering to some simple numbers-based rules that will help you survive and thrive! If you’re interested in creating comics – or you are a current creator looking for some more tips – make the time to attend this informative and entertaining panel and Q&A session by a comic writer whose creator-owned graphic novels have raised over $102,000 on Kickstarter to date! Plan on taking notes…

6:30 pm

Amy Lukavics

Facing Your Fears to Make Your Story Terrifying

Amy will cover why dark themes are worth exploring in horror fiction, how to use person fears to make a story scary, and how to hold the tension caused by those fears throughout the story to keep the audience engaged.

Saturday

11:00 am

Elly Blake

Revisions for Pantsers

For some of us, plotting and outlining before we write just doesn’t work. What happens when we’re left with a meandering first draft? We’ll explore using plotting methods during the revision phase to tighten pacing and structure, deepen characters, and fill plot holes.

12:30 pm

Cori McCarthy

Reinventing Fandoms in Fiction

Come talk with author Cori McCarthy about the reinvention of beloved stories, characters, and concepts. From Battle Royale to the Hunger Games, to Battlestar Galactica and Sherlock Holmes, Cori will discuss the timeless trend of recycling stories, when it works, when it doesn’t, and how new takes on old favorites revives fandoms. Among other books, Cori is the author of Breaking Sky, a retelling of Top Gun which is in development at Sony Pictures to become a major motion picture, and is the coauthor of Once & Future, a forthcoming King Arthur reincarnation space opera.

2:00 pm

Kristen Simmons

Baby Got Back(story): Creating Characters with Depth.

Join Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of Metaltown and the Article 5 series, in a discussion of how to create well-rounded, memorable characters in fiction. In this session, we’ll look at popular heroes and villains, the motivations behind what they do, and why they matter to us.

3:30 pm

Susan Dennard

From Fantasy to Romance to Sci-Fi: Writing Your Novel and Getting It Published.

This workshop begins with a powerpoint presentation that goes through Susan’s journey to publication as well as the sources of her writing inspiration (music, movies, video games, books, etc.). She then delves into an the basics of writing and a step-by-step how-to for traditional publication. This presentation is very organic and feeds on the attendees — their experience levels as well personal goals — and Susan also opens it up for audience questions at the end.

7:00 pm

Emily Slater, Gregg Aronica, and Kevin Carley

Court Of Nerds: Live

Across the vast reaches of space, time, and culture, an oft-foretold menace resurfaces to threaten the very airwaves we inhabit. The Court of Nerds is in session. Join us as we nerd out over (and/or destroy) everything you hold dear. Comic books, video games, movies, television, cosplay, wrestling and tech; we cover the lot. Because nerddom never rests.

Sunday

11:00 am

Jim Benton

Description coming soon

12:30 pm

Ray Pointer

The Life and Creations of Max Fleischer

Ray will present  a combination Power Point and video highlights presentation on the achievements of Max Fleischer and Fleischer Studios.  Very unique panel for those into classic animation!

2:00 pm

Vegan Black Metal Chef

The Most Evil Vegan Cooking Demo Ever

Watch Vegan Black Metal Chef as he delivers his incantations to create some yummy vegan dishes. Food so evil it will even impress your Mom!

Monroe Rooms A-D

Friday

6:00 pm

Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman

Television Production and Its Challenges

Two of the most prominent television producers in animation today whose work includes “Gargoyles”, “The Batman”, and “The Batman Strikes” will discuss the roles and challenges of their career as well as upcoming projects.

8:00 pm

 

Saturday

11:00 am

Elly Blake

Revisions for Pantsers

For some of us, plotting and outlining before we write just doesn’t work. What happens when we’re left with a meandering first draft? We’ll explore using plotting methods during the revision phase to tighten pacing and structure, deepen characters, and fill plot holes.

12:45 pm

Mike McFarland

Mike’s voice is everywhere in anime, from “One Piece” to “Dragonball Z” to “Attack On Titan”. Learn what it takes to be a professional anime voice actor and learn what he has up his sleeve next.

3:30 pm

Harp Twins Concert

Camille and Kennerly perform an hour set of their movie themes and rock/metal covers performed on duo harps.

8:00 pm

Dance

Make sure to shake the night away at our dance hosted by DJ Colin Clive of Mustard Plug. Fundraiser for Kitchen Sage. Must be 21 to attend.

Sunday

11:00 am

Lucie Pohl

The voice behind Mercy in the Overwatch franchise will discuss her unique role in the most popular video game available today and where her career is headed.

12:30 pm

Tara Sands

Tara discusses her up and coming voice acting career and how she keeps all those Pokemon voices separate.

3:00 pm

Harp Twins Concert

Camille and Kennerly perform an hour set of their movie themes and rock/metal covers performed on duo harps.