Pop Culture

Take Two for Fandemic in Houston Brings Smallville, Walking Dead Stars

Tom Welling makes his Houston debut at the upcoming Fandemic Comic Convention Tour, September 14-16.
Tom Welling makes his Houston debut at the upcoming Fandemic Comic Convention Tour, September 14-16. Screenshot from AMC Movie Talk - Tom Welling/Superman Discussion, Fantastic Four reboot, Sam Jackson In Star Wars/Youtube
Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman! And now it seems that super-fans of the Man of Steel have even more to get excited about when Fandemic Comic Convention Tour makes its Houston debut. The convention's first attempt last year was interrupted by, ahem, "an undesirable weather event" but second time's a charm.

The all-star celebrity guest list includes Dean Cain (Lois and Clark, Supergirl) and, from television's Smallville, Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, James Marsters and John Schneider. Fans of the long-running television series (2001-2011) will want to look into ponying up the $245 for a Smallville quadruple photo op; just don't wield Kryptonite by asking the actors questions about the justifiably maligned Allison Mack who drank that NXIVM Kool-Aid.

Showrunner and CEO of Fandemic John Macaluso, he of Wizard World fame, says he understands our region's anguish over the behavior of other comic convention promoters and intends to bring a logistically well-organized event to Houston audiences.

"We have a great show with Comicpalooza; they draw a lot of people, and then you have the other show I don’t want to be associated with it," says Macaluso. "[Houston has] the third largest population in the U.S. and I believe that Comicpalooza can do their thing and we can do our thing."


click to enlarge Start your engines, because Chuck Norris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus are heading to H-Town, courtesy of Fandemic Comic Convention Tour. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF FANDEMIC COMIC CONVENTION TOUR
Start your engines, because Chuck Norris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus are heading to H-Town, courtesy of Fandemic Comic Convention Tour.
Photos courtesy of Fandemic Comic Convention Tour
And by "his thing" Macaluso means big name stars (Chuck Norris, WWE's Paige, and a plethora of heavy-hitters from The Walking Dead (Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Steven Yeun), Guardians of the Galaxy (Rosenbaum, along with Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Chris Sullivan), and Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Marsters, along with Clare Kramer), among others.

"They’re nice for the fans to see and participate in, take pictures," says Macaluso. "We’ve got a bunch of great artists coming too. We’re just trying to spread the word and take care of the fans."

Fandemic already has booked several featured creators: artists Rob Prior, Arthur "Zombie King" Suydam, Clinton Hobart and Mike DeCarlo; animators Phil Ortiz, Jeff Balke and Tom Cook; and writers Jim Salicrup and Ric Meyers.

Plus — and we've come to expect this really — there will be tons of cosplayers and an appearance by the Cypress-based Batmobile. "Everybody that comes to our show in costume is cosplaying. You’ll see more fantastic homemade costumes when you walk around the show. I’m guessing thousands of cosplayers will be there," says Macaluso. "Come and have a good time. We want everybody to feel comfortable. We want everybody to have a good time."


To back that up, Fandemic has a zero tolerance policy for harassment, so it's off to a good start.

"We’re the new kids on the block, we want to bring educational, fun programming when we come in," says Macaluso. "It’s all baby steps. We need to crawl before we walk, walk before we run."

They might want to get a head start on that running thing. Complementing the strong Walking Dead contingency will be plenty of pro zombies from Zombie Charge (Creepy Hollow Haunted House) and Houston Zombie Walk.

Fandemic Tour is scheduled for 3 to 8 p.m. September 14, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. September 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. September 16, NRG Center, One NRG Park, 833-326-3364, fandemictour.com, $40 to $80, plus additional fees for photo opportunities.
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Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney