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With in-depth panel discussions, an amazing costume contest and celebrity meet and greets, with a whole host of characters from some of the most popular science-fiction shows and movies, this year’s Winter Con at Resorts World Casino is expected to be better than ever before.30 WinterCon

Organized by Frank Patz and Michael Carbonaro, creators of their own individual conventions Eternal Con and Big Apple Comic Con respectively, Winter Con is New York’s largest sci-fi convention, according to Patz. As a “super collector” turned convention organizer, Patz said he decided to host the event in Queens, being that he is a native of the Jackson Heights/Corona area. Carbonaro, who lives in Middle Village and has been running conventions for 20 years, worked with Patz in starting up the convention, now in its third year.

“At this convention you can actually talk to and have a conversation with your favorite stars,” said Patz, explaining what sets Winter Con apart from bigger events like Comic Con. “At these other big shows you don’t have time, they just push you through the line and it’s just sign and take a picture.”

Winter Con brings comic book and sci-fi fans together with artists, actors and actresses from some of their favorite popular stories, shows and classic movies. This year’s event will feature panel discussions with members of the original Star Wars films including the original Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew, and some of the original Rebel pilots.

A major draw for this years convention is a panel featuring members of the cast of the 1981 sequel thriller Mad Max: The Road Warrior, together for the first time in 35 years. Panelists include Bruce Spence, Virginia Hey, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, and Emil Minty who will discuss their experience filming the cult classic.

“A lot of these people have never even done conventions in the U.S. and they’re coming; some from California, England and Australia are coming here to do this,” said Patz.

Actors Austin Amelio and Khary Payton, who plays Dwight and King Ezekiel respectively on AMC’s hit show “The Walking Dead,” will also meet with fans and discuss the shocking season 7 opener and what’s to come.

The event will even host a panel discussion all about the science-fiction work of comic book artist, writer, editor and one of the founding members of Marvel Comics, Jack Kirby.

The convention will also feature Michael Beck, James Remar and David Harris and more from the classic 1979 crime film The Warriors, Taimak of The Last Dragon and Nichelle Nichols, the original Lieutenant Uhura from Star Trek.

Winter Con will hold its annual Cosplay Contest, where fans will get to show off their amazing costumes for the guest judges and the audience to win great prizes. There will also be live music and other performances.

Other events at the convention include the Trailer Park and Artist Alley, with over 100 tables of Artists and Illustrators from all over the country who will be showcasing their work, also events for kids including a costume contest, arts and crafts and the Children’s Jedi Academy where members of the Empire Saber Guild will teach kids how to wield a lightsaber.

The convention will also have a vendors’ room with 500 tables filled with toys, comic books, t-shirts and various collectables. On display throughout the convention will be a copy of “Action Comics #1,” which features the very first appearance of the iconic American superhero Superman, a comic book priced at $750,000.

“We want to make that into a bigger and better show every year, we’re going to increase it to maybe rival Comic Con,” said Carbonaro. “We’ll make it Queens Con and everyone will know where Queens is because of this convention.”

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Source: Queens Tribune