Yes, it’s that time of year again when the region’s best comics and collectibles show makes its annual appearance. Under one name or another, this show is now in its 32nd year, having started in 1985 as the Bristol Comics and Card Show.
Over the years, the show has grown both in size and substance, and now includes Boardgames, Collectibles, Videogames, Fantasy, Comics, Sci-Fi, RPG, Cosplay and various artists and writers. No wonder they had to get a larger venue! Mountain Empire Comics, with stores in Bristol and Johnson City, are the folks behind ROBCON.
This year, ROBCON is at Viking Hall in Bristol on July 29 & 30. Yes, two days! They went from a single day two years ago as there was too much demand for just a single day. They have vendors who sell old and new comics, toys, games and handcrafted fantasy items. One of the highlights is the costume (cosplay) contest on Saturday. Last year saw 140 entrants and they expect to jump past that number this year. Prominent vendors include Pop Culture of Bristol and G2K games with stores throughout the region.
ROBCON always features special guests, and the highlight of this year is Timothy Zahn. Zahn is a science fiction author; his most popular books are about Star Wars. He will be signing copies of his books at no charge during both days of the convention. Want more of Mr. Zahn? There is a special event Saturday night, “An Evening with Timothy Zahn” being held at Machiavelli’s in downtown Bristol. Tickets are $50 and a portion of each ticket sold will be donated to the Holly Help Spay & Neuter Fund.
There are other industry professionals attending, comic book artists and writers; horror and mystery writers as well. Some of the main guests are Budd Root (Cavewoman), Steve Mannion (Hillbilly) and Roc Upchurch (Rat Queens). The East Tennessee R2 Builders will be there with their radio-controlled R2D2 robots. Outside the hall, Tennessee Ghostbusters will display their Ecto1 car. That should be quite interesting!
This year’s ROBCON is a do-not-miss event. It runs 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM both Saturday and Sunday at Viking Hall in Bristol, Tennessee. Tickets available at the door, and they are $10 for one day or $15 for both days. Kids 10 & under are admitted free. For more information, call 423-274-0450 or visit them on the web at www.robcon.org.