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Comicpalooza to return supersized with celebrity laser tag, Chewbacca & Battlestar Galactica fanatics

Comicpalooza to return supersized with celebrity laser tag, Chewbacca & Battlestar Galactica fanatics

Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Comicpalooza drew some serious characters this year . . . more than 10,000 of them actually. Photo by Isidro Urena/© Startling Events
Comicpalooza 2013, logo
Get your costumes ready — Comicpalooza is back with a vengeance in May 2013. Comicpalooza/Facebook
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Ghostbusters legend Ernie Hudson poses with fans. Photo by Doug Sweet/© Startling Events
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Fans have a laugh. Photo by Doug Sweet/© Startling Events
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Fans mingle with fans from other sci-fi series. Photo by Isidro Urena/© Startling Events
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Fans pose for fans. Photo by Doug Sweet/© Startling Events
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Fans get historical. Photo by Doug Sweet/© Startling Events
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Comicpalooza 2013, logo
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012
Comicpalooza 2013, August 2012

The data is in for Comicpalooza 2012 and — KAPOW! — these are some serious numbers, folks.

More than 10,000 fanboys and fangirls made their way to the George R. Brown in May, making this year's annual convention the largest to date with nearly a 90-percent increase from attendance levels in 2011.

As such, Comicpalooza has vowed to return with a vengeance in 2013, nearly doubling its exhibition space and offering an even larger lineup of delightfully esoteric celebrities, including renowned comic illustrators Michael Golden and Mark Texeira as well as sci-fi painters Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell.

Already booked for the 2013 is Austin's own ArcAttack, a Frankenstein-meets-Daft-Punk musical act that plays Tesla coils alongside synthesizers and guitars.

John Simons, who founded the inaugural convention in 2010, tells CultureMap that he and his fellow organizers always planned to grow the show, but have been pleasantly surprised at the fast rate of growth. Extra space for panel sessions already has been reserved along with the GRB's massive third floor general assembly hall to show films and hold celebrity Q&A sessions.

"Let's just say the next convention is going to be a very robust event," he laughs. "We still have a ton of celebrities and events to announce, so there's much more to come. We'll also be sharing the venue with GalactiCon, the largest Battlestar Galactica event in the world."

While Simons has a hard time picking his favorite moments from this year's Comicpalooza, one came to mind almost immediately.

"The coolest thing for us was easily the Badass Celebrity Smackdown and we'll definitely be bringing it back in 2013," he says. "It's a fundraising laser tag match between our celebrity guests and fans who have made donations to our sponsored charity." This year, funds went to a wounded warrior program called Impact a Hero.

"You should've seen the celebrities. They were the biggest cheaters ever. We set up this giant inflatable Jeep at the center of the ring and Chris Judge [from Stargate SG-1] ended up tipping in over on the fans just to try to win the match. We're the only comic convention in the country to offer an event like this — and it's hilarious."

Next year, the Smackdown will return to raise money for a new charity headed by Peter Mayhew, the seven-foot-tall actor best known for role as Chewbacca. (The foundation's motto? "Moving towards a better life . . . the Wookie way.")

Also already booked is Austin's own ArcAttack, a Frankenstein-meets-Daft-Punk musical act that plays Tesla coils alongside synthesizers and guitars. Think the Doctor Who theme song and gigantic blue bolts of electricity.

Be sure to check out the new Comicpalooza 2013 website for upcoming announcements.