Permian Basin Comic Con X ready for weekend

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Mar. 17—For the last two years, Permian Basin Comic Con X has had to adjust on the fly.

Chris Slatosch, the promoter for the convention, believes that is its superpower.

That superpower was called upon about a month ago when Permian Basin Comic Con detailed on its Facebook page that it had to change venues from the Bush Convention Center to the Midland County Horseshoe Arena and Pavilion.

"The Horseshoe gives us a much bigger opportunity to put a lot more activities and vendors in," Slatosch said. "It's a bigger, more spread out, event center. It feels like it was built for this type of event."

The three-day convention begins at 5 p.m. Friday (today). Permian Basin Comic Con continues from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. VIP will be allowed inside the convention 30 minutes early.

Permian Basin Comic Con won't have any coronavirus restrictions, however, he said celebrities might have individual requirements but not to the point where it would lessen the experience.

"If you are comfortable wearing a mask, then wear a mask," Slatosch said. "If you don't want to, don't have to. Be aware of your own health and safety practices."

Slatosch added: "Some of the celebrity guests ask if they are capable of wearing their masks and that we give them a certain distance, but it's not too many. Anytime we get those requests, we will adhere because it's better to have them there than not at all."

Slatosch said he's pleased with the celebrity lineup that Permian Basin Comic Con was able to bring in. The celebrities range from actors to voice actors to a WWE Hall of Famer.

Celebrities include actors Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid and Jimmie Walker.

Nicholas is known for being Henry Rowengartner from Rookie of the Year and playing Kevin Myers in four American Pie movies. Reid is known for playing Vicky in the three American Pie movies, she starred alongside Ryan Reynolds in her role as Gwen Pearson in Van Wilder and played Bunny Lebowski in the cult classic The Big Lebowski. Walker is most known for playing James "JJ" Evans Jr. in the 70s sitcom Good Times. Permian Basin Comic Con kept its West Texas ties with WWE Hall of Famer JBL, who was born in Sweetwater and was an All-American football player at Abilene Christian University. JBL was inducted as a member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

Singer Adassa made her acting debut as she voiced Dolores Madrigal from Encanto. Voice actors from various anime shows include Justin Briner, Tia Ballard, Brianna Knickerbocker, Jad Saxton, Josh Grelle, David Matranga and Emily Nieves.

"We are anime heavy and the younger generation is leaning heavy into anime," Slatosch said. "That's really fun and they are new in terms of celebrity because voice actors haven't always gotten the same credit as they get nowadays. It's exciting to get them out."

Slatosch said the convention will also be able to bring back panels featuring all of the celebrities. Those panels will take place on the main stage. In addition to the celebrities, Slatosch said there will be between 150 to 175 vendors.

Slatosch is also expecting a pretty solid turnout. He said in 2016 or 2017 when the convention first took place at the Horseshoe there were 1,500 tickets sold about a week before the event, but the convention hit those numbers two weeks ago.

"We thought 2021 was kind of that resurgence when everyone was ready to get out of the house," Slatosch said. "It's looking like this year is the year that everybody is on board."