Permian Basin Comic Con X to take place next week

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Mar. 7—From panel discussions to cosplays to shopping, there will be something for everyone at this year's Permian Basin Comic Con X.

The three-day convention will take place from March 15-17 at the Midland Horseshoe Arena as the event returns for its ninth year.

Tickets can be purchased online at

"We've been working on more entertainment," event organizer Chris Slatosch said. "We might have to expand because we're running out of space. We might have to move next door to the pavilion if we run out of space. But we have more activities."

Those activities include OSW (Old School Wrestling), panels featuring a wide range of voice actors and other celebrity guests, cosplay activities, K-Pop dances and exhibitors that'll be set up all over the convention.

Fans of the "Avatar: The Last Airbender" series will be pleased to know that actor Dante Basco will be one of the guests at this year's Permian Basin Comic Con X.

Basco is best known for voice acting the character Zuko in "Avatar: The Last Airbender" as well as playing the character Rufio, the leader of the Lost Boys in Steven Spielberg's "Hook."

Other guests include actress Holly Marie Combs who is best known for playing Piper Halliwell in the WB series "Charmed" from 1998-2006 as well as Taryn Manning who played Tiffany Doggett in the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black."

Plenty of voice actors will also be in attendance including David Matranga, Kara Eberle, Lindsay Jones and Dallas Reid.

"The way it works, I'll usually gage how well certain guest types do," Slatosch said. "Obviously, anime will be at the forefront because they usually perform the best. We're always going to have a decent-sized anime group there. This year, we ventured into some movies so Holly Marie is a big get for us. 'Charmed' was her big role. That was a big one and a very expensive one. Taryn Manning from 'Orange is the New Black' and Dante Basco who was Rufio as well as some strong voicing credits so there are some people that we went over budget to try and see if they would come to the Permian Basin. We try to mix it up and see how the audience reacts and if the experience is great then we'll add more or try to replicate that."

Unsurprisingly, the primary attraction at the convention is always the guests.

"We try to push as many celebrity guests that will come out to the area and are available because there are a lot of events going on so the big thing for us is to grab celebrity guests that people want to meet and are also available to come out to West Texas," Slatosch said. "Those bookings and deals push that."

Fans also attend for the costume contests as attendees come dressed up as their favorite characters.

"The costume and cosplay contests are popular," Slatosch said. "Those and the guests are the top things. The activities switch year in and year out. We try to add more things but we're running out of space. We get one big activity and then we're getting out of room. We're venturing into finding more stuff that people will like. We're going into year ten next year which is insane."

One of the things that also helps drive attendance at the convention is Spring Break since the event usually takes place in the middle of March.

"I think it's just a jinx at this point," Slatosch said. "The first time we did it at Spring Break, it worked. Ever since then, I've fought tooth and nail to stay in that area. I don't know if it would work out better in the summer or in August but we haven't had a bad show yet so as it works out, we'll have the show in spring and give the kids something to do while in town."

Doors will open for VIPs at 3 p.m. March 15 and then at 3:30 p.m. for general admission.

Slatosch said the ticket prices have stayed the same over the years as they look to keep the Permian Basin Comic Con affordable for everyone to attend.

"As always, we're not raising tickets," Slatosch said. "We're keeping them the way they were nine years ago. We're trying to make sure people can afford to go. Of course, tickets for children ages eight-and-under are free so those are big positives. A lot of these guests, it's their first time in this area, like within 300-400 miles. We have a lot of guys that'll be here and won't be in Lubbock or El Paso or anywhere close. Getting these guys to come out here is amazing so we're hoping people enjoy the guest list this year."

For more information about this year's Permian Basin Comic Con X, go to

If you go

— What: Permian Basin Comic Con X.

— Where: Midland Horseshoe Arena.

— When: March 15-17.

— Where to purchase tickets: