Welcome to summer – geek style.
Nickel City Con – which has become the unofficial kickoff to summer for local pop culture fans in only three short years – returns May 17 to 19 to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
Since debuting as a two-day convention in 2016, NCC has expanded to three days of all things pop culture: comic book artists, cosplay contests, gaming and celebrities from television, movies, wrestling and comic books. Among the 2019 celebrities: a trio of "Sopranos" stars, Tony Todd ("Candyman," "Star Trek"), and Danny Tamberelli and Michael Maronna.
Here are some details:
When: 3 to 8 p.m. May 17, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 18 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 19 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.).
Cost: If you didn't get discounted advance tickets, here's what you'll be paying at the door: $20 for Friday, May 17; $30 for Saturday, May 18; $20 for Sunday, May 19; $55 for a three-day pass. Everyone age 11 and older needs a ticket. Ages 10 and younger are admitted free. VIP access, Flash Passes, photos and autographs are extra.
Photos and autographs: Individual autographs range from $20 to $60 for individual. Info for each celebrity, can be found here. Professional photo ops start at $30 for a single celebrity up to $100 for a group "Sopranos" photo. Info is here.
Bringing kids? Part of the convention fun is seeing families all decked out in superhero garb. All children ages 13 and younger must be with an adult at the convention. If you’re bringing a little one, the Buffalo and Erie County Library Kids Zone returns on May 18 and 19 with free activities and interactive workshops like Jedi Camp and superhero training.
Here's are some of the TV, movie and other celebrities who will be at the con. Not everyone will be there all three days, so be sure to check the website for specific days of your favorite celebrities.
For fans of the “Sopranos:” May 19 is "Sopranos" day with stars Drea De Matteo (Adriana La Cerva), Aida Turturro (Janice Soprano) and Federico Castelluccio (Furio Giunta) all in attendance. Autograph and photo opportunities can be purchased for one star or as a group.
For wrestling fans: Kevin Nash (May 18-19), Scott Hall (May 18-19), former WCW president Eric Bischoff (May 18-19), Demolition (May 17 and 18).
For horror fans: David Naughton, Tony Todd, Tony Moran (Michael Myers), C.J. Graham (Jason in “Friday the 13th Part VI"), filmmaker and writer Gregory Lamberson ("Johnny Gruesome") and Daeg Faerch (Young Michael Myers in “Halloween”).
For comic book fans: There are nearly 50 comic book artists and organization at NCC, so we can’t list everyone. But look for Francis Manapul ("Justice League," "The Flash"), Joe Jusko ("Savage Sword of Conan," "Hulk"), Graham Nolan (co-creator of “Bane”), Meghan Hetrick, Marcus To ("X-Men," "Red Robin") and Michelle Delecki.
For “Star Wars” fans: Brian Herring (puppeteer behind BB8, the Porgs).
For music fans: Marky Ramone of the Ramones.
For anime fans: Actress Cherami Leigh (“Sailor Moon,” “Sword Art Online”).
Screenings: NCC hosts five movie events at the North Park Theatre and Dipson Amherst Theatre. Screenings are extra ($15 unless noted) and don't include convention admission. To buy tickets, visit here.
At the North Park Theatre: “Valley Girl” with actress Deborah Foreman, 7 p.m. May 16, free; "The Boondock Saints” with Sean Patrick Flanery, 8:30 p.m. May 17.
At the Dipson Amherst with "Thursday Night Terrors": “Child’s Play” with Alex Vincent, 7 p.m. May 16; “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives” with C.J. Graham, 8:30 p.m. May 17; “An American Werewolf in London” with David Naughton, 7:30 p.m.
Special events: Community Beer Works (520 7th St.) is hosting two events. "Nostalgia Personified" with Danny Tamberelli and Michael Maronna at 10 p.m. May 17; $20 general admission, $40 VIP meet and greet. An official after-party at 8 p.m. May 18 with a cosplay contest and celebrity guests; $10. Both are 21-and-over.