TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The first six celebrity guests coming to this summer’s Tampa Bay Comic Con were announced on Tuesday.
Two names on the list that multiple generations will recognize are Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner and Charles Martinet, the voice of video game character “Mario.”
“Each and every single time we like to go ahead and spice things up and do our very best to some of the most favorite celebrities from all the different fandoms to your backyard,” said Ro Malaga, marketing director and spokesperson for Tampa Bay Comic Con. “That’s why we love Tampa, we love the way the Tampa community comes out and they greet all of the special guests that we have.”
The full list of celebrity guests, in addition to Shatner and Martinet include:
- James “Murr” Murray – “Impractical Jokers”
- Elizabeth Maxwell – “Attack on Titan,” “My Hero Academia”
- James David Frank – “Power Rangers”
- Gates McFadden – “Star Trek: The Next Generation”
“It’s literally something for the whole family. Squad up. Grab grandma. Grab grandpa. Grab the little kids, because we have so many different things for so many different people… Honestly, there’s something for everyone,” said Malaga.
Changes are coming to Tampa Bay Comic Con this year, the most notably to safety. Malaga said there is currently no mask mandate for the convention, nor will there be a vaccine card requirement.
Organizers are staying in contact with state and local health officials regarding changes.
Another change is to the annual cosplay, or costume, contest.
Pre-judging submissions for the annual cosplay contest are now open and will be accepted through June 15. There will be $10,000 in prize money given during the competition July 30.
Organizers saw the massive line for the contest and worked to make things more efficient this year.
“We want to make your experience even better. When you’re waiting in line, that means that you’re missing out on a photo opportunity or maybe a celebrity panel,” said Malaga. “Or maybe you’re going off to support some of the local talent that’s on a panel themselves, you know, we want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck and the best experience possible.”
Tampa Bay Comic Con takes place at the Tampa Convention Center from July 29 through July 31.
Tickets and passes are now available for purchase online. Daily tickets are currently $23 for Friday and Sunday passes and $30 for Saturday. Children 10 and under are free with purchase of an adult ticket.
A VIP pass for all three days admission, a $30 photo op voucher and VIP t-shirt is currently $221. Other options for passes are available.