- Cost: See website
Central Florida Comic Con Returns to Lakeland on June 12 & 13
by James Coulter
Do you like My Hero Academia? RWBY? Power Rangers? Would you like to meet people from those shows? You can at the upcoming Central Florida Comic Con at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland on June 12 and 13.
For one weekend, attendees can come together and express their love for comics, video games, anime, and all other forms of geekdom by wearing cosplay, perusing vendors and exhibits, and meeting special guests.
This year’s roster includes: Kyle Phillips, voice actor of Denki Kaminari (My Hero Academia); Kara Eberle, voice actress of Weiss Schnee (RWBY); Karan Ashley, actress of Aisha, the Yellow Ranger (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers); Paul Schrier, actor of Bulk (MMPR); Ming Chen, host of AMC’s Comic Book Men; and George Lowe, voice actor for Space Ghost (Space Ghost: Coast to Coast).
Normally, Central Florida Comic Con is hosted in January. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the event was postponed to its currently scheduled date of Sat., June 12 and Sun., June 13.
“So, from our celebrity standpoint, I am really, really excited about it,” said Ben Penrod, the promoter of CFCC. “We had some great feedback on that, and we have a number of artists and creators who are coming…It is a family friendly event, and we are really excited to be able to do it, and we are excited that things have opened up to this extent that we can run this event again. I am just elated.”
As previously reported on The Daily Ridge, Penrod has read and loved comic books ever since age 13. He started selling comic books at conventions across the country, and soon started running his own conventions. He started one in Lakeland as to allow an opportunity to provide such an event in a locale away from the big cities of Tampa and Orlando, he said.
To ensure public health and safety during these uncertain times, this year’s event will enact special pre-cautions. Face masks and coverings will be encouraged, as will be social-distancing, and hand sanitizer will be available. Fortunately, with overall COVID rates declining and vaccination rates increasing, this year’s event is expected to have a good turnout, Penrod said.
“For events of this size, we are the very first ones happening anywhere in this country, so it is a really interesting time,” he said. “That said, I am coming into this with an open mind, no expectation, early indications are really good, pre-sales are good, we sold out of exhibitor booths in record time, and the feedback we are getting on social media and from people in person has been great…So I think there is a pent up feeling that people have where they are ready to get out and do events again and really be part of in person events.”
Central Florida Comic Con will be hosted on Sat., June 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun., June 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be hosted at the RP Funding Center, located at 701
West Lime Street, Lakeland, FL 33815. For more information, visit: https://www.centralfloridacomiccon.com/