Minnesota Fan Fusion in St. Paul
California in July gets to play host to the San Diego Comic Con, but Minnesota in August is not without its own entertainment-themed convention. Minnesotans – and other Midwesterners or travelers from outside the region – can look forward to partaking in the sci-fi-heavy con Minnesota Fan Fusion, hitting St. Paul come the first weekend in August.
Billed as a “celebration of comics, creators, and collectibles – a place where you can Discover Your Inner Geek,” the convention will run August 3-5. It features celebrity guests who’ll participate in photo ops, autograph signings and panels; vendors selling comics, art, figurines, and more; appearances by comics and comic artists; costume contests, trivia, and other game-style events; workshops; and themed panels led by podcasters or other entertainment buffs.
In terms of art and artists, comics and other creators, Fan Fest welcomes those from the national community but has a focus on local creators to showcase Twin Cities area talent.
Produced by the Phoenix-based company which serves as the event’s managing firm, Square Egg Entertainment, Fan Fusion is the updated edition of the convention which in its 2017 inaugural year, was called Minnesota Fan Fast.
According to the web page, the 2018 installment boasts two times the number of comic creators as before, 2.5 times the space, four times the number of panels and events, two times the number of celebrities, and one extra day to accommodate the expansion.
The eight celebrity guests scheduled this year are: Game of Throne’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; Danielle Panabaker from CW’s The Flash; Dan Fogler of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; John Rhys-Davies of The Lord of the Rings and a heap of other sci-fi/fantasy shows and movies; Manu Bennett, who’s appeared in Arrow, The Shannara Chronicles, The Hobbit movies, and more; The Walking Dead actress Laurie Holden, who recently appeared on The Americans; Ray Park, veteran of Star Wars, Heroes, Spartacus, G.I. Joe and X-Men; and Summer Glau, from Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dollhouse, Alphas and Arrow, to name a few of her sci-fi bonafides.
The more than 20 other creatives in attendance will include cosplayers Avantgeek and Kristen Lanae, comics and artists Barbara Schulz, Andy Kuhn, Brian and Kristy Miller, and authors S.A. Bodeen and Brian Farrey.
The convention will kick off at 3 p.m. Friday with a panel about hit show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Rhys-Davies, Bennett, and Coster-Waldau will be on hand for photo ops and signings through the afternoon. Among the Day 1 panels are some on Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Star Trek, Doctor Who, horror movies and their remakes, and a Marvel vs. DC debate.
Day 2 begins at 10 a.m., which is when Panabaker, Holden, Coster-Waldau, and Glau will begin signing sessions, with photo ops and another signing slot later in the day. Events begin at 10:30 a.m. with options ranging from “Hogwarts Wizards in Training” to “The Hunt for Infinity Stones” to Game of Thrones and Arrowverse talks.
The core day will be capped off by a costume contest at 6:30 p.m. and a party from 730 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday has been dubbed “family day” – though the whole festival is family-friendly – and brings more signings, photo ops and events from 10 a.m. through 4:15 p.m.
The convention will unfold at the Saint Paul Rivercentre event space located at 175 W. Kellogg Blvd. Prices vary based on age and time frame. Children under 2 are free, children ages 3-12 get in for $10. Day passes range from $12 p.m. Friday to $25 Saturday. Standard 3-day passes are $40, and a VIP weekend option is available for $150.
To purchase tickets or find out more about Minnesota Fan Fusion, go to https://minnesotafanfusion.com/.
It’s not too late to get tickets, but the wait won’t be long for anyone eager to get their geek on at the second ever Minnesota Fan Fest-turned-Minnesota Fan Fusion convention. Happy fandoming!