Savannah Comic Con is back an April 6 and 7, and this year’s event at the Savannah Convention Center is jammed packed with celebrity guests, comic vendors, artists, photo ops and more.
According to Savannah Comic Con organizer Mike Federali, “This year is the biggest selection of celebrity guests we’ve ever had.”
“We’ve got cosplay contests, panels, tons of artists in our Artist Alley and cool vendors,” said Federali. “... I would suggest people go online ahead of time and check out everyone that is coming so you can make a list of who and what you want to see before you get here. Plan like you are going to a new town and dress however you want and take lots of pictures.”
Some of the celebrity guests this year include Summer Glau of “Firefly” and “Terminator Chronicles,” John Wesley Shipp from “The Flash,” Greg Cipes from “Teen Titans Go” and “TMNT,” and Cary Means from “Aqua Teen.”
Another big name coming to Savannah is celebrity voice actor Rob Paulsen. Chances are you grew up with Paulsen and now your kids are growing up with him. He’s the voice of Pinky from “Pinky and the Brain,” Yakko from “Animaniacs” and Raphael of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
He also hosts a popular podcast, called Talkin’ Toons, where he said, “Well, the name says it all. I get together with other voice artists and we talk toons.”
And while Paulsen is known to frequent the con scene, this will be his first visit to Savannah.
“I love coming to these events and meeting people,” he said. “The thing I’ve learned over the years — and I’m still learning — is the extent to which these characters I voice mean to people. I’m so wonderfully surprised to see how much people embrace these characters.
“Often people share these characters with one or two generations so they can bond over them and these characters can sometimes help people through really miserable times.”
In the past several years, Paulsen has also leaned on what he learned through sharing these characters while he went through treatment for throat cancer. He says that after making hundreds of friends among sick children and their families over the course of his career, their stories provided him with great hope and determination during his recent health scare. His memoir, “Voice Lessons,” is about that journey and will be released in October.
He makes a lighthearted joke about finding out he had throat cancer by saying, “When someone does what I do for a living, couldn’t you pick another cancer?"
“But seriously, these children and their families taught me how to fight,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t going to die, but the treatment was difficult. But these children had faced much worse.”
And if you plan on meeting Paulsen at Savannah Comic Con, feel confident that he really is genuine in his love to share his art with fans. When asked if it’s OK to hear a little sample, he quickly rattles off some lines in the voice of Pinky and Yakko and laughs.
“It’s wonderful. I enjoy it more than them. Just to say a few words puts a smile on their face.”