Comicpalooza, Texas' premier comic book and pop culture convention, is gearing up for its Memorial Day weekend run in Houston (May 25–27). And while last year was great, this year there's something very special planned.
With a lineup crammed full of stars such as Michael Biehn (The Terminator, The Victim), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Andromeda), Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints), Claudia Christian (Babylon 5), George Takei (Star Trek) and Kristin Bauer (True Blood), the upcoming convention is already pretty extraordinary. But Comicpalooza founder John Simons has devised an event to make 2012's fest even more kickass...if that's even possible.
Simons had an epiphany recently. "The next best thing to being a sci-fi or action hero," Simons told me, "has to be shooting a sci-fi or action hero with a gun — or maybe being shot by one." And this simple thought led him to conceive a bit of organized chaos he's calling Heroes for Heroes: The Badass Celebrity Smack Down. Sounds intriguing, right?
The Badass Celebrity Smack Down will pit Comicpalooza attendees against the stars of some of Hollywood's biggest sci-fi and action franchises in charity laser tag matches benefitting Impact a Hero, a nonprofit organization that provides emotional and financial support to severely wounded veterans from post-9/11 conflicts.
Among the celebrities participating are Kevin Sorbo, Michael Biehn, Sean Patrick Flanery, Claudia Christian, David Della Rocco (The Boondock Saints), Rachel Lutrell (Stargate Atlantis), Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica), Christopher Judge (Stargate SG-1) and Richard LeParmentier (Star Wars).
In an effort to provide entertainment for all tastes, there will be both Heroes and Villains events. There will be two Heroes games, during which fans will have the chance to shoot or be shot by their favorite heroes in a once-in-a-lifetime game of laser tag. To qualify for one of the fan teams, you may either make a $300 donation to Impact a Hero to reserve one of the fixed spots or you can try to win one of several open spots that will be raffled off at the Impact a Hero booth from among all the fans making donations over the convention weekend.
Richard LeParmentier will be featured in the Villains event, where he will lead a team of the 501st Stormtroopers, a worldwide fan club celebrating the Star Wars universe using costumes and props, especially the Stormtroopers, Imperial forces and various other villains.
There will be one Villains game on Friday (May 25) and one on Saturday (May 26), while the Heroes games will both take place on Sunday (May 27). Fans will be able to register for the Villains event on site immediately before it takes place. Registration for the Heroes event will be on the Comicpalooza website.
If you're at all interested in participating, you should sign up now; as you can imagine, space is extremely limited for this unprecedented event. I mean, c'mon, how often do you get to shoot lasers at fictional heroes like time-traveling freedom fighter Kyle Reese and demigod Hercules while also assisting real-life heroes? This is your chance to literally have fun for goodness' sake — don't pass it up!