Las Vegas Comic Expo 2013 Recap

The Las Vegas Comic Expo 2013 was held at the Riviera Convention Center for the second year in a row. Last year, a freak flood that caused a million dollars in damage to the Alexis Park Resort prompted event organizers to move the venue to the Riviera’s more recently updated convention arena.

The last days of September in Las Vegas are usually pretty warm still and this year was no exception, topping out in the high 90’s for the weekend. The con brought a myriad of comic artists like Ale Garza (Deadpool, Teen Titans), Joe Benitez (Lady Mechanika), and Grimm’s Nei Ruffino, writers like Scott Lobdell (X-Men, Superman)and special guests like Linda Blair, who starred in the original Excorcist at the age of 15, and Lou Ferrigno, who played the original Hulk opposite Bill Bixby’s David Banner in the late 70’s TV show.  It was no coincidence that the Mr. Universe contest was being held in Vegas that same weekend at another hotel not too far away.

linda blair Las Vegas Comic Expo 2013 Recap

At Linda Blair’s panel, she discussed The Excorcist, working in Hollywood as a teen and almost dying from a burst intestine at the age of 19 most likely caused by stress and a bad diet. A proud vegetarian, Blair is now an advocate for eating live food and stressed that cancer today is caused much in part by the processed foods that are made too readily available to unsuspecting consumers. She has a foundation that all of her sales from the event were being put toward called The Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation which also helps rescue dogs. You can access her Facebook page here.

lou ferrigno incredible hulk1 Las Vegas Comic Expo 2013 Recap

Lou Ferrigno’s equally engrossing panel covered topics like being Mr. Universe and, of course, the Hulk. He told the story of auditioning for the role right around the time he was supposed to enter his first Mr. Unvierse competition. When he found out he had won the role as Hulk, he called up Joe Weider and asked him what he should do as he was to start filming right away and the contest was happening at the same time. Joe Weider told him to grab the Hulk opportunity and he could always be Mr. Universe another time, which he eventually did 7 years later.  At 66, Ferrigno looks amazing and shared that he works out 6 days a week but only for 1 hr and 15 minutes: 30 mins of cardio to warm up then 45 mins of lifting weights. He does not agree that anyone should work out for hours and hours each day.

I asked Mr. Ferrigno out of the three different feature film Hulks, which one he thought most closely represented the Hulk that he came to know so well through playing the role.  His answer was quite surprising to me, at least.  He said that he preferred Ed Norton’s Hulk from the 2008 film. He admires Ed Norton’s acting which he felt most closely resembled Bill Bixby and that the film’s CGI Hulk looked the best as he does not like when Hulk looks too rubbery. Another interesting fact he shared was that the reason why execs from the original TV show changed the character’s name from Bruce Banner to David Banner was that they felt Bruce sounded too gay. Surprisingly, when the most popular song on the radio around that time was “YMCA” by the Village People? Wow.

Overall, the Las Vegas Comic Expo this year turned out to be a lot of fun and quite informative. I prefer the smaller cons where you can spend a few minutes talking to your favorite comic artists and writers without feeling pressed for time because there are about 200 people waiting in line behind you. Here are more pics from the event.


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