By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
The Bell County Comic Con is growing up fast as it returned to the Expo Center this past weekend.
Thousands of pop culture and comic book fans gathered to celebrate all things “geeky.” Packed with panels, artists, and merchandise, Bell County Comic Con is quickly rising to the top. Celebrities that made appearances throughout the weekend included:
Danny Trejo, best known for his roles in Con Air, Desperado, and Machete. Kevin Eastman and Ernie Reyes Jr. from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Austin St. John and David J. Fielding from Power Rangers. Tracy Lynn Cruz and Justin Nimmo from Power Rangers Space. Sam Jones from Flash Gordon. Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Jim ‘Hacksaw” Duggan from the WWE Hall of Fame. Chris Rager, Josh Martin and Linda Young from Dragon Ball Z.
Hasaan Rasheed, who played a king’s warrior in the box office hit Black Panther, is from Dallas and said that his fans are what brought him to Belton. Since wrapping up the movie, he has been spending his time contributing to the active collaboration with the younger generation. Engaging the youth is crucial as it opens up doors for them to contribute back.
“I’ve spent the past year getting involved with a lot of communities and schools,” Rasheed said. “I’ve been trying to use the impact of the movie to really make a difference around the world. Impacting the youth is what’s been the most fun for me.”
To say that Black Panther made history in and out of the box office is an understatement. The movie went on to gross over $700 million dollars.
“I know the movie was going to make history,” Rasheed said. “I didn’t know how it would make history, but I knew that I wanted to be a part of history.
Friday evening, fans had the opportunity to participate in ‘Tacos with Trejo.’ The three-hour long event offered fans the opportunity to meet Trejo without waiting in lines. Curtis and Shandi Long of Killeen have been fans of Trejo’s since seeing him in Machete.
“He just seems like a nice guy all around,” Long said. “He puts off that ‘bad boy’ vibe in the movies really well though. We’ll definitely be coming back next year.”
Many attendees donned extravagant costumes of characters from a variety of entertainment series. Kyle Shiner of Harker Heights said that growing up, dressing up as his favorite hero was where his passion for cosplay began.
“I was a dorky kid and didn’t have many friends,” Shiner said. “I’d go home after school, dress up as Batman and save our cat from ‘danger.’ Now, it’s kind of an escape from reality. Being two ‘different’ people is just a cool thing. I’m already looking forward to what next year’s Comic-Con has to offer.”
Photos by Christopher Winston.