Superheroes, artists, cosplayers and celebrity guests will assemble once again for the third annual Bell County Comic Con.
The convention will celebrate comics, pop culture, games, movies and fantasy in one exciting weekend.
Comic Con will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 3-4 at the Bell County Expo Center, 301 W. Loop 121 in Belton.
The event was first brought to Bell County in 2017 by show owner and promoter Johnny Huang. The first convention, which had more than 19,000 attendees, was topped by the following year’s event, with attendance exceeding 23,000 people.
“I think all the attendees, the guests from all over the country and all other parts of the world came in and had a great time,” Huang said. “Attendance-wise, we broke the previous year’s numbers.”
He said this year’s Comic Con is expected to draw out more than 25,000 people.
Huang also said this year’s convention has more than 25 guests booked — twice as many as last year. Some notable names include actors Kevin Sorbo from “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” Damian Chapa from “Blood In, Blood Out” and “Street Fighter,” Tim Reid from “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Sister Sister” and “That ’70s Show,” Jason Douglas from “The Walking Dead,” Ellen D. Williams from “How I Met Your Mother” and many more.
For the anime fans, voice actors such as Sean Schemmel from “Dragon Ball Z” and Max Mittelman from “One Punch Man” will make appearances.
Huang said they recently announced professional skateboarder Bam Margera will attend this year’s Comic Con.
“Besides Tony Hawk, I think he’s probably the second most-well-known name in skateboarding, but he’s also known for his antics on MTV’s ‘Jackass’ — the TV show and the movie,” he said.
Margera was secured as a guest after actor Edward Furlong, who played John Conner in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” had to postpone his appearance until next year. Furlong is set to reprise his role as John Conner in the upcoming film “Terminator: Dark Fate.”
“The studio made him cancel all the shows, including ours,” Huang said. “So it’s very unfortunate for this year, but he’ll be back next year, which we secured already. He was very apologetic.”
Huang said Margera, Furlong’s celebrity skateboarding friend, offered to come in his place to apologize to the fans.
Other notable guests will include Daphne Reid and Karyn Parsons from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
To promote this year’s Comic Con, the team shot a commercial called “The Fresh Pool of Bel-Air.”
“It’s a parody of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ intro theme song, with Deadpool taking the place of Will Smith as the character,” Huang said. “Instead of going to his aunt and uncle’s house, he’s going to Comic Con.”
He said this year’s lineup also includes more than 80 artists. The first 10,000 visitors to the convention will receive a free, exclusive comic book created by this year’s guest artists.
“And this year’s book is bigger and better than last year’s,” Huang said.
In addition to all the action taking place inside the Expo Center, a free car meet will be set up in the parking lot from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday. All automotive enthusiasts are invited out for doughnuts, coffee and comic books. Huang said he estimates to have more than 350 cars at the meet.
To help kick off the weekend, a pre-launch VIP meet-and-greet event with Sorbo will take place Aug. 2 at The Beltonian Theatre.
“This is really for the Kevin Sorbo fans out there,” Huang said. “Because you know at Comic Con, a lot of our main guests have really long lines throughout the day, but they move kind of quickly. This is for people who really want a more intimate setting to meet their celeb or their guest.”
During the event, the theater will show episodes of the TV show “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” while guests get to meet Sorbo for photos and autographs.
Convention passes and tickets for all Comic Con events are available online at www.BellCountyComicCon.com. More information about special guests and artists also will be available on the website, and the panel schedule is set to be posted online Monday.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Huang said. “You don’t want to miss it. Everybody’s going to be there.”