Comicpalooza and Roller Derby will team up on Memorial Day weekend in downtown Houston at the George R Brown Convention Center. In general Comicpalooza is a convention for the fans of comics, science fiction, fantasy, video and tabletop gaming, anime, music and film, but also a trade show and showcase for the studios, publishers, and manufacturers in those industries.
I asked Comicpalooza organizer Jody Pitts, What is Comicpalooza and how long has it been going on? Is this just a Houston area convention?
JP: It has technically been going on for 4 years but this is only our second year as a big convention at the GRB.
Phil: What are the specific time frames for Comicpalooza this year in Houston?
JP: Opening Hours are 12 PM Friday, 10AM Saturday, and 10AM Sunday; till 2 AM Friday and Saturday, till ?? on Sunday.
Phil: For fans that would like to come down to Houston and watch women’s flat track roller derby, would they just need to buy an admission to Comic Palooza? Will there be two-day passes or individual day passes?
JP: We only have general admission ticket. It’s too hard to try to divide it up between the different activities. There will be passes available for Single day, 2-Day, and 3-Day. Yeah and I THINK you can still order them on the web site for cheaper but that goes down soon.
I asked both Jody and Houston Roller Derby publicist Grrrl Friday, How did Comicpalooza get together with Houston Roller Derby, and decide to invite them to become a part of Comic Palooza by having bouts skated?
JP: Thought it would be cool–I thought it was special combining the two. Come to find out, All Con in Dallas has been teaming up with a derby group for years. From what I hear, it’s been so successful that the con was able to help buy that league a track this year (that could just be a rumor).
Any who, my goal is to have every facet of the con equally important. Whereas some will see it as a comic con with other stuff, I hope by next year Derby folks will think of it as a Derby Con with other stuff.
GF: When I joined HRD in late 2009, plans were already in the works for HRD to be a part of Comicpalooza 2010. We considered doing some skating demos at the con, but ultimately ended up just hosting a booth and volunteering in a few aspects. This year, the con has been moved to a larger part of the convention center that we can fit a track on, so Jody decided to go full-force this time and partner with us to offer up a lot of derby action. It’s great exposure for us. Since the con has moved towards being a pop culture festival that embraces a lot of niche genres and sub-cultures, derby fits right in.
Phil: Where exactly will this convention be located?
GF: At the George R. Brown Convention Center located at 1001 Avenidas de las Americas in downtown Houston.
Phil: Where and when will derby bouts be skated at Comicpalooza?
GF: All of the bouts will take place in the main room for the con, located on the third level in Hall-B3. The Houston Roller Derby HaRD Knocks travel team will take on the Harrisburg Area Roller Derby girls from Harrisburg, Pa. at 1 p.m. on Saturday May 28. We will host mix-up scrimmages every hour on the hour from 1 p.m. to about 5 p.m. on Sunday May 29. The teams are comic and pop culture themed, including Zombies vs. Vampires, Autobots vs. Decepticons and more.
Phil: I know of a derby league in Dallas that participates in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Convention (All Con), but they haven’t skated actual bouts at that convention. Do you know of any other WFTDA leagues that actually skate in similar conventions?
GR: Not to my knowledge. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start a trend!
Phil: I understand that Harrisburg Area Roller Derby from Pennsylvania will be skating against the Houston Roller Derby HaRD Knocks on Saturday, but I also understand there will be a lot of skating on Sunday. Can you give us an idea of how many skaters will be participating in mix and mash bouts and when those will be going on Sunday?
GF: We have 53 skaters signed up for the mix-up scrimmages, from five different leagues: Houston Roller Derby, Texas Rollergirls, Assassination City Roller Derby, South Side Roller Derby (banked track league in Texas City) and Crude City Roller Derby. These will take place between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday May 29 at the con.
Advanced three day passes are $40 for general admission, with single day tickets costing $25 for Friday and Saturday, and $20 for Sunday. For more Comicpalooza information please visit their web site.