Anime, video game, comic book and sci-fi fans should head to the Blair County Convention Center for Sci-Fi Valley Con 2022 next weekend, June 17-19.
Various activities are planned during the three-day event, including autograph and photo shoots, a costume contest for cosplayers, a charity auction, a trivia tournament, board games and contests. retro arcade, medieval combat demonstrations and guest panels, according to website convention.
A free after party with bowling and karaoke is also planned from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, June 18 at Altoona’s Holiday Bowl with special bowling rates – $20 per hour with up to six players on a lane – as well as free shoe rentals.
Several famous guests are expected. These include screenwriter, actor and author John Russo, best known for the 1968 horror classic, “Night of the Living Dead.”
For example, Daily, which gave voice to characters such as Tommy from Nickelodeon’s “The Rugrats” as well as Cartoon Network’s Buttercup “The Powerpuff Girls” is about to attend, as well as Billy West, who gave Ren and Stimpy the floor from “The Ren and Stimpy Show” Philip Fry, Dr Zoidberg and Professor Farnsworth of “Futurama” Doug from “Doug” and was also the voice actor for Buggs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in the iconic film, “SpaceJam.”
Fans will also have the chance to meet Kari Wahlgren (“Rick and Morty” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Teen Titans”), featuring Maurice LaMarche, best known as the voice of Brain from “Animaniacs” and “Pinky and the Brain” with several other characters in “Futurama” alongside the West.
Gamer fans who come to the con can expect to see Nolan North, the voice of Nathan Drake and Desmond Miles from the Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed video games. Younger readers may also know him as the voice of Conner Kent from “Young Justice” and Blaze of “Blaze and the Monster Machines.”
Highlights include reuniting the quartet who voiced the characters from the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” late 1980s and early 1990s series – Barry Gordon (Donatello), Cam Clarke (Leonardo), Townsend Coleman (Michelangelo) and Rob Paulsen (Raphael).
Paulsen, who along with his roles in the TMNT franchise (he returned for the 2012 series reboot as Donatello), has played over 250 animated characters and voiced over 1,000 commercials. He received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program and three Annie Awards for his role as Pinky alongside LaMarche. Paulsen is also the voice of Yakko Warner and Dr. Otto Scratchansniff of “Animaniacs” as well as Carl Wheezer of “Jimmy Neutron: Genie Boy.”
Recently, Paulsen sat down for a phone interview with the Mirror to talk about his life and career, his rise to fame and his victory over cancer. Responses are edited for clarity and conciseness:
AM: Growing up in Detroit, you were a big fan of Gordie Howe of the Red Wings, but how big of a hockey fan were you growing up? did you play?
Paulson: “I played until a few years ago here (in California), two hours, playing all the time. I don’t have much time for that anymore, but I’m a huge hockey fan. played since I was quite young until just a few years ago, hanging out with players here.
AM: At what point in your youth did you decide to make comedy your priority?
Paulsen: “It was actually only when I went to college. I was a bit reluctant to go because my heart wasn’t really in it, but I was the oldest in my family and my parents were like ‘go to college, you’re going to set an example for the other kids ‘.
“But after about a year in school, it was clear that my desire was to move to Los Angeles and start applying my craft. In fact, what I did after my freshman year of college in 1975, I joined a theater company and traveled around the United States and Canada I was doing music and acting and stuff and then after about a year and a half on the road it’s not really only at that moment that I decided to do this for a living.
“But after that, I went home and was in a rock and roll band that toured the Midwest for a long time, got more experience, and in the summer of 1978 I got said ‘OK, it’s time to move to LA and jump in the pool with the big kids.
AM: What led you to do dubbing?
Paulsen: “I think it was just an opportunity. I’ve always loved creating characters, voices and all that. I was like many people; lots of actors and lots of kids in general having fun. But the opportunity presented itself in the middle of the 80s, 84 or 85, to do animation. I was doing mostly camera work and music, but the opportunity came up and my agent said, “Have you ever thought about doing animation? and I said of course, but I was pretty closed.
“But I auditioned for some shows that turned out”G.I. Joe” and “Transformers,” and I just thought, “man, this is the gig. No one cares if I’m tall, thin, fat or short; it’s just awesome. That’s really when I started doing it seriously.
“Probably about seven or eight years later I jumped into this full time. Luck is when opportunity meets preparation, so I was prepared and the opportunity came, and I I got lucky.
AM: Of all the different roles you’ve played over the years, is there one that has stood out to you as a favourite?
Paulson: “There were so many. I think if I had to choose, it would probably be in “Animaniacs” and “Pinky and The Brain”. Animaniacs because I love to sing and the music is spectacular, and Pinky and The Brain because both characters are great, and I work with Maurice LaMarche. It’s just a lot of fun.
AM: I didn’t know until I did some background research that you were part of the original “Have Milk” commercial (Alexander Hamilton). What was this process like?
Paulson: “It was just another job; another cartoon. I wasn’t there when they shot the part on camera, but I know it was directed by Michael Bay. I didn’t know if it was his first job, but it was one of his first directing jobs. It turned out to be some sort of iconic ad. Once in a while, you will see it featured in the top advertisements. »
AM: Is there a role you haven’t played that you would like to try?
Paulson: “One day, like any actor, I would love a chance to play the Joker. I love that character. I was also just with Billy West, who’s going to be with us in Altoona, but Philip J. Fry in “Futurama “, he’s a character I would have loved to play, but Billy does it perfectly. There’s nothing I can add to that that Billy hasn’t.
AM: So who do you think makes the best Joker then?
Paulson: “Mark (Hamil) and Kevin (Conroy) together, I think, are the epitome of Batman and Joker, in my opinion.”
AM: What will it be like to collect all the turtles?
Paulson: “We probably do it about three or four times a year. We were together in Abu Dhabi in March for a few days and it was great. But every time I hang out with these guys I’ve known for 37 years.
AM: You are a survivor of stage 3 metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the throat (throat cancer) after your diagnosis in 2016. Because of your work, it directly puts not only your health but also your financial livelihood at risk. danger. How was your fight and your recovery?
Paulson: “It was really curveball and quite difficult. The treatments were quite intense. My wife, son, daughter-in-law, amazing doctors, and friends have all been so supportive, and I’m doing well as far as I’m concerned. My voice is ok; I am very lucky and can from time to time be the spokesperson for this particular form of cancer. To the extent that my experience helps others, I am truly grateful to be a part of it.
What: Sci-Fi Valley Con
When: June 17-19
Where: Blair County Convention Center, Altoona
Tickets: Available at the door and for pre-order at scifivalleycon.com/tickets (pre-order ends June 16). Pre-order adult tickets are $25 for a 1-day pass (Friday or Sunday), $30 1-day Saturday, $35 3-day; Adults at the door are $30 for a 1-day pass on Friday or Sunday, $35 on Saturday, or $40 for a 3-day pass. Children 6-12 are $10 for a 1-day pass or $15 for a 3-day pass. Free admission for children 5 and under.