FAN EXPO weekend welcomes stars and enthusiasts to New Orleans

Published: Jan. 7, 2023 at 1:45 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Fan Expo New Orleans returned this weekend, bringing a star-studded lineup of actors, artists, cosplayers, gamers and other pop culture notables to the Morial Convention Center through Sunday (Jan. 8).

Film director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, The Evil Dead franchise), actors Henry Winkler (Happy Days, Barry), Sean Astin (The Goonies, Lord of the Rings trilogy), Bonnie Wright and Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter franchise), Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian, Breaking Bad), Carl Weathers (The Mandalorian, Predator and the Rocky franchise), and the “Stranger Things” duo of Joseph Quinn and Grace Van Dien are just some of the celebrity guests greeting fans at the three-day convention.

Whether young, old or somewhere in the middle, there’s something for all ages.

“The actors, the shopping, we want to see some Smash Bros. tournaments,” said Josh Astley of Slidell, who arrived dressed up in costume with his two children.

“So, the pink bunny suit probably throws it off, but growing up my family was really into horror,” Astley said. “So, I’m interested to see some of the comic book artists who do horror.”

Among the top comic book artists on hand are Arthur Sudyam (Marvel Zombies and The Walking Dead television series) and Greg Land (Uncanny X-Men and other Marvel titles).

Last year saw a slightly dialed-back version of the Fan Expo, due to restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

But this year brought out more stars, such as “The Fonz” himself. Winkler even chose to interview himself for Fox 8.

“OK, so this is Fox 8? I’m fine, thank you very much. So what are you doing here? Well, I love New Orleans,” Winkler said.

From the mainstream to the obscure, the annual convention has something to offer everyone. And it’s a place where “being nerdy” is a term of endearment.

Dr. Travis Langley is a writer who focuses on the psychology of some of the most popular fictional characters and super heroes, to help people better understand themselves.

“I could talk about the same stuff, through fictional examples,” said Dr. Langley.

“Like Bruce Wayne (Batman) seeing his parents murdered. They’ll stay with me and they’ll learn the psychology more than they would if I was talking about real examples.”

Langley says no matter what you’re into, the Fan Expo is the perfect place to be yourself.

“The ‘con’ in the word convention is about convening and interacting,” he said. “My favorite stuff is just chatting with people.”

FAN EXPO New Orleans runs Saturday through 7 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can find more information on the guest lineup, events and tickets by clicking here.

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