GalaxyCon 2023

This past weekend, March 24-26, we attended GalaxyCon Richmond at the Richmond Convention Center.  We’ve attended GalaxyCon for three years now (2020, 2022, and 2023) and it was a blast as always.  When GalaxyCon rolls through next year, you can count on us going again.

What does GalaxyCon Offer?

GalaxyCon is a three-day celebration of fandoms.  This is an eclectic mash-up of pop culture and what it has to offer.  From superheroes to 90s sitcoms, from horror and the paranormal to anime, from science fiction to fantasy, from theme parks to wrestling, GalaxyCon has a lot to offer for fanatics of all kinds.  Throw on top of that offerings of comedy, board games, and video games, and more, and you’ll find there is a lot to see and do at GalaxyCon. 

Attendees can purchase single-day, two-day, or three-day passes, which will get them access to the exhibition hall floor and a number of panels.  The exhibition hall floor is a large gathering of vendors, offering their a wide range of merchandise steeped in pop culture-goodness.  Depending on where you are on the floor, you’ll find yourself surrounded by collections of toys and comics, art, gaming supplies, authors and their books, or a number of nerdy goodies.  There is also a section of the floor dedicated to well-known professionals, such as comic writers and artists, professional wrestlers, voice actors, tv and movie stars.  Many of these celebrities are there to sign autographs, take pictures, and talk (for a price).  

Throughout the weekend, GalaxyCon offers many panels and shows that fans can attend for no additional cost (though there are a few premium offerings that do cost extra).  Many of these panels are celebrity Q&As, which give fans access to stars in a fun way.  Other panels are more topic oriented, giving the panelists a chance to discuss specific topics such as theme park history, comic book storylines, inclusion and access, and local cryptids.  Beyond those options, attendees can also check out professional wrestling shows, comedy sets, sing-a-longs, game shows, fancastings, dance parties, and the list goes on.  

It really is impossible to take advantage of all that GalaxyCon has to offer.  We had to make some hard choices about what to do, but no matter what we picked, we had a very good time.  Also, no matter where you go, you’re sure to be surrounded by enthusiastic fans and a number of people in amazing cosplay.  

What Panels Did We See?

Big Time Wrestling (with Matt Hardy, Ron Simmons, and Scott Steiner):

Chaos is a huge professional wrestling fan, so he wasn’t going to miss the chance to check out three gigantic stars.  Matt Hardy got asked the most questions and seemed pretty happy with his life and career. He brought up his brother a lot and really showed a lot of respect towards his fellow wrestlingers.  Ron Simmons had a lot of both funny and interesting stories.  Scott Steiner was surprisingly calm and quiet for a lot of the panel.  He answered plenty of questions though and also had some cool insight into portions of his career.  

We learned that the Hardy Boyz had to deal with a very problematic Micheal P.S. Hayes during their early careers, Ron Simmons just watched the Godfather the night before (and that he lived his dreams of wrestling who he believes are the greatest wrestlers of all time), and that Scott Stinder knows never to reveal too much on the indies or some bigger star will still your act.

Nightmare Creatures: Real Monsters with Dave Schrader:

Honestly, this was going to be a time-filler between two other shows.  Monsters are interesting and who doesn’t love a good scary story?  The plan was to sit in for about twenty minutes and then move on.  An hour later, and we can say that Dave Schrader knows how to tell both very engaging and humorous stories.  While I can’t say I believe any of his monster stories, his tales of the faceless, bloody bones man, and black-eyed children were great nightmare fuel.  He runs a podcast, and I’m very tempted to check it out now.

Mick Foley Q&A:

The hardcore legend, Mick Foley, has had plenty of time in front of audiences, so he knows how to put on a good talk.  He discussed his favorite injury, the importance of mental health, some guy named The Rock, being against using light tubes as weapons, writing his books, enjoying long drives, and tales from his youth.  Mick comes off as such a genuine and good guy.  He was well worth the time and listen.  

Mark-Paul Gosselaar Q&A

It turns out the real life Mark-Paul Gosselaar is very different from his character of Zach Morris (who I know him  best as).  He’s a very down to earth guy, who seems to appreciate what he’s been able to do in life (even if he can’t remember it all because he has a self-admittedly terrible memory).  He spoke a lot about his family and about the cool people he’s been able to work with.  Gosselaar is a soothing listen and engaging in a very peaceful and real way.

Daredevil Q&A with Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio

Cox and D’Onofrio really had to be careful about answering questions without saying too much about potential future projects (Marvel is watching).  While a few questions about other parts of their careers were asked, the panel mostly stayed Marvel and Daredevil focused.  The two were able to give great insight into their acting methods and their favorite Daredevil scene.  D’Onofrio says he believes he’ll “kick Spider-man’s ass” one day, and Cox told a great story about spitting blood in an unexpecting guy’s face.

John Rhys-Davies Q&A:

Unfortunately, I only got to sit in for about 15 minutes on Davies’ panel, but what I saw was great.  He is super lively and delivers all this thoughts in speech form.  He really praised Julie Andrews for her awesomeness (and her attractiveness).  He had a lot to say about how much he disliked the writers of Sliders.  This guy knows how to grab people’s attention and command a stage.

Kevin Nash: Q&A:

Kevin Nash is another speaker who came off as very real and honest.  He discussed a lot of his wrestling career, but also remained truthful that he was in it for the money.  We got to hear a bit about filming as Super Shredder, doing whatever he wanted in Impact Wrestling, how whiny Shawn Micheals can be, the NWO, and Nash’s injuries.

The Cast of Boy Meets World Q&A (with Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong, Will Friedle, and Trina McGee:

This is such a friendly and likable bunch.  The cast has great chemistry and supposedly are pretty friendly and tight in real life.  They seemed very fond of their old show and were happy to discuss it (it probably helped that they’re running a rewatch podcast, so a lot of it is fresher in their minds).  They clearly meant a lot to fans, especially because of the lessons their show taught.  They shared many great thoughts about friendship and personal growth. 

We also got a surprise drop-in from Mick Foley, who was in an episode of Boy Meets World. 

What Shows Did We Check Out?

Fantasy Super Cosplay Wrestling:

If you love cheesiness and silliness, this is a show worth checking out.  FSCW ran a show each day of GalaxyCon.  We got to check out the Friday and Saturday show.  Characters featured included: Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Shaggy, Team Rocket, Spider-Man and his enemies, The Teen Titans, Loki, Deadpool, Miss Trunchbull, Jinx, and Jay and Silent Bob.  A big part of the fun is seeing who will come out next and how the different characters are going to interact.  We also got to see the attempted wedding of Skeletor and Evil-Lyn and a Loki-variant screw Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen out of their tag titles.

The wrestling can be a bit sloppy at points, but the performers are putting in a fantastic effort and do put on a fun show from an athletic standpoint as well.  FSCW is really about the stories they are telling, which mostly lean into the comedy side of things.  There are a bunch of character moments in each match, that should engage wrestling and non-wrestling fans alike.

Disney Sing-a-Long with Noise Complaint

If you like Disney music, this is a show for you.  Noise Complaint has a few songs they’ve chosen to do, but they also perform quite a few audience requests as well.  This is a great chance to hear some favorites and belt along with a crowd full of Disney-lovers.

Revenge of the Nerd Comedy Hour

An hour-plus of quick comedian sets.  Their quality varied, but most were actually pretty funny and entertaining.  A lot of their material aimed at the potentially nerdy audience and it worked.  I genuinely laughed quite a bit.  

The Cosplay and Show Floor!

The show floor had so much to see and potentially buy.  While we didn’t get as much this year, a few of our friends found a lot to dig into their wallets to buy.  We ended up only purchasing a kids book (The Adorable Beastling by Jonathon Rosenbaum) and an autograph from Mark Bagley.  We also got some free GalaxyCon D20s.  

No matter where we went, there were plenty of great cosplays to be found.  I wish I could have gotten pictures of it all, but I’m glad I got to see what I did. Chaos and Yeti may have also dressed up as Lucas and Ness too.

As we already said, it’s impossible to do or see everything at GalaxyCon.  Friends of ours attended cosplay lip-sync battles, a David Tennant Q&A, a lot of Star Trek related panels, talks about comics, and theme park discussions.  Our son also got to do a quick meet with Tiana.  GalaxyCon Richmond was great and we’ll definitely be back.

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