Anime and pop culture: Here's your guide to the inaugural New Wave Xpo in Corpus Christi
Lovers of anime, gaming and pop culture will soon get to let their geek flag fly at the inaugural New Wave Xpo.
The new family-friendly convention will take place at the American Bank Center Saturday with vendors, celebrities, artists and cosplayers.
Founders Musanna "Moose" Al-Muntasir and Michelle Sanders said that growing up in the 1980s, being a "nerd wasn't something people would be proud of."
"You couldn't tell people you liked that stuff," Al-Muntasir said. "You'd get your a-- beat and be ostracized. Now, it's a lot more mainstream and it's a rebirth for our generation to be more open about it."
Sanders said they decided to have the event closer to Halloween to help parents out financially.
"A lot of parents can't afford cosplays during the school year, but if we have it around this time, it's a lot easier," Sanders said. "Plus, it's not hot and the weather is finally nice."
Moose said he hopes the expo makes the "niche" community in Corpus Christi feel welcome. Sanders said their goal is to eventually make the event free for everyone to enjoy.
Check out the guide below to see what you can expect at the event.
Photo ops are possible with celebrities, but prices will vary with each actor.
Dani Chambers: She made her anime debut in 2017 as Chise Hatori, the title character of the show "The Ancient Magus Bride." Other voice roles include Maharo in "My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising Movie" and Aharen in "Aharen-San."
R. Bruce Elliott: Aside from voice acting, he has starred in films and TV shows including 1991's "JFK" with Kevin Costner. His voice roles include Captain Ginyu in "Dragon Ball Z Kai" and Dot Pyxis in "Attack on Titan."
Jim Foronda: The Texas-based voice actor got his foot in voice acting when he would write commercials for Hasbro Toys in the early 2000s. His voice roles include Muscular in "My Hero Academia" and Vander Decken IX in "One Piece."
Marcus M. Mauldin: He started his career in musical theater and moved on to television, starring in shows including "Breaking Bad" and "Queen Sugar." His voice roles include Ant De Bonham in "One Piece" and Brick in "Borderlands."
Tom McKee: Living in Dallas, he has performed on multiple stages throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. His voice roles include the Zombies in "One Piece" and Elvis the Alien in "Chaos Kernal."
Stephanie Nadolny: She started her voice acting career as the child version of Goku in the 1986 series "Dragon Ball." Other voice roles include K.O. in "Lakewood Plaza Turbo" and Eve in "Parasite Dolls."
Tiffany Volmer: Similar to Nadolny, she came into the voice acting scene in the 1986 series "Dragon Ball" voicing Bulma. Other voice roles include Betsy in "Case Closed" and Manager in "Yu Yu Hakusho."
Sam de la Rosa: Since 1982, he has created art for Marvel, DC, Disney and Dark Horse, including "Spider-Man," "Venom," "Carnage," "Black Panther," "Superman," "Green Lantern" and "Predator" comics.
Matt Frank: He has made the cover art for five IDW Publishing comics: "Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters," "Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths," "Godzilla: Legends," "Godzilla: Ongoing" and "Godzilla: Rulers of Earth."
Wes Hartman: An internationally published and award-winning comic book colorist, he has worked with various comic publishers including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Dynamite.
Mostafa Moussa: Based in Houston, he has worked with DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Hasbro, Overground Comics and Image Comics.
Eddie Nunez: Since breaking into the comic industry in 2008, he has worked on projects including "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," "Batman" and "Masters of the Universe."
Juan Carlos Ramos: This comic book artist created a character called The Blue Ghost in conjunction with the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay.
Jimmy Reyes: The comic book illustrator has worked on titles including "Power Rangers," "Charlie's Angels" and "Marvel Action Avengers."
Ash Vasquez: Born and raised in San Antonio, she is an independent artist who also cosplays from time to time.
Dave Wilkins: In addition to being a comic artist, he is an art director and concept artist in the gaming industry and has worked for Namco Bandai, Capcom and Sony PlayStation.
Visit these cosplayers' Instagram pages to see what characters they might dress up as Saturday.
Ally B Cosplay: Rogue from "X-Men" and Selena Quintanilla; instagram.com/ally_b.cosplay.
Briannaty: Catwoman and Velma from "Scooby-Doo"; instagram.com/briannatty.
Clerith Cosplay: Joker and Harley Quinn from the "Batman" series and Cloud and Aerith from the "Final Fantasy" series; instagram.com/clerithcosplay
Dani Mereon Cosplay: Raven from "Teen Titans" and Kanae Kocho from "Demon Slayer"; instagram.com/danimereon
Dat Ashe Cosplay: Kanato from "Diabolik Lovers" and Overhaul from "My Hero Academia"; instagram.com/dat_ashe_cos
Hannah Dove: Catra from the "She-Ra" series and Spider-Gwen from the "Spider-Man" series; instagram.com/hannahdove
Jazmyn Monique: Kitana from "Mortal Kombat" and Naruto from "Naruto"; instagram.com/officialjazmynmonique
Kelen Lestrade: Faye Valentine from "Cowboy Bebop" and Sailor Mars from "Sailor Moon"; instagram.com/kelenlestrade
Le'van Marie Cosplay: Black Cat from the "Spider-Man" series and Samus from "Metroid Prime"; instagram.com/levanmariecosplay
Lizzy Hedgehog: Sonic the Hedgehog; instagram.com/lizzy_hedgehog
Maddie Mason: Chel from "The Road to El Dorado" and Shego from "Kim Possible"; instagram.com/maddie.mason
MarsUnderTheStars: Princess Peach from "Super Mario Bros." and Princess Serenity from "Sailor Moon"; instagram.com/marsunderthestars
MXJellyfish: Scaramouche from "Genshin Impact" and Ahsoka from the "Star Wars" series; instagram.com/mxjellyfish
Nicoolinn Cosplay: She-Hulk and Kuki from "Genshin Impact"; instagram.com/_nicoolinn
Octopus Doll: Cala Maria from "Cuphead" and Mr. Garrison from "South Park"; instagram.com/octopusdollcosplay
A post shared by Yerah • 🇵🇷 • Cosplay • Model • Art • Memes @lvlupartgallery (@paradoxxcosplay)
Paradox Cosplay: Hela from the "Thor" series and Misty from the "Pokémon" series; instagram.com/paradoxxcosplay
Rose Quartz Royalty: Scarlet Witch and Barbara from "Genshin Impact"; instagram.com/RoseQuartzRoyalty
Sledgehammer Creative: Maui from "Moana" and Barret from the "Final Fantasy" series; instagram.com/sledgehammercreative
Stitch Crimes: Flayn from "Fire Emblem: Three Houses" and Sophie from "Howl's Moving Castle"; instagram.com/stitchcrimes
9 a.m.: VIP ticket holders get to enter an hour early.
10 a.m.: A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place with the Corpus Christi United Chamber of Commerce. General admission ticket holders can attend.
11 a.m.: Sit in on the "Diversity Panel" with Marcus M. Mauldin, Dani Chambers and Hot Z95's Gino Flores as they discuss challenges and ways to impact their communities.
Noon: Enjoy lunch with various food vendors including Papa John's.
1 p.m.: Join the "Voice Actor Career Panel" to ask questions and learn about the industry with R. Bruce Elliott, Jim Foronda and Tom McKee.
2 p.m.: The "DBZ Panel" includes Stephanie Nadolny and Tiffany Vollmer, who discuss their careers in the "Dragon Ball Z" universe, share life experiences and offer advice to aspiring actors.
3 p.m.: Ready to go on a journey to be the very best? Join Professor Birch and Professor Sonia as they lead the "A Hero's Journey" panel about the Pokémon franchise, trivia and giveaways.
4 p.m.: A kids cosplay contest will be held with prizes.
5 p.m.: An adult cosplay contest will be held with prizes.
7 p.m.: The New Wave Xpo ends.
How to get tickets
Visit newwavexpo.com and click on the "Buy Tickets" link. Tickets will be available at the door for an additional price.
Children who are 10 years or younger are free to attend.
If you go
WHAT: New Wave Xpo
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: American Bank Center
More:Corpus Christi Comic Con 2022: 12 cosplayers the Caller-Times met Saturday
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John Oliva covers entertainment and community news in South Texas. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @johnpoliva.
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This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Here's your guide to the inaugural New Wave Xpo in Corpus Christi