There is only one event where you can meet Samwise Gamgee from Middle Earth, Lois Lane and Napoleon Dynamite all in one day – the Fanboy Expo Knoxville. The Knoxville Convention Center is excited to host for the first time the region’s premier pop culture meet-and-greet and collectibles event, May 30-June 1.


“This is the Fanboy Expo’s first time at the Knoxville Convention Center, and we are thrilled to host them at our facility as the event continues to grow,” Knoxville Convention Center General Manager Mary Bogert said. “Fanboy has an impressive lineup of celebrities that is sure to attract ‘fanboys’ and ‘fangirls’ to Knoxville.”


Approximately 5,000 cult classic lovers and comic book enthusiasts will travel from across the country for the chance to meet their favorite celebrity actors and comic illustrators. The expo also will feature vendors selling comic books, toys and other fandom paraphernalia.


Celebrities will be available throughout the weekend to answer questions from fans, pose for pictures and sign photos and memorabilia. Notable guests include:


  • Sean Astin, known for the roles of Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and Mikey in “The Goonies.”
  • Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis, known for playing Commander William T. Riker and Counselor Deanna Troi on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
  • Jewel Staite, who starred as Kaylee Frye in Joss Whedon’s television series “Firefly” and the theatrical release “Serenity.”
  • Jon Heder of “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Blades of Glory.”
  • Michael Rosenbaum, best known for playing Lex Luthor on the long-running Superman series “Smallville.”
  • Craig Parker, best known for playing the elf Haldir in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
  • Margot Kidder, known for her starring role in the Superman movie franchise as Lois Lane opposite the late Christopher Reeve.
  • Tippi Hedren, who starred in the classic Alfred Hitchcock film “The Birds.”
  • Barry Bostwick and Patricia Quinn, two stars of the original cult classic, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
  • Kevin Conroy, known for voicing Batman for more than 20 years in the animated series.
  • Thomas Ian Nicholas of “American Pie” fame.
  • Two cast members from AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
  • Four cast members of TNT original sci-fi series “Falling Skies,” executively produced by Steven Spielberg.


In addition to these celebrity guests that will be at the convention through the weekend, Leonard Nimoy, best known for playing Spock on the original “Star Trek” televisions series, will host a question-and-answer session via Skype on Saturday at 3 p.m.


Attendees will also have the opportunity to be judged on their cos-play, or costume play, of their favorite comic book, television series, movie or video game. Costumes must be at least partially handmade, and contestants will be judged by professional or celebrity judges at a contest on Saturday, May 31, at 1:30 p.m. Winners will be selected in several different genre categories, including science fiction, fantasy and television; horror; comic books, anime and video game; and children’s costumes. An overall male and female winner will also be selected.


The expo will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. General admission tickets are available online and for purchase at the door at $20 for single-day passes, $40 for weekend passes and $99 for weekend-long VIP passes. Children ages 10 and under are admitted free, limit two, when accompanied by paying adult.


This is the Fanboy Expo’s third event in Knoxville. The annual expo is held in two locations in the Southeast, and Tampa, Fla. will host the event in September.