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Bigger is better in Texas. And as far as comic conventions go, Comicpalooza is the Lone Star State’s rising star.

Comicpalooza announced the addition of 124,000 sq. ft. to this year’s Memorial Day weekend event in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. This addition adds up to a total of 298,915 sq. ft., making Comicpalooza the biggest and most Texas-y of all Texas comic and pop-culture conventions. It is also the fastest growing comic con in Texas history, considering that on July 19, 2008 less than three years ago the first Comicpalooza was held in the lobby of a movie theater just outside Houston with only a dozen or so comic artists and approximately fifty fans.

“It’s been an amazing, breathless experience,” says John Simons, the event’s founder and chairman and resident of Katy, TX. “I don’t think the Psychic Network could have predicted this, but we’re still just getting started. Our goal is to be the iconic comic con for all of Texas.”

Comicpalooza’s rapid growth matches its evolution. While initially confined to comic books, the event now comprises sci-fi, fantasy, horror, anime, gaming and steampunk, as well as activities and entertainment such as celebrity signings, a film festival, Harry Potter Quidditch matches, costume contests, gaming, roller derby, martial arts exhibitions, dancers, bands and even a circus sideshow. “We only get to do this once a year,” says Simons, “so it’s three days of comics, entertainment and general geekery, not just a shopping trip.”

Comicpalooza is also known for bringing together a host of industry heavy-hitters, including comic-book creators, artists, actors and more. Among the highly-anticipated guests slated to attend in 2011: Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica), Sam Trammell (True Blood), Meaghan Rath (Being Human), Sean Maher (Firefly/Serenity), Tony Todd (Final Destination, Candyman), Jeremy Bulloch and Peter Mayhew (Star Wars), Marina Sirtis (Star Trek) and others.

Other stand-outs in attendance include comic creators Bob Layton (Iron Man), Arthur Suydam (Marvel Zombies), Phil Hester (Wonder Woman, Firebreather), Fred Van Lente (Cowboys and Aliens), Chris Roberson (Superman), Joe Lansdale (Bubba Hotep, Pigeons from Hell)  and artists Andy Kuhn (Firebreather), Ale Garza (Fathom), and David Mack (Kabuki), among many more.

Sponsors for this year include the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, McDonalds, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Splatterfest.com, TheAnimeNetwork.com, FUNimation, Bedrock City Comic Company and the Southwest Alternate Media Project. Startling Events, LLC is the organizing-events company for Comicpalooza.

For more information, including a complete list of events, guests, admission prices and schedules, visit www.comicpalooza.com.

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