3 Things to Do at Rose City Comic Con This Weekend

Portland’s biggest celebration of fandom, comics, and cosplay starts tonight.

By Allison Place September 7, 2018

A scene from the floor of Rose City Comic Con 2017 at the Oregon Convention Center.

Rose City Comic Con takes over the Oregon Convention Center once again this weekend, with locally drawn comics, insider panel talks, Harley Quinn wannabes, and oddball Instagram story opportunities galore. Seven years in the running, the good-natured fest brings together some of the best cosplayers, artists, and actors around with appearances from Val Kilmer (Madmartigan!), local comics titan Brian Michael Bendis, and object of Doctor Who/Jessica Jones/Broadchurch affection David Tennant among others on the mile-long roster this year. The whole thing’s an overwhelming spectacle of fun, but here’s three suggestions for events worth making time for this weekend.

Karate Kid (1984) Q&A and Screening 

Discussion 7 p.m., screening 8 p.m. Fri, Panel Room 1
If you were born in the ’80s and practiced martial arts in your youth, Karate Kid is likely to blame. The quintessential underdog tale of crane kicks and waxing on/off makes its way to RCCC this year, featuring a Q&A with stars Ralph Macchio, Martin Kove (Cobra Kai sensei John Kreese), and William Zabka (Sweep the Leg Johnny). Come ask all those questions you’ve been dying to ask over the years (“Daniel, errr, Mr. Macchio, do you think the Karate Kid pigeon-holed you as an actor?”), or pick the cast’s brains about its new YouTube series Cobra Kai.

Lavish costuming abounds at the 2017 Rose City Comic Con. 

Rose City Comic Con Costume Contest

8–11 p.m. Sat, Oregon Convention Center
Perhaps the most quintessentially Comic Con thing about Comic Con, the costume contest combines mad crafting skills and fan worship, resulting in some of the best cosplaying in the Pacific Northwest. Contestants are judged in one of five categories (including the Tinkers category, for those costumes that entail gadgets and gizmos, and the Beyond Human category, for “larger-than-life” cosplay). The best of the best take home cash prizes and major bragging rights. Though there is still time to sign up for the contest, it should be noted that cosplaying is not for the weak of heart or non-detail oriented. There are no limits on costume size or props, but you do have to make sure your handcrafted Optimus Prime rig or Viserion the ice dragon costume fits through the doorway.


1–8 p.m. Fri, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Sat, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun, Expo Floor
The makers of AnimeNYC, New York’s anime convention, arrive in the Rose City this year with Animebashi, a new, 10,000-square-foot space inside RCCC celebrating the “best of Japanese pop culture.” Expect panels, exhibitions, screenings, and, perhaps most compellingly, ramen. At noon on Sunday at talk with Taichi Ishizuki (Afuri), Kayoko Kaye (Kayo’s Ramen Bar), and Gabe Rosen (Noraneko) will dissect Portland’s own modest Japanese noodle bowl revolution. The event takes place noon on Sunday. (Psst, ramen superfans: Animebashi is also hosting a luxe Ramen Summit Spotlight dinner hosted at Afuri on Sunday. It’s $75 and its limited to 12 guests total, so sign up before tickets are gone.)

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