Rhode Is­land Comic Con: Where fans and celebri­ties can all be char­ac­ters

Woonsocket Call - - Front Page - By JONATHAN BISSONNETTE jbis­son­nette@paw­tuck­et­times.com

PROVIDENCE — Fans of ac­claimed Bri­tish ac­tor Andy Serkis waited pa­tiently in line on Fri­day night for their own ver­sion of “the pre­cious.”

No, it wasn’t one ring to rule them all that these fans were pur­su­ing, but rather it was an au­to­graph, photo, hand­shake, and con­ver­sa­tion with the ac­tor dur­ing his ses­sion at Rhode Is­land Comic Con on the arena floor of the Dunkin’ Donuts Cen­ter.

Serkis is per­haps best known for his work as a “per­for­mance-cap­ture” ac­tor – mean­ing that when Serkis is on screen, it’s very rarely his face that the au­di­ence sees, but rather a com­bi­na­tion of mo­tion cap­ture act­ing, com­puter-gen­er­ated im­ages, and voice work. Ar­guably his most pop­u­lar per­for­mance was as Gol­lum in “The Lord of the Rings” film tril­ogy. But he’s also used his

Con­tin­ued from page A1 per­for­mance-cap­ture method for roles in the “Planet of the Apes” se­ries and the most re­cent “Star Wars” tril­ogy.

How­ever, Serkis will oc­ca­sion­ally be seen in a more tra­di­tional act­ing role, most no­tably as the vil­lain­ous Ulysses Klaue in the Marvel Cin­e­matic Uni­verse’s “Avengers” film se­ries.

Brothers Michael and Kevin Gates trav­eled more than 300 miles from their home­town of Mar­cel­lus, N.Y. – a small town just out­side of Syra­cuse – to meet Serkis.

“We’re from a ru­ral area,” Kevin Gates joked. “We don’t see too much like this.”

Michael Gates said he was most fond of Serkis’ work in the “Star Wars” and Marvel fran­chises, not­ing his ex­cite­ment to see the ac­tor’s up­com­ing per­for­mances in “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” and “Black Pan­ther.”

“He be­comes his char­ac­ters, he’s just in­cred­i­ble,” Michael Gates said. “Whether it’s phys­i­cally – like in ‘Black Pan­ther’ – or a ren­der­ing of him­self.”

Gar­ri­son Wright of Bloom­ing­ton, Ill. made the 16-hour jour­ney from his home in the heart of Illinois to the Ocean State to meet the ac­tor who’d meant so much to the film adap­ta­tions of the nov­els he grew up with.

A ded­i­cated fan of the works of au­thor J.R.R. Tolkien, who penned the fan­tasy clas­sics “The Hob­bit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” Wright said he’d been read­ing those books since he was a teenager.

“When he was in ‘Lord of the Rings,’ that sealed it,” Wright said of Serkis. “He was the deal sealer as far as show­ing up (to the con­ven­tion).”

When asked what he’d talk to Serkis about, Wright pon­dered, then said, “From ‘Lord of the Rings’ to the Marvel world, there’s a lot I would talk to him about.”

Greg Sil­via of Lakeville, Mass. mean­while said that he saw Serkis as a tran­scen­dent fig­ure in the his­tory of cin­ema, at­tribut­ing the ac­tor with not only start­ing the per­for­mance cap­ture con­cept but defin­ing it for gen­er­a­tions to come.

“I loved him in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and as Cae­sar in ‘Planet of the Apes,’” Sil­via said. “To get his sig­na­ture and meet him, it’ll be a re­ally cool, sur­real ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Ernest A. Brown/The Call

The Rhode Is­land Con­ven­tion Cen­ter was the place to be this week­end as Rhode Is­land Comic Con drew thou­sands for the three-day event, in­clud­ing some col­or­ful char­ac­ters.

Pho­tos by Ernest A. Brown/The Call

Comic book fans look over some of their fa­vorites in­side the Rhode Is­land Con­ven­tion Cen­ter Satur­day at this week­end’s Rhode Is­land Comic Con.

Above, Ken­way-Nathan Petro­celli, of War­wick, is dressed up as Ed­ward Ken­way from ‘As­sas­sin's Creed’ at Rhode Is­land Comic Con in Providence Satur­day. Thou­sands of comic book and movie fans flocked to the Dunkin' Donuts Cen­ter and ad­ja­cent Rhode Is­land Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, many dressed in cos­tume, for the three­day event which con­cluded Sun­day with a con­cert by the Gene Sim­mons Band at the nearby Vets Au­di­to­rium. Sim­mons, be­low, waits to greet fans Satur­day.

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