Cosplayers gather in front of the Paul Bunyan statue, during the 2017 Bangor Comic & Toy Con. Credit: Courtesy of Bill Knight

The organizers of the Bangor Comic and Toy Con pride themselves on the diversity of their lineup for the three-day festival set to start Friday at the Cross Insurance Center.

Of course there will be comic book artists, from DC Comics artist Paris Cullins to Maine’s own Ben Bishop. Of course there will be actors and performers from the worlds of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, including artists featured in everything from “Return to the Jedi” to “The Walking Dead.”

But BCTC director Will Hesketh is particularly proud of the fact that this year, there will be guests as disparate as Harry Goaz and Kimmy Robertson, all featured in the cult classic TV series “Twin Peaks,” and Joey Fatone, formerly of superstar boy band *NSYNC and recently one of the mystery singers on the hit Fox game show “The Masked Singer.”

“One of the things I’ve really tried to do is appeal to a really wide variety of people. You might come for Joey Fatone, or you might come for Sid Haig, who played Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie’s movies,” Hesketh said. “There’s something for all sorts of different fan bases.”

The convention took 2018 off, but it’s back for a fourth year this year.

Hesketh has taken over organizing the three-day festival from founder Chris McMillan, with whom he had worked on BCTC since its inaugural year in 2015. Hesketh originally booked live music for previous conventions, but eventually became the floor manager for the 2017 event. McMillan, who runs other conventions and festivals around the country, moved to Ohio from Maine in 2018 and was not able to organize a Bangor convention for that year. He later handed over the BCTC reins to Hesketh.

Hesketh, a Bangor resident, said he plans to continue BCTC’s focus on Maine talent.

Vendors on the floor range from local booksellers and artists to Maine-based jewelry makers, costume designers and other artisans. On Friday night, Limitless Wrestling, the popular Maine-based pro-wrestling outfit, will offer up a showcase of its wrestling talent on the BCTC floor. On Sunday, there’s a cosplay (short for costume play) showcase for Maine cosplayers. And Geaghan’s Brothers Brewing Company will offer up Boba Fruitt, a passion fruit-flavored beer released in conjunction with BCTC. It will be on tap at Geaghan’s in Brewer and Bangor all weekend.

“We want to involve as many local people as possible, even in some more unusual ways, like our beer collaboration,” Hesketh said. “This is really for people in Maine.”

To that end, Hesketh is offering a $75 family pass for groups of four, which will allow parents to bring two kids to the convention for either Saturday or Sunday for nearly half off the face value. BCTC is also the same weekend as Traxxas Monster Jam, a monster truck show set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights also at the Cross Center. If you already have tickets for monster jam, BCTC will give you a discount on your day pass if you show it at the door.

“It’s Maine. Money’s tight for a lot of people. We want families to be able to enjoy stuff together, and if you have a bunch of teenagers that want to go, this is a good opportunity to bring them,” Hesketh said.

Passes for BCTC start at $15 for single-day tickets for Friday, $35 for single-day tickets for Saturday, or $55 for all three days. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com or buy them at the Cross Insurance Center box office.

A full schedule can be found at the BCTC website.

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.