Carrie Fisher out, Billy Dee Williams in for Monster-Mania

Hollywood Soapbox logoMonster-Mania returns to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, N.J., on March 8-10, and Star Wars fans will probably rejoice and be a little sad. Originally the convention was set to host Carrie Fisher for a two-day signing event; however, the actress was forced to cancel. In her place are two well-known Star Wars celebrities: Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca).

The Walking Dead fans will have plenty of actors to meet and greet. Danai Gurira will make a rare appearance, plus Michael Rooker, Laurie Holden, Scott Wilson, Chandler Riggs (Saturday only), Lew Temple, Vincent Ward, IronE Singleton (Friday and Saturday only), Kylie Szymanski and Madison Lintz. That’s a lot of zombie for one horror weekend.

Other celebrity guests include True Blood’s Jim Parrack and Janina Gavankar. The Misfits will offer free autographs, plus there’s a reunion of Freddy vs. Jason actors. The man behind the Cryptkeeper, John Kassir, will be on hand along with Bill Moseley, Tyler Mane, Dirk Benedict, Tyler Labine and Danielle Harris.

General admission passes for either Friday or Saturday are $25 each. Sunday tickets are only $20. A weekend pass (the best deal) is only $50. VIP passes for Gurira are $200. Advance tickets are no longer on sale, so fans can pick up tickets at the convention.

By John Soltes / Publisher /

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at, among other publications. E-mail him at

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