'Dragon Ball Z' actors coming to Comic Con
Jan. 17, 2018 at 9:48 p.m.
Updated Jan. 18, 2018 at 6 a.m.
There's no need to wish upon seven dragon balls if you want to meet voice actors from an animation franchise that is known throughout the world.
Chris Sabat, who dubs Vegeta; Monica Rial, who dubs Bulma; and Eric Vale, who dubs Trunks, in the "Dragon Ball" universe will be celebrity guests at Victoria Comic Con on Saturday and Sunday at the Victoria Community Center.
The characters are family in the animated show. The newest series in the franchise is "Dragon Ball Super," and it currently airs on Cartoon Network.
"All three of us being in the same place is extremely rare," Sabat said. "It's part of the reason I accepted to be at the event."
Sabat and Rial will be part of a panel titled "Marriage Counseling with Vegeta and Bulma" at 3 p.m. Saturday. And Chris, Rial and Vale will be part of a Dragon Ball Z Q&A at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Sabat goes to an average of 25 conventions each year throughout the United States and other countries, including Australia.
The voice actor is not a stranger to South Texas. While he has been to the South Texas Comic Con in McAllen, Sabat does not think he has been to Victoria before.
"Fans are fans no matter what town they are from," Sabat said. "Small towns like Victoria have nice charms to them."
Before dubbing the voice of a super saiyan, Sabat worked at a radio station in Galveston and Houston.
Right before his audition in 1998, the voice actor was studying opera at the University of North Texas in Denton. He said he was not familiar with the Japanese animation.
"I hardly knew what 'Dragon Ball Z' was," Sabat said. "I had no idea how successful it was going to be or that I was going to be working in it 20 years later."
Sabat said it was "such a slow thing" to realize how successful the show was because most of those who watched it were children.
Nowadays, he meets people who are in their 20s or early 30s who watch the show.
Throughout his time attending conventions, Sabat has experienced couples who have proposed to each other at his table. And he has even heard of stories about how "Dragon Ball Z" saved people's lives.
Sabat said he once invited a child to sit with him at a convention. The child, who was allergic to bees, had been attacked by Africanized bees.
The boy said he only lived because he channeled Vegeta and tried to get more energy like the character does on the show during battles.
"I don't know if I would have survived that," Sabat said. "I guess we owe Vegeta. In a way, he saved him."
After more than 20 years of dubbing the voice of Vegeta, Sabat has seen his first young fans grow into adults.
And those adults are introducing their children to the show they watched when they were younger.
He said he looks forward to meeting fans of all ages at Victoria Comic Con.
"It's neat to see them introduce the show to the next generation of fans," he said. "I hope people can come out and make this weekend great."