The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Akron Comicon 2014

Conman

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I’m a little beat from this weekend. That’s how I can tell I had a good time…

Akron Comicon is really one of the events the comic world in northeast Ohio revolves around, on the opposite side of the year as Free Comic Book Day. There are other cons out there, but none like Akron (at least not since Wizard World absorbed Mid-Ohio Con). It’s big enough to draw some truly quality guests, but also small enough that I can stand and talk to those guests.

This year saw the return of Gerry Conway, and I had that copy of Tomb of Dracula I grabbed at Monster Bash. Eight year old Maddie has been digging that volume. I mentioned to her that the writer of Tomb of Dracula was going to be there and she replied “Clearly I’m going to need to speak to him!”

I asked him about why he had such a short run on Tomb, and he explained he was a kind of go-to guy at that time for this kind of stuff. He’d get series that they wanted to start off and see how they did then hand them off to someone else. He also reminisced fondly about the Heroes for Hunger book, that it was one of those great moment when every really worked well together.

I was seriously excited to meet Allan Bellman and grabbed a couple of his prints (he’s selling these things 2 for 25. That’s an outright steal for a golden age artist!). Joe Rubinstien was fun to talk to, pointing out as he signed my Heroes for Hunger comic that he was inking over Kubert there – one of only six people to do so.

There was a great Batman panel moderated by Mike W. Barr, featuring Graham Nolan and Joe Staton. Some interesting opinions though not a lot of hard information.

I love the Quaker Station. I always have and was thrilled that it was the venue last year. I’m glad the con stayed (there was talk earlier in the year about moving to the John S. Knight center). To accommodate the crowds, they expanded to two days and I was there both days, with a different daughter in tow each day.

Maddie seems to be more into this stuff than Lydia, and loves the shopping and meeting people. Lydia is a little more shy, and she’s more interested in shopping for other people (bringing home gifts for both her mother and Maddie) and lassoing people with her Wonder Woman rope – something I admit I encourage. Maddie is fascinated by the art, but she doesn’t buy a lot of it – Lydia on the other hand does. Maddie actually got Lydia a cute little Tangled sketch from RAK Graphics. I thought it was the perfect gift.

There were some great costumes this year, not the least of which was the little girl in the Little Tykes Ecto-1 and the giant Captain Eyeball. Lydia took third place in her division of the costume contest winning some amazing books including a Marvel Adventures autographed by Marc Sumerack.

We also headed over to see Joe Staton. Both of the girls love Scooby Doo and he was nice enough to sign Scooby books to both of them, along with chatting for a few minuets with them. I really do try to encourage them to talk to the artists, it’s an opportunity I’d have loved at their age. Heck, it’s an opportunity I still love.

Mike Barr and Tony Isabella are both regulars at this con, and I’ve always loved their Star Trek stuff for DC. Tony signed not only my vampire tales trade but his Redjack series for DC. I asked about the inspiration there and he explained that Wolf in the Fold was his favorite TOS episode and when DC approached him to write Star Trek, this was what he pitched. He also mentioned that it was originally supposed to be dedicated to Robert Bloch (who wrote that TOS episode). Paramount came in and nixed the idea, for fear they may need to pay him some sort of residuals or royalty from the original idea. It just so happened that Tony had worked with Bloch in the past and knew him personally, so he sent him a couple of copies along with a note about what had happened just in case he was owed a payment!

I had found a few issues of DS9 from Malibu that I hadn’t realized Mike had written. We talked a little about the difference in writing this and writing TOS. He was in on the series VERY early and there wasn’t a lot of DS9-specific history established yet and he remembered more than the usual notices from paramount that this or that needed to be changed. I had one issue that had his name on the cover even though he hadn’t worked on it. I asked him to sign it anyhow because it was a really cool mistake.

Dirk Manning was his normal personable self, I seem to run into him a lot on the con circuit, especially since I just saw him at the Wasteland wedding.

I came home with a bunch of swag, plundering the fifty cent bins and finally getting that Star Sapphire ring for Maddie as well as a Yellow Lantern ring for myself.

I know Wizard World is out there. I know they are coming to Cleveland. I don’t care. I don’t do those shows and quite frankly fifty dollars just to get in the door is unconscionable. Akron is my favorite comic con out there and they just get better every year. I’ve sen some of the guests coming next year and I can’t wait!

That’s it for this year, it’s the last con of the year, and it’s time for us to slow down here as we head into the holidays. There’s new Violent Blue up today and we’ll be back here later this week with a review of Big Hero 6! Stay tuned!

 

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