Sunday, October 28, 2012


Several weeks ago I attended Wizard World Ohio Comic Con in Columbus, Ohio.  This is the show that was once Mid-Ohio Con, which I've attended since 1997.  This show has had a tumultuous history in the past decade, reaching its nadir in 2006/2007 before being sold and becoming a must-attend show, before being sold to Wizard and becoming an entirely different animal.  This was also a different experience for me, as I took my two year old.  He was having a good time, then took an uncharacteristic two-hour nap, before waking and still enjoying himself.
My son, who's not too big on getting his picture taken, asked me take his picture with these stormtroopers.

A stormtrooper busy with paperwork at his desk job.

Gleefully meeting a Tie Fighter pilot.  By the way, he's never seen "Star Wars" and has only a tangential idea of who these people are.

A vintage 1959 Miller-Meteor Combo refurbished and outfitted as a replica of the Ghostbusters vehicle.  This car is so massive I could never get an angle that showed me the entire car.

My son meets the guy from his shirt!

I didn't meet too many of the guests they had at the show, but I did get an autograph from Neal Adams in my copy of "Marvel Visonaries: Stan Lee."  He's signature joins Gene Colan, Dick Ayers, George Perez and Stan himself.  Now if I just get Ditko's I'll be all set.

There were lots of discount dealers to be found.  I particulary enjoyed one 'Everything $1' booth that was high on the esoteric.  These vintage photos are from a 1978 issue of US magazine, pre-release of the "Superman" movie.

One of the odder finds was an issue of Comics Journal 63, an oversized issue that included a Pacific Comics Catalog.  It includes, among its voluminous pages, a fiction story by Harlan Ellison with spot illos by Gil Kane.

Ok, so maybe this item below, a railroad coloring book by Cliff Merritt, was the oddest thing.

My favorite find was some old Cracked Magazines from different eras.  John Severin drew for the mag for decades, and looking back I'm bummed that I neglected the book sometime after the early 1980s (he  likely had something in every issue from the late '50s to late '90s).

The Ghostbusters meet Magnum P.I.

The A-Team visits the Love Boat.  Where else could you get mash-ups like this with dead on likenesses?

Kilowog and I had a great time.  See you next year!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Ok, so I'm a little behind in my con reporting, but nevertheless...The 3rd Cincinnati Comic Expo took place September 22nd and 23rd at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati.  This year the show expanded into this massive space, quite a leap from the humble beginnings of two years ago.  The roster of guests, variety of dealers and planned activities for the kids made for a fun weekend experience. 

The "big get" in terms of guests was a reunion of Swamp Thing artists Rick Veitch, Steve Bissette, John Totleben and Tom Yeates.  All four are friends, had all gone the Kubert School and were Swamp Thing artists in the 1980s.  It's unusual to have any of them at a comic convention, and having them all together is something of a coup.  First Yeates, then Bissette, were regular pencillers, followed by Veitch, with Totleben providing inks for most of them and doing a majority of the late '80s covers.  
I was never a Swamp Thing reader, and new Veitch moreso for Roarin' Ricks Rare Bit Fiends, a '90s comic series where he illustrated his own dreams.  The above image is a window cling, hence the reason it's backwards.  Rick took my suggestion of signing it backwards for me!

Here I am with John Totleben (left) and Tom Yeates (right).  I never knew Totleben's name before he was announced for the show, but he was a really nice guy and easy to chat with.  I knew Yeates better as a Tarzan artist and the new illustrator of the Prince Valiant comic strip.
I didn't get a chance to meet Steve Bissette, but super pal Ted Haycraft has a knack for meeting the famous and near-famous.

Another surprise booking for the show was Mike Royer, who's really been out of the comic book scene since the late 1970s.  Royer is best known for his work inking Jack Kirby's Fourth World, Demon and Kamandi for DC.  He was a staff artist for Disney from 1979 - 93 before going strictly freelance. 

 I did get to meet legendary Marvel scribe Steve Englehart, but didn't get a picture.  Fortunately, Ted once again made the scene.

This year there was a special Kids Con portion of the show on Sunday.  I decided to take my boys and thankfully my wife came along, too (to her first comic show!).  The boys dressed up in the Halloween costumes and got a lot of attention.  A highlight for them was sitting in this Batmobile replica.

The boys were so cute, many folks wanted to take pictures of them, and other cosplayers wanted to take pictures with them.  Here they are with female versions of Thor and Loki.

 Noah picked out three prints.  He liked Captain America, he compromised on Wolverine, but refused Hulk in favor of Rogue.

As part of the Kids Con, artists came in for an hour apiece and did sketches.  Mike Royer, who is amazing with kids, did a Mickey for Noah and Piglet for Jonah.

A great sci-fi mashup of Ghostbusters and Star Wars.  On the right is a young lady who was probably feeling chilly.  On the left is my pal Lucas Hardwick, who won the costume contest in the Best Prop category! 

And here's the winner of the costume contest!  Commander Shepard of Mass Effect (whatever that is).

There was a large Lego display and I was knocked out by how this looks just like the real thing.

My friends Alton and Marisha had a booth set up.  Alton is a Golden Age Superman enthusiast, and here he's letting me hold the very rare Action Comics #10 from 1939.  This was the third time Superman ever appeared on a comic book cover!

Another terrific year at the Cincinnati Comic Expo.  Rogue and I will see you next year!