Allow me to nerd out with you, or possibly just for you... Growing up, Comic Books were huge for me. I was captivated and completely enthralled by the stories, characters, plots, and artwork. At a young age I invented my own Super-Heroes (Changeable & Super Inventor*), made in my own image, and began to make extremely poorly drawn comic books about their adventures.
Even now the evidence of my Comic Book fascination is ever present in my life; Since Jan 2008 I've pretty worn a Comic Book T-shirt everyday**, for the longest time I only bought and played Comic Book themed video games, and I'm generally pretty excited about every Comic Book movie that drops.
However, with all that love and intrigue, I never made it to Comic Book Conventions. I tell myself every year I'm going to Comic Con in San Diego, but have yet to make (2011?!?!). I made it to my first convention last year at the MN State Fairgrounds, I got there right at the tail end of the final day so didn't get the maximum experience, but had a good time and was able to make some cool purchases, such as a new Thanos figure and some other knick knacks.
A few weeks ago I received a promo pack at the store about the Fallcon Comic Book Party at the MN State Fairgrounds, complete with free passes so I decided to check it out.
I spent a little extra time staring in my closet that morning amongst the 80+ Comic Book T-shirts to find which was the most fitting one...I went with the Thanos. I figured at a comic convention "everyone" will be repping in their Comic T's and I wanted to have an exclusive. Thru out the day I saw countless Comic T's and honestly it was like my closet had came alive...ha. I made note that I had just about every shirt walking around there, though there were a few exceptions that I had to make notes to seek out.
As expected, there was also a decent amount of Role Playing Characters walking around; Captain America, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Bat Girl, Bat Man, Superman, Shazam!, Iron Man, The Predator, etc... There were some great costumes and they were all friendly and willing to pose for pictures. Unfortunately, I never caught Iron Man with his helmet, as he had on of the most authentic looking costumes, but I imagine it got pretty hot in there so he abandoned the helmet mid-day. I later found out that the characters were provided by a company called MN Superheroes United and they are available for hire at Conventions, Trade Shows, charity events, etc... You can peep their Facebook Page for more info.
There was also a lot of cuted kid costumed crusaders roaming around with their Comic loving parents. I spied Green Lantern, Super-Girl, 2 Bat Girls and 2 of the Kick Ass Heroine.
Of course, there was a lot of things to see and buy. 1000s of Comic Books ranging from .50 to the hundreds, action figures, toys, collectible cards, movies, and so on. I decided to remain frugal and only picked up a few Marvel collectible card sets and some iron-on patches of The Mighty Thor & Collussus...you know just the "needed" stuff...ha. I did almost buy a Luke Cage action figure until I noticed he was designed looking awkwardly like James Brown. I also found myself staring at the "Bootleg" DVDs of the Complete Collections of the 60s & 70s Marvel Comic Shows; Hulk, Iron Man, Prince Namor, Thor, Captain America, Spider Woman, etc...at some pont I would like to own those, but not today.
Another huge part of these conventions is the opportunity to meet the creators/artists behind these books and characters. Honestly, I've never paid much attention to that. As A kid, I never thought about who was doing it, it was all about the experience. Of course, now I realize how the Comic Book business is no less controversial or cutthroat than the music industry and these artists definitely deserve and often need to be recognized in order to continue to thrive. I plan to do my research and be more prepared next time around.
I did decide to spend the last part of my day checking out the vendor tables and ran across two people who's work I was definitely a fan of and it was great to meet and briefly talk to them:
Joel Seibel, this guys resume is extremely impressive. He's responsible, in some shape or form, for many of my favorite cartoons (and probably yours too) over the years. He spent over 25 years at Hanna Barbara as a animator, creator, art layout designer, etc... In my quick "google" I didn't find a great direct link to him, but his IMDB page gave some great insight on his amazing body of work, which includes Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo, Inch High Private Eye, Speed Buggy, Fangface, Pinky & The Brain, Hong Kong Phooey, Spider Man 60s/70s, Smurfs, etc...
Herb Trimpe started working for Marvel in 1967 and is most known for his art for The Incredible Hulk and Wolverine. However, he was also involved with an endless amount of titles, including The Defenders, Captain America, Machine Man, Ka-Zar, etc...
Both of those legendary artists were real humble and cool guys and spent the day talking, taking photos, and even drawing personal sketches for people!
All in all, it was fun experience and perhaps this was the inspiration I needed to get me motivated for that San Diego trip next year!!
COMICS AVAILABLE AT FIFTH ELEMENT:
Public Enemy-Welcome To The Terrordome Vol 1
*Changeable had the "obvious" power to change into anything and
use adopt it's properties and/or abilities. Super Inventor...well it
doesn't really get any more obvious than that now does it.
**I'm going to say that I've been in a Comic Book shirt 97% of the time since Jan '08. Another 2% has been a 80s/90s Themed Hip Hop shirt and 1% being Suit & Tie events, however, in those cases I've worn a Comic Book themed pin of some sort....yes, I nerd out like that.