Derby City Comic Con 2013 held court at the Kentucky International
Convention Center in Louisville on Saturday, June 29. It took five
and a half hours of driving for me to get there, but the event was
well worth the long journey. I returned to Casa Isabella with the
above-seen Bob Hall drawing - Thanks, Bob! - a big stack of Rawhide
Kid comics and lots of wonderful memories.
My son Ed and I met in Columbus, Ohio, arguably the best Ohio city.
I drove through several showers and storms driving to Columbus and
it was only slightly better as we drove to Louisville. Still, when
your kid is a grown-ass man and all, you learn to cherish whatever
time you get to spend with him.
We arrived at the Courtyard Downtown Louisville hotel late Friday
night. Our room was small-ish but very nice. While we checked in,
I overheard some young woman complaining about the smell in their
room and realized they were but two doors down from us. The smell
was nothing more than a lemon-scented cleaning agent and I thought
it was actually pleasant.
Ed and I got a laugh out of our room’s posted rate. It was $1000
a night. Hotels usually have some ridiculously high posted rate in
their rooms. I assume this is so they can actually charge stupid
rates if their rooms suddenly become more in demand than is usual.
If there are any hotel management types out there who can offer me
a better explanation, I’d love to hear it.
Ed and I grabbed some slices at a really cool looking deli a couple
blocks from our hotel. Good food, reasonable prices. Because it
was so late, pizza was pretty much all they had. I wished we had
arrived earlier because they had what looked like an excellent and
Our only real misadventure of the weekend came from the Yahoo map
that sent us 20 minutes out of a way for a location that was just
two blocks from our hotel. We should have trusted Mrs. Peel, which
is the name I’ve given my GPS unit. Even with this crazy detour,
we still got to the convention center in plenty of time to set up
for the event’s soft opening at 9 a.m.
I hadn’t brought much stuff to sell: copies of 1000 Comic Books You
Must Read (which may be going out of print soon), a box of comics
written by me, a second box of specially priced comic book from my
garage sales and a box of the Superman posters I sell at the garage
sales. I was able to do a quick and, as it turned out, expensive
walk around the convention floor before most of the fans arrived.
That was both a good thing and a bad thing.
Comic Book World had a butt-load of Rawhide Kid issues I needed for
my Rawhide Kid Wednesdays columns. Even with a generous discount,
the bill came to $150. Yow! Fortunately, my own sales were brisk
enough to cover that utterly legitimate business expense and also
let me come home with a small profit on the trip.
The convention venue was terrific. The hall was filled with fans
and guests and vendors, but the aisles were wide enough to make for
easy access and passage. As usual, I didn’t get around to see all
of the creators and publishers I had wanted to see, but I did hang
out for a few minutes here and there with Bob Hall, Craig Boldman,
Tom Stillwell and others.
I also got to spend a good chunk of time with Steve Scott, one of
my favorite comics people. It was a pleasure to introduce him to
my son and just to have all sorts of laughs with him. If you are
ever at a convention where Steve is a guest, you have got to stop
by his table and meet him.
There were a lot of cosplayers at the convention. Of late, I have
seen more and more people dressed as Catwoman, Harley Quinn and the
Joker. The Riddler has become more popular as well. And, with so
many variations to choose from, Doctor Who is another favorite with
The female version of Loki is becoming more prevalent as well. That
was an outrageous development in the Thor comic books, but it made
for interesting stories and visuals. The latter carries through in
the cosplaying of the character. So...when are we going to start
seeing Kid Loki at comics conventions?
Among the more striking costumes were steampunk, “Lolita” and maid
versions of Marvel characters like Captain America, Iron Man, Nick
Fury and others. I got a kick out of those.
Tip for conventions: take lots of photos of cosplayers and, if you
can, videos to go up on YouTube. I think cosplaying has become an
integral and incredibly fun part of these events.
Kudos to Derby City Comic Con for its cosplaying parades, one for
kids and one for adults. It was terrific to see all the cosplayers
making their way across the convention floor.
I also had a terrific time talking to comics fans and doing my best
to answer their questions about Black Lightning, the Champions and
other comics stuff. Perhaps my best highlight from the convention
was answering a black family’s questions about Lightning and seeing
their delight at learning some of the behind-the-scenes stories of
that character and other black characters. Hopefully, they’ll be
sending me the photos of our meeting so that I can share them with
you here and on Facebook.
I had a fantastic time at the Derby City Comic Con. With any luck,
I’ll be back next year. Until then, my thanks to Chuck Moore, the
director and owner, to Convention Administrator Ginny Tonic and to
all the other Derby City staff and volunteers. They put on a fine
event and I most heartily recommend you make plans to attend future
Derby City Comic Cons.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a few more Derby City Comic Con thoughts
and reviews of two comics I was given at the show. See you then.
© 2013 Tony Isabella