Tuesday, October 29, 2019

THE AKRON COMICON (November 2-3)

My penultimate convention appearance of 2019 is The Akron Comicon. This year, the event has new ownership, a new venue, and all sorts of cool add-ons.

Akron Comicon will be Saturday and Sunday, November 2-3 at Emidio’s Event Center, 48 E. Bath Road in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Show hours are 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday.

Part of the convention’s mission statement is emphasizing what they call “Comics Future.” They keep the show affordable for families to give adults a chance to pass on their love of comics to kids. The ticket prices reflect this:

Adult (weekend): $15
Adult (one day): $10
Child (weekend): $10
Child (one-day): $5

One child 13 or younger will be admitted to the event free with a paid adult ticket. I have seldom seen a convention, even a regional one like this, with better prices.

This year’s headline guest is Cleveland broadcasting legend Marty Sullivan, who created the character of “Superhost” for kids shows and monster movie airings. While most area monster-movie hosts took their cues from the immortal Ernie “Ghoulardi” Anderson, Sullivan was inspired by Superman, the character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster while they lived in Cleveland. It was a gentle parody of the Man of Steel and it made me smile. I’m definitely looking forward to meeting Sullivan at the convention.

Besides yours truly, comics guests include Bob McLeod, Ron Frenz, Tom Batiuk, Don Simpson, Craig Boldman, Ted Sikora, Bob Ingersoll, Mike W. Barr, Matt Horak, Mark Sumerak, Thom Zahler and many other artists and writers.

Media guests include Star Trek actor Sean Kenny, Rottentail actor Tank Jones, horror host Son of Ghoul, pop culture authors Jan and Mike Olszewski, and actors Matt and Tracey Penfound, the children of Captain Penny, arguably the greatest of the Cleveland kids show hosts.

The Akron Comicon was founded by Bob Jenkins and Michael Savene, who established the Comicon’s “fans first” credo. Led by local creators Dan Gorman and Jason Miller, Altered Realm Productions purchased the event this year and plan to expand it in a number of interesting ways. Look for the official Comicon poster, a limited edition Rottentail trade and an exclusive limited edition print by Enrique Lopez.

The convention programming features a Marvel play, toy collecting, fan film fight sequences and safety, Batman’s 80th anniversary, Rottentail, cosplay, Superhost, the state of retail comics and voice over acting.

Slow down, Tony, you say. What’s this Rottentail you keep talking about? It’s a hit indie film available on Blu-Ray. On Friday night, at the historic Highland Theater (826 West Market St., Akron, OH), you can see Rottentail on the big screen. Writer David Hayes and actor Tank Jones will be signing copies of the Blu-Ray and talking with fans. Festivities start at 8 pm. Get there early and see a the premier of Johnny K Wu’s fan film Parker at 8:30 pm. Admission is a mere five bucks, but you’ll have to buy your own popcorn and any other concession snacks you crave.

Besides offering the above program the night before the convention, the Akron Comicon will also have an after-party on Saturday night. Come hang out at The Empire Concert Club (1305 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron OH). Sponsored by Source Point Press, the $10 admission gets you in to see five live bands, hosted and MC’d by Marty Sullivan.

As for me, I’ll be available at my booth throughout the show, save for when I take breaks for meals and such.

What will I be selling? I’m bringing these trade paperbacks:

1000 Comic Books You Must Read
Black Lightning Volume One (reprinting my 1970s run)
Black Lightning Volume Two (stories not written by me)
Black Lightning: Brick City Blues (reprinting my 1995 run)
Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands (reprinting my most recent Black Lightning comics from 2017-2018)
July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic-Book Life of Tony Isabella Volume One (which defies description)

I’m bringing copies of an exclusive-to-me edition Marvel’s Greatest Creators: Tony Isabella #1, which reprints the first appearance of Misty Knight in the Iron Fist series. This signed, numbered edition is limited to 1000 copies.

I’ll have Black Lightning pins from Fansets. The pins cost $6 each  and my supply is limited.

Posters? I’ll have a number of different posters and mini-posters: Black Lightning (three different posters), Daredevil, Hawkman, Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Tigra and the rare two-sided Superman poster from 1988's International Superman Exposition. I’m running low on most of these, so this might be your last chance to get them from me.

I’ll sign any item purchased from me at no additional charge. I’m happy to sign any Tony Isabella or Tony Isabella-related items not purchased from me for a nominal fee of $5 per signature. That goes up to $10 per item if you’re having my signature witnessed by any grading company representative.

Cosplayers? If you’re cosplaying as a character I created or that I’ve written, please stop by my booth. With your permission, I’d love to take your photo for use in my blog and other online venues.

Photos with me? I’m happy to pose with you or for you. There is no charge for these photos.

Interviews? Depending on how busy I am at the convention, I’ll do my level best to make time to talk with you for your print/online articles or your podcasts. However, at this point, I'm working the event by myself and might not be able to accommodate you.

Are you an editor, publisher or filmmaker who would like to hire me for a project? We probably won’t be able to take a long-ish meeting during show hours, but I’ll do my best to accommodate you. Failing that, you can always contact me via e-mail.

Two more things.

Don’t be shy about asking me questions. Non-disclosure agreements mean there are questions I can’t answer, but I’ll try to give you answers to all other questions.

Should you ever feel threatened/uncomfortable at this or any other convention, know that my booth will always be a safe spot for you. You can hang with me until we can talk to con personal able to help you with whatever and whoever is causing your concern.

Assuming you’re still with me after this long-winded bloggy thing, I would love to see you at the Akron Comicon. It’s been a terrific show in the past and I’m certain it will be terrific this year. If not, we can blame do-nothing government officials who have failed to create a Department of Comics. Shame on them.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

No comments:

Post a Comment