Monday, April 12, 2010

Gem City Comic Con 2010

Yesterday I attended Dayton, Ohio's very own comic book convention, the Gem City Comic Con. A relatively new venture (this was its fifth year), I was happily surprised by the bustling crowds,  selection of retailers, and modest size of the artist alley. It was reassuring to see that the comic book community of Dayton is thriving. With more than a handful of stores within a 20 mile radius, Dayton is a place where comic book fans are not left without ample choice. Though not as large as the Mid-Ohio Con in Columbus, it was easy to appreciate, especially after spending time in Tasmania, Australia where there are exactly two stores - in the entire state. The events hosted at this one day convention made the event memorable, including a digital art in comics presentation by local artist Matt Zolman. It was amazing to see in action the technology made available to artists and how this fast-tracked approach to comic book creation will certainly be a "game changer". It made me want to get a digital tablet and Sketch Book Pro, despite my lack of natural talent for illustration - it just looks that fun.
 Here is Matt showing a completed page on his iPad.
Another memorable highlight from the event was an auction to benefit the Hero Initiative, a charity organization that helps comic book creators in times of need. Aritst Josh Medors was in attendance and gave a first hand account of how the organization has helped him immensely during his battle with a rare form of cancer.  In addition to financial support, they have also helped to provide Medors with work opportunities within the industry, resulting in Josh recently landing his first Marvel gig as a cover artist for Moon Knight. You can see his recent work on the creator owned title Willow Creek, as well as the Frank Frazetta's Swamp Demon series.
The little lady on the right won no less than five auctions. Here she is shown to be distressed by the "Hard Rock Cafe" gentleman who was engaging in a bidding war for the Star Trek communicator badge.
Three TV Guide magazine's with Star Trek articles. Decided against this purchase as 95% of the content would be of little to no interest. It would have been only slightly entertaining to see the timetables for television circa 1992.
Another considered item, my shopping partner for the day, Rosemary, decided having a photo of this complete set of Serenity trading cards was sufficient enough for her collection.
This poster for the Gem City Comic Con, designed by Tim Fischer, was signed by all of the creators in attendance including Jim Valentino and Tom Nguyen. It was the second highest selling item at the charity auction, after an Image United variant with an original Valentino sketch on the front.
Even a one day event can be exhausting for vendors. I saw this lady knitting later in the day.
A snapshot of the various swag, 50 cent, and $1 finds from the day.
The crowning jewel of the day, my winning item from the Hero Initiative charity auction. I lost bids on a lot of items (including an awesome set of Buffy mini-mates) but I walked away with Bruce. And we are very happy.
.........And Lt. Commander Dax came with the winning bid as well.

6 comments:

  1. i like how Batman is just your size, but Dax could kill you both.

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  2. OMG that second picture is hilarious!

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  3. It's a little surprising to me how conventions seem to be explosively growing at the moment. Emerald City con was huge and adds a third day next year.

    I guess it's movie-driven, and we should enjoy it while it lasts.

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  4. It really is a rare time for comics. Ohio alone has three conventions; Tiki-Con in Cleveland, Mid-Ohio Con in Columbus, and now this Gem City Con in Dayton.

    I do worry that we might be in the "boom" era, soon to be followed by an inevitable "bust", but I'll enjoy it while I can by supporting these and other comic related ventures!

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