When I found out that there was a comicbook convention coming up in Cincinnati, Ohio (almost my backyard), I couldn’t wait to get tickets. In my 30 or so years of reading and collecting comics, I had never had an opportunity to actually attend such an event. Apparently, this was the first such event that Cincinnati had seen for a number of years. Having absolutely no preconceived notions of what a comicbook convention should be like, I was overjoyed at the experience. Sure, there were a few delays and a bit of disorganization stemming from being its first year, but organizer Andrew Satterfield and the Cincinnati Comic Expo team did a great job.
The event was held on September 18 at the Cintas Center at Xavier University. My wife had purchased a VIP ticket for me, so I got to go inside early, gather up all the VIP freebies, and start looking around. There were two posters that had been commissioned for the expo. One of them was a scene drawn by Allen Bellman from “back in the day”. It appears that the VIPs got a variant version of the poster, because the one they passed out to the rest of the attendees was conspicuously free of swastikas on the Nazi boat and airship.
There were vendors, artists, and independent publishers galore. I immediately got the idea to get the autograph of everyone listed in the program and set out to do just that.
There were plenty of people in costumes and there was a costume contest in the afternoon. A young Batman and Harley Quinn were the contest winners.
The highlight of my day was the panel session. There was a panel about the future of comics where I won a Graphicly T-shirt and a panel featuring Allen Bellman, Russ Heath, and Murphy Anderson talking about the early days working in the “bullpen”. But my favorite part was the keynote speaker, Michael Uslan, talking about his love of comics, buying the film rights to Batman, and developing a career promoting the characters that he loved.
I had a blast at the Cincinnati Comic Expo and can’t wait to come back next year. Word is that they’ve already planned a bigger/better venue for 2011 and who knows who the featured guests might be.