Columbus Hosts Comic Con

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William Shatner is among actors who will visit Columbus this week-end as part of Ohio Comic Con at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.(Photo: Brian Bull/WCPN)
William Shatner is among actors who will visit Columbus this week-end as part of Ohio Comic Con at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.(Photo: Brian Bull/WCPN)

The state’s largest comic convention, The Wizard World Ohio Comic Con, comes to the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The annual convention has grown into a three day event, expecting thousands of visitors. That’s a long way from its humble beginnings in 1980.

I asked Wizard World CEO John Macaluso what the Ohio Comic Con is all about.

“You can come meet celebrities, or you can meet authors, creators. We have Stan Lee coming and we have Lou Ferigno, Michael Rooker. We have some fantastic artists coming,” Macaluso says.

One of the artists attending is Neal Adams. Adams broke new artistic ground in the early 70s with his stark realism and his socially conscious work in the Green Lantern/Green Arrow comics.

“It’s almost like every city in the United States and maybe in Canada is going to have a comic convention every year. These conventions have movie stars at them. This particular convention is going to have Norman Reedus from the Walking Dead. William Shatner is going to be there. It’s just amazing the kinds of things that happen at conventions. It’s the circus has come to town,” Adams says.

One thing noticeably absent from the Ohio Comic Con is a presence from the local comic community. I asked Columbus’ Nix Comics publisher Ken Eppstein why he wasn’t attending the Ohio Comic Con.

“I actually do pretty well at those kinds of shows. It’s just if you’re talking hundreds of dollars hundreds of dollars for a table and you’re selling comic books for three, four, five dollars a pop, the pricing is just not affordable for a small indie guy to go to something like Ohio Con,” Eppstein says.

Comic Con ticket prices start at $35. If that’s not in your budget, a few blocks away is Comic Book Alley. It’s part of the 6th annual Independent’s Day Festival. It’s a free event at Gay Street and Pearl Alley.

“There’s going to be a whole section dedicated to local comic creators. There’ll be actually eight booths full of publishers, creators, and creative collectives I guess we’ll call them,” Eppstein says.

Whether you interest is in the local or the national comic book scene, Neal Adams says, “comic books, even though there are big corporations involved it’s a mom and pop business. It’s really a community.”

  • wwi3313

    I take SINCERE offense to the notion that local publishers CAN’T afford to do Wizard World Ohio. I have been a long standing, long acting participant/contributor/etc. of the Columbus comic book scene for many years and I’m set up at the show (Table B1). It’s wholly unfair to criticize the show for it’s stature and prestige, automatically assuming it’s beyond the reach of local creators. It’s not and I personally, with the help of the courteous WizardWorld staff, was responsible for getting four other local creators into the show this year. You should check with more of the local community before you assume to speak for all of us.

    -Victor Dandridge
    Vantage:Inhouse Productions

  • Victor Ian Skwydde

    Aren’t VIP tickets to see Neil Adams $300 on top of the $40 entrance fee or something like that? Is that really a “mom and pop” style of business?