The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

Akron Comic-Con rises

Written by: Beau Brown

Comic-Con is essentially every nerd’s paradise. Shelves lined with aged comic books wrapped in plastic, merchandise decorated with characters from various fandoms, and people dressed up as famous superheroes and their infamous villain counterparts combine to create a beacon for comic-lovers everywhere who wish to exert themselves in a world with people just like them.

The comic convention, now popularly termed “Comic-Con,” was held in Akron this Saturday. The Akron Comic-Con settled itself in the Student Union ballroom and filled the entire room with thousands upon thousands of comics. Dozens of kiosks and stalls were found at the convention, and no two were the same.

Of all the things available for people to gawk at, nothing was larger than the selection of comic books laid out on almost every single stall in the convention. Local vendors from areas like Akron and Cuyahoga Falls exhibited their vast collections of comics, some of them as valuable as 100 dollars. Popular comics shown at the convention included characters from The Avengers such as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America. Others included characters from Archie, Star Wars, The Walking Dead (also a graphic novel), Spider-Man, the Invisible Man and many more.

Many artists born, raised and still working in Ohio also appeared at the event to talk to fans and show off their artwork. The art showcased was top-of-the-line; large posters portraying comic book heroes hung from the tops of the artists’ stalls and grabbed the attention of anyone walking by. The artists, each having their own unique ability, have illustrated comics for many famous companies such as Marvel and DC. Among the many artists who made an appearance was Sean Forney, a local illustrator from Columbus.

“I grew up with comics and got into them when I was very young,” Forney said. “When I found out that I could actually make a job out of making comics, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Another artist who visited the Akron Comic-Con was Andy Bennett, also an illustrator from Columbus. Bennett explained that he, too, gained a love for comics when he was young. Comics are what inspired him to start drawing.

“When I was a kid, I never knew anything different from drawing,” Bennett said. “It was all I did. I didn’t consider it a profession until I entered college. I worked on my art and it became my passion.”

Forney has illustrated comics for many franchises, such as Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Marvel and LEGO. Bennett illustrates horror comics for Moonstone Books. Both Forney and Bennett continually visit Comic-Con in order to meet new fans and inspire young people who wish to become comic book creators.

“Comic-Con is a form of entertainment,” Forney said. “People do it to relax and escape the harsh confinements of the real world. What I really love about Comic-Con, though, is being able to meet people who were just like me when I was their age, and help them learn what it means to be an illustrator for a wonderful thing like comics.”

Many other artists set up their own stalls and showcased their work, which was mostly composed of fan art from contemporary famous television shows, such as Doctor Who, and anime, such as Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist and Naruto. Merchandise was also sold throughout the convention for the same shows and many more. In short, there was something for every geek.

“I absolutely loved meeting all of these artists who use fancy professional tools to create fantastic images,” said Donita Brown, a graphic design major at UA and a professed lover of Iron Man. “It’s a learning experience, and it inspires me to keep creating my own artwork. One day I want to be an illustrator just like them.”

Comic-Con is now a worldwide phenomenon that is only becoming more popular as the years go by. Comics, books, movies, television series, video games and other forms of media continue to create fascinating worlds full of fantasy that many people immerse themselves in for entertainment and to break free from stress. Comic-Con is the perfect way for these people to meet each other and share common interests. It’s where they can be themselves or dress up as their favorite characters and not be seen as weird.

“Comics say a lot about culture,” said Kristine Tuohi, a student from Kent State University majoring in applied conflict management. “They reflect the way society is while telling great stories. Comic-Con provides an area for people who love comics to get together. Everyone’s a nerd, just like you!”

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