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Next Akron Comicon Coming in November

By Rich Heldenfels Published: September 23, 2013

The long official word, with guests and other elements: Akron Comicon is an annual event established to celebrate newspaper comics and comic-books as an original American art form and promote comics as a viable entertainment medium by bringing creators, dealers, and fans together for a day of fun and interaction designed for the entire family.

Akron Comicon is a one day event scheduled to take place at the University of Akron’s Quaker Station on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 135 S. Broadway Street, Akron, Ohio 44325 from 10am to 6pm.

Presale tickets to the event are $8 and are available at until Thursday, October 31st at 10pm. All presale ticket holders will receive a free Akron Comicon exclusive poster available the day of the show. General admission tickets cost $10 at the door. Admission for Senior Citizens is $5. University Student tickets are $5 with a student I.D. All children age 10 and under are free.

We’ve moved the show from the Student Union to the historic Quaker Square complex on the campus of the University of Akron and we will be sponsored through their Quaker Square General Store and Newsstand Comics. As a result we will have access to several great restaurants and 88,000 square feet of meeting space—surrounded by free parking-deck and surface-lot parking. We will be using the Quaker Station part of the complex this year and will be looking forward to growing into the entire complex in the future....

The Akron Comicon convention floor is organized to include seventy-seven exhibitor spaces divided into two primary categories: vendor booths for dealers (37) and artist alley spaces for creators, media organizations and clubs (40). Exhibitors include: forty comic creators, twenty-two vendors, and eight media organizations and clubs. All exhibitors offer a wide range of merchandise for sale for everyone. All spaces are currently assigned and sold out last April. We have a waiting list in the event of any cancellations.

Of our forty creators, twenty-six have been or are working professionals in the comic-book industry. Their works have been or are being published by mainstream publishers in the industry including Archie Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, and Marvel Comics. The distinguished group includes: Dave Aikins, Darryl Banks, Mike W. Barr, Tom Batiuk, Adam Beechen, Jon Bogdanove, Craig Boldman, Ron Frenz, Mike Gustovich, Bob Ingersoll, Tony Isabella, Brad Ricca, Chris Sprouse, Marc Sumerak, Chris Yambar, and Thom Zahler. Information about all of our guests is available on our website: ...

Mike W. Barr (Akron, OH) created and wrote the first comic book maxi-series, Camelot 3000, the first Batman team book, Batman and the Outsiders, the Ultraverse heroine Mantra and the Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated The
Maze Agency, as well as writing the first Batman graphic novel, Son of the Demon, and lots of Star Trek and Star Wars comics. Mike W. Barr graduated from Kenmore High School and lives here in Akron, Ohio.

Tom Batiuk (Medina, OH) is the creator of the popular nationally syndicated comic strips Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft. Tom graduated from Kent State University in 1969 and taught junior high art until beginning Funky in 1972. Ever since his first groundbreaking series in 1986 about the teenage pregnancy of his character Lisa, he has been hailed as an originator of a new genre in comic strip art. His unique style of “narrative humor” allows him to explore major social issues and led him to tell Lisaʼs Story, a story dealing with the emotional and physical consequences of breast cancer. The story was a Pulitzer Finalist in 2008, and was collected into an award winning book by the Kent State University Press. Tom employs a gentle humor found in mining the common experiences of everyday life to push the envelope in his exploration of all that the comic art medium can express.

Adam Beechen (Los Angeles, CA) has written for animation series ranging from Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, to Warner Brothers’ Teen Titans, to the Hub’s The Adventures of Chuck and Friends, which he developed for television and executive produced for two seasons. He has also written for such DC Comics as Justice League Unlimited, Robin, Teen Titans and Batman Beyond. He continues his arrested adolescence in Los Angeles with his wife and two dogs.

Jon Bogdanove (Los Angeles, CA) is best known for his work on DC Comics' Superman: The Man of Steel, and for creating the character Steel with writer Louise Simonson, as well as for Marvel Comics' Power Pack (also with Simonson) and Fantastic Four vs. The X-Men, with Chris Claremont.
In 1991, Jon was offered his dream job, and with the incomparable Louise Simonson, created Superman: The Man of Steel for DC Comics. He worked on the title from issue #1 through #85, during which time he drew and helped write many important Superman stories, including the award-winning Death of Superman, one of the best-selling DC comics of all time.
After Superman, Jon spent a number of years creating artwork for DC Licensing, for clients and companies as diverse as Six Flags and Band-Aid brand. Jon's keen stewardship of brand and ability to mimic a wide variety of drawing styles also made him the expert for Golden Age and Silver Age style recreations.
Jon is extremely proud of his years of teaching comics and cartooning in Rockland, Maine public schools, where he had the privilege to discover several promising young artists.
In 2008, Jon co-created and drew a superhero romantic comedy with his son Kal-El and comedian Dave Child which was optioned by ABC Family. Jon describes the project, Will Triumph, as "Scott Pilgrim as drawn by Steranko."
In the summer of 2011 Jon teamed with Simonson again for a new Superman project, "Superman: Retroactive 1990s".
Jon has been a comic book artist, writer, teacher, actor, and lobster fisherman. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife—writer/composer, Judith Kurtz.

Ron Frenz (Pittsburgh, PA) - Since the early 1980's, Ron Frenz has been writing and drawing comics for both DC and Marvel. Starting as a penciller on Ka-Zar the Savage in 1982, Ron has gone on to do many notable titles, including Superman: The Man of Steel, Thunderstrike, The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Girl, Thor, Captain America, Star Wars, The Avengers, and The Fantastic Four.
Among Ron Frenz's comics creations/co-creations are "Thunderstrike", "Spider-Girl", and "The New Warriors" for Marvel and "Strange Visitor" for DC. Ron was honored in 2009 with the Nemo Award for Excellence in the Cartoon Arts.

Tony Isabella (Medina, OH) is best known for his work as contributing editor and lead reviewer for the Comics Buyer's Guide. His humorous and thoughtful “Tony's Tips!” is a favorite among fans and industry professionals alike.
Tony began his career in comics as an assistant to Stan Lee and Roy Thomas at Marvel Comics in 1972. Tony created the character Black Lightning for DC Comics, co-created Tigra for Marvel Comics, and developed Jack Kirby's Satan's Six at Topps Comics. His diverse body of work includes Captain America, Daredevil, Doc Savage, Dracula, Elvira, Ghost Rider, Hawkman, Luke Cage, Mickey Mouse, Spider-Man, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Superman.
After forty years, having worked for every major publisher in the comics business, he's still going strong. Tony’s latest book, One Thousand Comic Books You Must Read, is a must-read for any comic book fan. Tony was just awarded the prestigious Ink Pot Award at this year’s Comicon International in San Diego, California.

Brad Ricca (Cleveland, OH) – is the author of the first comprehensive literary biography about Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, creators of the DC Comics superhero Superman and the inspiration for Michael Chabon's Kavalier and Clay.
Drawing on ten years of research in the trenches of Cleveland libraries, boarded-up high schools, and secret, private collections, and a love of comic books, Brad Ricca's Super Boys is the first ever full biography about Superman’s creators. Among scores of new discoveries, the book reveals the first stories and pictures ever published by the two, where the first Superman story really came from, the real inspiration for Lois Lane, the template for Superman’s costume, and much, much more. Super Boys also tracks the boys’ unknown, often mysterious lives after they left Superman, including Siegel's secret work during World War II and never-before-seen work from Shuster.
Super Boys explains, finally, what exactly happened with the infamous check for $130 that pulled Superman away from his creators—and gave control of the character to the publisher. Brad also uncovers the true nature of Jerry’s father’s death, a crime that has always remained a mystery. Super Boys is the story of a long friendship between boys who grew to be men and the standard that would be impossible for both of them to live up to.
Brad Ricca earned his Ph.D. in English from Case Western Reserve University where he currently teaches. He has spoken on comics at various schools and museums, and he has been interviewed about comic topics by The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, and All Things Considered on NPR. His film Last Son won a 2010 Silver Ace Award at the Las Vegas International Film Festival. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Chris Sprouse (Columbus, OH) - Chris Sprouse’s career spans over two decades in the comics industry. The artist first garnered attention as the penciller for DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes spinoff, Legionnaires, but he’s probably best known for his work on Wildstorm/DC Comics’ Tom Strong series, which he co-created with acclaimed writer Alan Moore.
Chris has drawn numerous other titles for nearly every publisher in the industry, from Batman and Justice League books for DC, X-Men and Spider-Man comics for Marvel, and an adaptation of the Star Wars novel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye for Dark Horse Comics. In 2004, Chris teamed up with fan-favorite writer Warren Ellis to work on the creator-owned graphic novel Ocean (published by Wildstorm/DC Comics).
In the last few years, Chris’s work has appeared in the Number of the Beast mini-series and the first issue of Grant Morrison’s Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, a new Tom Strong min-series (Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom). In addition, Chris has pencilled numerous covers for various series (Legion of Super-Heroes, Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, WildC.A.T.S., The Authority, End of Nations) as well as some short stories for DC’s Human Target TV series tie-in and IDW’s Rocketeer Adventures 2 mini-series. Upcoming work includes another new Tom Strong mini-series, Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril, plus a three-part story for DC Digital’s Legends of the Dark Knight series. Chris’s work on the legendary Superman can be seen on the pages of Action Comics on a newsstand near you!

We have organized several events to take place at Akron Comicon that we believe will further our primary goal:
Akron High School Superman Poster Contest
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Superman since he first appeared in Actions Comics in 1938—setting the stage for the success of the comic book industry for years to come. So what better way to celebrate this milestone than to dedicate the Akron Comicon Art Contest to the greatest superhero of all!
This year’s art contest is open to all high school students in the Akron Public School System. All entries need to be a 11” x 17” finished drawing of any character or characters from the pages of Superman’s comic books. Blue Line Pro will once again be sponsoring the art contest this year. The deadline for all entries is October 15th 2013. Students need to consult with their art teacher for details.
Four finalists will be chosen from each school and displayed at Akron Comicon where a distinguished panel of professionals will choose three winners. First place is $200, second place is $100, and third place is $50. Cash prizes will be awarded at the show at 11am in the events area of Quaker Station.
Costumes for Charity (see also Charities & Public Services)
Pop! The Comic Culture Club will be presenting the Costume for Charities Event at Akron Comicon. Prizes will be awarded by Pop! in for the winners in the following categories: best kids, best female, best male, best runner up, and best overall costume. Judging will take place during the last hour of the convention. Akron Comicon is donating $2 for every costume worn to the convention to be split between two charities:Help For Heroes and Hero Initiative. More details about the contest are available on the events page of our website.
HeroClix Tournament
JC Comics & Cards of Cuyahoga Falls will be sponsoring the second annual HeroClix Tournament to be held at Akron Comicon. HeroClix is a strategy board game played with different collectible miniatures featuring superheroes right from the pages of your favorite comic books. So prepare yourselves to take a three-dimensional step into the comic book universe of super powered battles. The tournament begins a 1pm. The cost to participate is $5. More details about the tournament will be made available on the events page of our website the closer we get to the show.
Panel Presentations
Four fifty minute panel presentations are scheduled throughout the day and will be held in the events area of the convention:
• Meet award winning Tom Batiuk, creator of Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean newspaper strips (1pm).
• Superman (2pm) - Join Mike Olszewski and Mike Sangiacomo, of the Siegel & Shuster Society, as they host a
panel about the “Man of Steel” with artists Jon Bogdanove, Ron Frenz, and writers Mike W. Barr, Craig Boldman and Tony Isabella!
• Adam Beechen Unlimited (3pm) – Meet the writer behind Batgirl and Batman Beyond Unlimited.
• How to Succeed in Comics without Killing Anyone! (4pm) – Advice for those serious about working in mainstream and indie comics from someone who will tell you the truth! Amazing facts that can save your sanity and career as a comic book creator.
Project Comic Book
The Elyria Comic Book Initiative will be presenting a series of free fifty-minute workshops designed to teach comic fans of all ages how to make their own comic book. The fun is scheduled to begin at 11am and will continue throughout the day.

Akron Comicon will be supporting three non-profit organizations through donations on our website, through donation jars available at our featured guest tables, and through the Costumes for Charity Event. We will also be providing space to an organization dedicated to child safety and protection.
Elyria Comic Book Initiative (ECBI)
The Elyria Comic Book Initiative is a non-profit organization helping to promote literacy through comics. For more information about ECBI please visit their website at
Help For Heroes
Started in a partnership with Hero Initiative to raise money for Columbus, Ohio artist Josh Medors to assist him in his fight against a rare form of cancer, Help for Heroes is dedicated to help raise funds for all comic professionals fighting cancer. Unfortunately, Josh lost his battle with cancer on November 28, 2012. Akron Comicon hopes to become a driving force behind this nonprofit organization started by Josh and Charlotte Medors, and Sean and Stephanie Forney. HFH has a Facebook page you can visit for more information at!/HFHcomics?fref=ts.
Heroes Initiative
The Hero Initiative, also a non-profit organization, provides financial assistance to aging creators to help them meet their health needs. For more information about the Hero Initiative visit their website at
GASP: Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection
The focus of GASP is to educate and prevent our children from dangerous situations, sex offenses, abuse and abduction. GASP provides programs and education for families concerning sex offenses and predators, and has expanded their programs and events to include information on general child safety such as bullying, Internet safety, "sexting", cyber bullying, gun safety, and much, much more! GASP will be set up at Akron Comicon to provide state-of-the-art, digital EZ Child Identification Systems, which will allow GASP to provide parents with a computer disc containing a permanent ID file, including fingerprints, a photo and an actual interview with each child. This service, provide by GASP, is free to the public. For more information regarding the services GASP provides, visit their website at

FANS FIRST—FANS ALWAYS AT AKRON COMICON! As co-founders of the Akron Comicon, Robert Jenkins and Michael Savene have been and remain longtime fans. They see this opportunity as the ultimate step in their individual experiences as comic-book fans.
Robert Jenkins - Like every kid growing up my comics “mysteriously” disappeared. It wasn’t until I picked up a 3-pak in the local grocery store and discovered Avengers #182 and then again as a family man with Amazing Spider-Man
#422 (featuring Electro) that my passion for comic-books was renewed. My favorite characters are the Golden Age Human Torch, Spider-Man and Ghost. I enjoy a great story more than great art, but will be happy with both!
I have been a proud member of the ebay community for over ten years. I’ve worked hard to establish a reputable on-line business. I find great satisfaction in quality marketing and customer service. Recently I have decided to take new direction—focusing on Akron Comicon. I plan to bring the same hard work ethic with the vision and mission that Michael Savene and I would like to see in our area. I hope you like what we develop!
Michael Savene - I have been active in the business of comic-books for over fifteen years. I’ve worked part-time at the wholesale level for Capitol City Distribution, and at the retail level for one of the finest comic shops in Ohio—Kenmore Komics & Games. It’s been a great way to build my collection without dipping into the household budget! (Like that never happened)
My favorite comic-books are Silver Age Marvel Comics. I especially enjoy comics written by Stan “The Man” Lee and “Rascally” Roy Thomas. But, much like everything else in my life having a favorite is to limiting. My collection represents newspaper-comics starting with the Yellow Kid (circa 1895) through to the present. I don’t get the humor of the Yellow Kid, but I have them. If it’s thin with lots of pictures and published between 1933 and the mid to late 1980’s I want it!
About the Akron Comicon Logo - The logo is based on Ira Schnapp's design for "Action Comics" with a nod to a childhood favorite, "The Avengers" (a latter version of the "A"). Ira was a logo designer for DC Comics. He was born on October 10, 1892 and died at the age of 76 in July of 1969. This logo pays homage to Ira, DC Comics, and to the superhero that started it

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