Hey there friends, it’s your old pal Uncle Highlander, here to talk to you about one of my favourite cons of the year, The Cincinnati Comic Expo. I spent this weekend taking in all the sights and sounds of the convention and wanted to tell you all about why it’s definitely one of the best in the midwest!
So strap in and let’s talk expo!
If you want to go to this con, or really any con, and can get in on Friday, that is definitely the day to do it. The crowd was much smaller than it would be on Saturday, and for someone who likes to aimlessly wander through a convention like I do, that’s the best time to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the crush of humanity as much as the next guy, but for someone who likes to look and chat, Friday is where the crowd is much more managable.
This year the big draws were some big celebrity names. Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd, William Shatner, Brandon Routh’ those were the names that brought people in, but honestly, they were not the draw for me.
No, I had a different hunt in mind. A little while back I picked up an awesome Batman The Animated Series print that I wanted to get signed by as many members of the cast as I could, and Cincinnati this year had a bunch. John Glover (The Riddler), Loren Lester (Robin), Diane Pershing (Poison Ivy) and Adrienne Barbeau (Catwoman) were all in attendance. Sadly, Kevin Conroy had to cancel due to illness, but I was able to get this poster started, and hopefully I’ll be able to add a few more names to it each year.
Meeting the celebs is always a tricky thing. 99% of the time when you meet a celebrity or comic creator, you’re going to have a wonderful interactions. However, that 1% of the time when it goes wrong, that’s what you always remember. I’ve had a few interactions in the past with people that have really soured me on certain people, whom I will not name, but thankfully that wasn’t the case this year. All of the creators and celebrities I met were super nice, and really interested in the print I brought, and I even snagged a few photos with them to share in the article.
In addition to the celebrities there were many, many vendors, although a fair warning to comic fans. While there were a lot of great booths selling great comics, Cincinnati has a heavy Anime/ Manga vibe. Nothing wrong with that (Heck, I snagged a few anime items myself) but if you’re looking for tons of bins to dig through, you might not find as many as you like.
That being said I did get my fingers dirty digging through a few, and found a few issues to knock of my series lists, so that’s always a treat.
Ooof, this was a busy day. Most of the major name celebs only did Saturday or Saturday/ Sunday, so the crowds make sense, but this place filled up fast. If you’re still a little nervous around large gathering you might want to remember what I said about Friday before you head inside.
I, however, just got my super updated vaccine, so I strapped on a mask and dove into Day 2.
Top of my list on was checking on my commissions. This is a part of cons I had always avoided because a) I’m a broke public school teacher, and b) I always love art and prints, but never know what to ask for. But in recent years I’ve had some friends help guide me into the world of the commission, and now I’m all in!
Top of the list was the amazing Archie Comics artist Andrew Pepoy. I had him sketch one of my childhood favorites, Veronica Lodge, while I checked out his cool Archie Horror comics covers. He also has his own creator owned series called Simone & Ajax that looks really cool and I can’t wait to check out.
While Pepoy worked I hung out with some friends and media types, and learned about some of the stress of being a social media influencer for comics right now. One of my dear friends works selling comics on her live stream, and I have to say, she puts in her time for this profession. I love digging through longboxes looking for gold as much as the next guy, but my handful of old Archies and Wonder Womans will never compare to the time and effort some of these folks put in.
I also met Jeff Schultz, another well known Archie artist and picked up a pencil sketch from him. It’s amazing how many comic artists and creators will have published pages from well know comics just piled up in their booths for you to purchase. If you’re going, make sure you check those out, and bring cash because a lot of vendors don’t take card!
One thing I have to give this con though is that it probably has the best food of any convention I have been to. Cincinnati gets a lot of local vendors in to set up booths, and I was shocked at the quality I saw compared to a lot of other cons I’ve been to. That’s good news if the same reheated fairground food they normally have at cons doesn’t agree with your stomach like it does not agree with mine!
All in all this is a great con and continues to go above and beyond to make their guests and vendors feel respected and appreciated. I love hitting this one up each year, and while I know it’s pretty close to NYCC, for me it’s always a must hit convention!
Until next time, Stay Safe!