Buffalo celebrates annual Comic-Con
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Rows of comic-stuffed boxes filled every crevice of the convention floor. Hundreds of people swam through a sea of bodies to get a signature from their favorite artists. Halo’s Master Chief checked out the newest issue of Superman.
This was the scene during Buffalo’s Comic-Con Sunday at the Buffalo Marriott Niagara hotel. Local comic book shop Queen City Bookstore holds this event annually, and Sunday’s convention was an enjoyable affair for comic book fans in Buffalo. With well over 1,000 people in attendance, this year’s comic-con trumped the turnout of previous years.
The diversity of the crowd helped dispel any misconception that comic fans are only males from the ages of 14-32. The Marriott was packed with different types of attendees who ranged in age, gender and walks of life – all there for their love of comics. The convention also attracted people in flavorful costumes and outfits of their favorite heroes and cultural icons.
A group of people dressed as their favorite Avengers gathered together on the convention floor. The Avengers groupreenacted some of the banter found in the recent movie while onlookers took videos and pictures of the spirited performance.
While other conventions – like New York’s Comic Con, Otakon, and Dragon*Con – deal with everything from sci-fi to cartoons and movies, the Buffalo Comic-Con kept true to its roots and dealt specifically with an endless amount of comic books.
“It's good because its more comics based,” said Dave Ringelberg, owner of 1st Print Comics in Rochester. “A lot of the other shows [lean] towards sci-fi. [Buffalo’s Comic-Con] is really [about the] comics.”
One side of the convention was dedicated to only comics and graphic novels. Boxes lined the floor with comics ranging from current titles to comics dated all the way back to the ’30s and ’40s, when issues were first produced. The comic books gave new fans a lens to see the humble beginnings of the genre.
Some attendees, such as David Goodell, 34, of Buffalo, were a little overwhelmed with the sheer volume of things available.
“It's nothing like what I expected,” Goodell said. “I’m still just working my way through to see if I can find a couple things that I need.”
Others, like Nicole Berger, a junior international studies major at SUNY Fredonia found the vast number of different titles available a thing of beauty.
Vendors at the convention hailed from Buffalo, Rochester, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. There were over 20 special guests, like the creator of Deep Fried and Weapon Brown, Buffalonian Jason Yungbluth. Numerous other local comic and art creators from Buffalo and Rochester were also present to sign and create custom artwork for fans.
Guest of honor, Graham Nolan, co-creator of Batman’s Bane, was in attendance, signing sketches of his now-famous character.
One lucky fan was able to get a signed portrait of the luchador-mask-wearing villain, which was drawn by Nolan in front of everyone in a matter of a few masterful strokes of his Sharpie pen. The fan was ecstatic to have custom artwork of his favorite character and thanked the artist profusely.
Other amazing booths could be found with a keen eye. Daniel Caufield was in attendance, for example, from the Central Library and its initiative to promote literacy by providing free comics and graphic novels to grade schools and high schools through their site, getgraphic.org.
One moment that elicited pure magic was when a little girl dressed as Supergirl ran around in the hallway of the Marriott playing with a life-sized, remote-controlled R2D2.
It was the largest Comic-Con in the convention’s history and gave fans from the WNY area more than they could handle, and the countless booths kept attendees busy for the entire seven-hour duration. With this year’s convention officially finished, the next major event for comic book fanatics is Free Comic Book Day, held on the first Saturday in May, which Queen City Comics will also participate in.