The ink invasion

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The Spectrum

Last Sunday, Buffalo Comicon invaded the Marriott on Millersport Highway near North Campus, carpeting the area in inky goodness. Sponsored by local comic book haven Queen City Bookstore, the event was the nerdy pinnacle of the fall.

Fans dressed as heroes and villains alike were drawn to the vast library of issues past, present and future, as well as the wide array of memorabilia fit for a Kryptonian.

Equipped with their trade materials and ready to turn any everyday citizen into their ink and paper equivalent, up-and-coming artists from around Western New York lined the tables that filled the spacious banquet hall.

With such a large and unexpected turnout, one would think that there would be no room to maneuver through the Marvel and DC-inspired fanatics. However, the Marriott's perfectly spaced banquet hall served as the ideal spot for the event.

Chris Rupert, a sophomore biology major, thought that this intimate setting was more suited to Buffalo than a large convention would be.

"It's a small convention, but I think I like it a little more because of it," Rupert said.

Students from far and wide showed up for the event, and for good reason. The convention served as a phenomenal location for friends to meet and converse about their favorite pen-and-ink crusaders.

Eric Fahy, a senior English and video production major at SUNY Fredonia and president of Fredonia's Comic Culture Forum, brought part of his club with him to the convention.

"[Buffalo Comicon] has a wide selection of comics that can't be found anywhere else," Fahy said. "I had to pick up ‘Superman Kal.' It's Superman but in a Medieval time setting; I couldn't resist."

Indie comics were in abundance at the event as well, adding diversity to the stereotypical tight-wearing titans. One in particular that stood out from the rest was Weapon Brown, a series that follows the fate of the Sunday comic strip stars in a post-apocalyptic setting.

The convention was met with good-natured responses, and the event's host – the owner of Queen City Bookstore, Emil Novak – was just as pleased as anybody else.

"[The convention] went extremely well but was ultimately only as good as the people who participated in it," Novak said.

This incredibly successful event was certainly an indication of Buffalo's thriving comic-book scene.

"This year's convention is the best we've had since 2001," Novak said. "This year really brought Comicon to new heights with the help of the local media and the coverage they've provided."

A convention wouldn't be complete without its share of cool swag, and Buffalo's event was certainly not lacking. Raffle prizes, action figures, hand-drawn comics and unique wall posters were all available for purchase.

Even the more obscure forms of the ink world were covered. Vendors dealt copious amounts of Asian-influenced comics that are commonly referred to as Manga. There was something there for everyone, from the most knowledgeable comic book historians to the beginning readers who were picking up a comic for the first time.

Sunday's event has a far-reaching impact, as it has affected the University at Buffalo's SA club lineup. Students can find a nerdy refuge in one of UB's latest clubs, UB Comic Club.

"The club's constitution was just ratified this past week," Rupert said. "I know there are people who have never read a comic book and feel like it's an impenetrable barrier to start, but hopefully this club will change that."

Students looking for more of an insider's opinion can look no further than Buffalo's own Queen City Bookstore, located down the street from UB's South Campus. Novak always looks to help out those unfamiliar with the medium.

This year's Buffalo Comicon was one of the best in recent history and left many patrons with gigantic smiles on their masked faces and comic books in their gloved hands.