Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 22, 2013

Comic book lovers alert: Comic book convention scheduled

Lee Ward
Associated Press

ASHLAND — Comic fans are expected to descend on the Tri-State in April with the second Tri-State Comic Con (Tricon) at Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

The event, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 6,  started when James Maddox and Eric Watkins saw a need because of the strong fan base in Huntington. The event brings in nationally known comic talents. This year, guests are:

‰West Virginia native Jeremy Ambler, an actor who has appeared in a number of feature films and television shows. He is best known for his role as a “Walker” on AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

‰Darryl Banks of Columbus, a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design. He has worked on titles such as “Doc Savage: Man of Bronze” and “The Wild Wild West and Justice Machine.” In 1993 he started working with DC Comics on Legion of Superheroes and later on Green Lantern. He also does concept art and toy design. Clients include Hawthorne Village collectibles, Hasbro, Mattel, Filsinger Games, and many others.

‰Kevin Galbraith, who is a stunt performer and appeared in “The Walking Dead” in pivotal roles in season two.

‰Lora Innes, author of “The Dreamer,” a romantic, time-travel adventure comic about the Revolutionary War which has been nominated for three Harvey Awards, a CYBILS Award, and is the recipient of the S.P.A.C.E. Prize.

‰Tony Isabella has written at Marvel and created Black Lightning at DC Comics, co-created Tigra for Marvel Comics, developed Jack Kirby’s Satan’s Six at Topps Comics and has written for countless other titles from Amazing Spider-Man to Young Love.  He is a columnist and contributing editor to Comics Buyer’s Guide.

‰Writer/Artist Mark Kidwell is the co-creator/writer of the sold-out, ongoing Vietnam/zombie epic “’68” from Image comics. His newest work can be seen in the second story arc, “’68: SCARS”, available in comics shops now and the upcoming “JUNGLE JIM 2” mini-series set in the ’68 universe.

‰Chad Lambert is a five-time Howard E. Day Memorial Award finalist and two-time Champion City Award nominee for his work in small press comics, including Possum At Large, Kill the Revisionist, and Return to Point Pleasant. Ray Bradbury refers to Return to Point Pleasant as “superb and frightening! Bravo!”

‰James Patrick started his rise in comics after the notoriety gained from his book, “Death Comes To Dillinger.” He has to his credit titles such as “Angel,” “Star Trek” and “The Grim Fairy Fales.”

‰Kentucky native Tommy Patterson has worked on adaptation of “Farscape” and Zenescope’s “Tales from Wonderland.”  He recently has been the driving force behind Dynamite’s Game of Thrones comic adaptation, based on the George RR Martin epic series.

‰Comic artist Steve Scott has drawn for comics, video games and trading cards and is best known for his work on Batman (DC), Batman Confidential (DC), The Creeper (DC), Hulk: Broken Worlds (Marvel), She-Hulk (Marvel), JLA (DC) and Indiana Jones (Dark Horse).He was the only artist hired to illustrate works that would appear in a special features segment of The Dark Knight film.

‰Huntington’s favorite comic son, Beau Smith started his life in comics in the 1980s with Eclipse Comics. The Marshall University graduate has worked on such titles as “The Dogs of Danger” and “The Swords of Texas” before creating a familiar-looking character named Beau LaDuke. He’s also responsible for “Wyonna Earp” and he writes a regular column for “Busted Knuckles.”

‰Duane Swierczynski is the author of several crime thrillers, including the Edgar-nominated and Anthony Award-winning “Expiration Date,” as well the Charlie Hardie series (Fun & Games, Hell & Gone, Point & Shoot), which has been nominated for Anthony, Shamus, Macavity and Barry awards and optioned for TV.

‰Robert Tinnell is a writer/director/producer with experience in a variety of media. He’s best known as a director and screenwriter on feature films, including “Kids of the Round Table,” “Frankenstein and Me” and “Believe.”

‰Billy Tucci is best known for the creation of “Crusade Fine Arts” and “Shi.” With a military backgroun, he shows his love of country in titles like “Sgt. Rock: Lost Battalion,” “Shi: Through the Ashes” and “Star Spangled War Stories.”

‰Robert Venditti has written three New York Times best sellers, including “The Homeland Directive,” “The Surrogates” and an adaptation of Rick Riordan’s best-selling “Percey Jackson and the Olympians.”

The event includes a variety of exhibitors, presentations and vendors.

“Tricon has helped put Huntington on the map as a comic-centered location in West Virginia,” Maddox of Huntington said. “We continue to be amazed at the amount of support the show receives.”

In addition to working together to create Tricon, Maddox and Watkins together have received acclaim in the independent press and large press circle worlds with their label, Broken Icon Comics.

The two have been exceptionally pleased with the way the area has suppored Tricon.

“Last year was a resounding success,” Watkins said. “We knew that Huntington had a strong level of support for comics, but the turnout was even better than we predicted.”

A complete schedule is available on the website, tristatecon.net.

Tri-State Comic Con will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 6 at Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington. Admission is $7 for adults; children 10 and younger are admitted free. For more information, visit tristatecon.net.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.