New Scene for Erie Comic Con 2017
Basement Transmissions comes to the rescue amidst library renovations.
Do you ever wonder what it's like to be a superhero? Spare yourself the freak lab accident and fly down to Erie Library Comic Con. It should fit your inner geek like a 100 percent spandex, full-body glove.
Hero Prom (Friday, May 12)
Jean Grey is dating WHO?! She-Hulk wore WHAT?! Bruce Wayne is still single HOW?! Plotlines thicken as comic universes collide in a crossover event for all ages. The Hero Prom invites costumed couples (and eligible bachelors/bachelorettes) from all corners of the cosmos to step out of their interdimensional wormholes and onto the dance floor at Basement Transmissions. Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed, so it's probably wise to leave your Val Kilmer or George Clooney-era Batsuit back at the cave – where their more questionable elements won't stick out.
8 p.m. to midnight // 145 W. 11th St. // $2 at the door, children under seven free
The Con Proper (Saturday, May 13)
The Erie County Public Library and the Comic Con have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship since its inception in 2015, but ongoing renovations to Blasco had organizers seeking a new host this year. As heroes are wont to do, Basement Transmissions has stepped up and will provide the venue as Blasco regenerates itself. By no means will the Comic Con be stripped of its usual attractions – Geek Erie has done everything in its power to deliver it justice.
Artists include: Eerie Eric (watercolors, pencils, and inks with particular interests in the cryptic and paranormal), Deep Fried Comics, Franklin O' Neal (pro-wrestling art/caricatures), Dee Fish (owner of CAE Studios/Big Pond comics), Mike Bocianowski (animator), and Mark Welser (illustrator), along with Hillary Upperman, Bernard Crowsheet, and Aaron Mueller.
The vendors represented are even more extensive. There will be booths specializing in: collectibles and memorabilia (ActionToyman, Robot Zero Comics, In the Zone Cards & Games, World War Games & Distractions), fan art and crafts (Squishy Productions, ConFabriqations), face- and body-painting (Taradoodles), and yes, even form-fitting clothing (Leggings for Days). This is not to mention creative talents selling their work (Mord McGhee, Brianna Abello's Eerie Dolls horror stories, Ramone Outlaw's Germaine Cabbagehead children's books, Uncommon Universes Press, Stellar Comics Group) and local think tanks for more creative talent (Box of Light Studios, Erie Makerspace). A complete list can be found on the event's Facebook page.
Aspiring artists, writers, and designers should pencil and/or ink themselves in to the Comic Con's workshop series, a crash course in the basics behind a good book. Comic Books 101 will focus on characters, Comic Books 102 will delve into script, and Comic Books 103 will center on layout. Uncommon Universes Press will offer an additional class for writers in world-building – a compelling setting can add more color than color itself.
Convention-goers can enjoy wood-fired pizza (Sticks N' Bricks), barbecue (The Que Abides), tacos (Ashley Sayre de Rivas), and/or craft ice cream (Northern Scoop) between panels. Your superhuman physique cannot be maintained without feeding your outsized muscles.
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. // 145 W. 11th St. // free admission
Doomed – The Untold Story of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four (2015)
At one time an occasional curiosity, the comic book film is now a fixture of the cinema landscape. Unfortunately, directors have not always done as well as their heroic counterparts in differentiating right from wrong. According to the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four got it very, very wrong (91 percent rotten). Erie Movie House will cap off Comic Con with a Doomed double feature: the documentary followed by the ill-fated feature film. Those who show up early will be treated to unlimited arcade, board, and table games, refreshments, and a surprise bonus feature.
Doors 7 p.m.; Double feature: 8 to 11 p.m. // 3424 West Lake Rd. // $5 – BYOB with I.D.
Matt Swanseger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter @SwazzySwagga.