UNDERGROUND SMALL PRESS EXPLOSION ROCKS CLEVELAND
The small press comic convention, Genghis Con, is returning to Cleveland on Saturday November 27th from noon to 6 pm at the Beachland Ballroom at 15711 Waterloo Road Cleveland, OH 44110. This is the second year for the independent press extravaganza which is both comic book convention and art show. Visitors to the show will get to meet graphic artists from around the Midwest who use sequential art as their primary means to tell a story. Admission is $5.00.
Further information and a list of creators can be found at the show’s website http://www.thegenghiscon.com/.
This year’s show will feature as many as fifty comic creators including local artists Derf, whose “The City” strip appears weekly in papers across the country and Gary Dumm, and Greg Budgett who worked closely as artists for the late Harvey Pekar. Many of the artists attending this year were excited to get back to the show after last year’s success.
The creators attending Genghis Con have worked at many different levels from professionally published work to photocopied zines. “There is such an incredible diversity of talent working in small press comic publishing,” says one of the organizers, Scott Rudge. “They are telling stories that are truly original and their work is often quite amazing yet it may never be read by more than a handful of people. We started Genghis Con to try to change that.”
Last year’s convention was such an incredible success because both attendees and creators had the opportunity to interact in a way not possible at a normal comic convention. One of the early innovations instituted by the organizers was to provide table space to the creators at no charge. Rudge believes this changed the dynamic by taking the presure off the artists to “make back their table fee.” This breaks down a huge barrier between the artists and the public.
“The Beachland Ballroom has been an amazing partner in this project. When we first thought of doing this show, we didn’t think about any other location and when we approached them, they were very enthusiastic about the idea. Thanks to their generosity, we are able to hold our costs down,” says Rudge. “We are not doing this show to make money, we are happy to break even. We are just very excited to give people the opportunity to interact with these amazing creators.”
One of the most popular features of the show last year was the four page “mini-comic” put together by each of the artists. This comic is free of charge and gives each attendee a sample of the kind of work a particular creator does. When they leave, each attendee will have an anthology of that year’s show in their collection of these comics.
“Last year it was very encouraging to see people walking out of the convention with a significant stack of amazingly original reading material for which they paid very little,” says Rudge. “I know it sounds ridiculous in light of the consumer onslaught people face on Thanksgiving weekend, but you can find amazing, unique, original and affordable gifts at this show.”
For more information contact Scott Rudge at Astound Comics, 440 835-8055 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.