Beard: Comic book convention to land in Glass City this springWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Incredible as it may seem for such a geek haven, Toledo has never truly hosted a real comic book convention. That’s all about to change: The city that’s harbored comic shops for over 25 years and nurtured multiple writers and artists will welcome its very own comic show, Fantasticon, April 11-12 at the Grand Plaza Hotel Downtown.
“We’re very excited!” enthused Joe Nieporte, owner and president of Funfest Productions, based in Sterling Heights, Michigan. “We have a lot of friends in the [Toledo] area, and the comic book shops in town are amazing. We believe that there is a huge fan base here that is dying for a show to call their own. So far we have had a tremendous response from the community. We believe that we have made the right decision bringing a show to Toledo.
“We have branded our show in the Detroit market for a few years now, [and] it’s considered a midsize show that draws a few thousand people and is growing rapidly. We are proud of the fact that our show is very affordable to the fans, as well as artists and vendors. That being said, we want to bring this business model to other markets in the Midwest that do not have large established comic cons. Toledo was the first city we thought of. Toledo is the biggest city in the Midwest that does not have a comic-con.”
Fantasticon Toledo promises celebrity guests on a national scale, dozens of local and regional creators and collectible dealers from Chicago, Indiana and Ohio who specialize in comics, action figures and vintage toys and games. “Serious collectors will have a great opportunity to add something special to their collections,” Nieporte said. “There will also be cosplay contests and artist panels scheduled throughout each day.
“This show will be like going back in time 20 years before comic-cons became corporate money grabs. It will be very affordable, fun and fan-friendly.”
Though Nieporte and his staff will be busy those two days ensuring the show goes off without a hitch and all attendees have a good time, they’re looking forward to Fantasticon as fans themselves. “Watching all the people in costume is always enjoyable,” he said. “It will be even more gratifying to bring smiles to all the faces from the Toledo area while they are walking around having fun and enjoying the event we brought to town.”
Interested parties should check in regularly at www.fantasticon.net for updates on special guests and all other news before the show hits town in April.