I didn’t grow up on comics. Just putting that out there.
Don’t get me wrong, I was very much a superhero-fixated kid; that is, I watched every episode of Teen Titans as it premiered, played Spider-man for Playstation 2 like it was my job, and pretended to be the Yellow Ranger (yes, I count Power Rangers as superheroes- you’ll have to deal) every day at recess. However, comic books just weren’t part of that experience. Well, I suppose you could count Captain Underpants, but otherwise, I didn’t know what adventures lurked within the pages of those colorfully-printed volumes at the bookstore. It didn’t help that, as I grew up, much of the male population seemed pretty upset that some girls enjoyed their favorite characters.
“Fake geek girls,” they’d snort, rolling their eyes as if they were gatekeepers of the unconventional. And for a while, this hostility kind of put me off anything vaguely nerd-like. However, just like I outgrew childish notions like the ‘friendzone’, I eventually came to realize that I am allowed to enjoy superheroes and comic books without shame.
And just a few days ago, I let my freak flag fly at Cincy ComiCon.
Cosplays. Artists. Panels. This con had it all. Granted, as mentioned in a previous post, this event was smaller than its San Diego counterpart, but the atmosphere was every bit as enthusiastic. As soon as my boyfriend and I walked through the doors of the convention center, I knew we were in for a good time. Okay, there was definitely a moment of doubt when I found out that admission for the two of us would cost 70 dollars, but it was pretty brief and I got over my shame in due time.
While there were so many things that were worthy of a story, what really caught my attention at this event was the table set up for the Electric Team. I didn’t even really mean to stumble across this booth (my boyfriend and I are part of a podcast that focuses on entertainment and he had stopped to talk to a Kylo-Ren), but the artwork seemed offbeat in an intriguing way and the people manning the table were extremely nice. After that awkward moment of “we made eye contact so now I feel like I should say something about your comic” that only happens at conventions, I learned that the Electric Team is an indie comic that combines science and magic. Like me, the artist (Samantha Albert) had not grown up on the traditional Marvel and DC issues that continue to line the shelves of most geek retailers.
Here was a woman heavily involved in comics who didn’t feel the need to prove herself as an “authentic” part of the community. Plus, the writer (Leighton Connor) incorporated his 7-year-old daughter’s drawings into the publication. I couldn’t get over how chill they both were, and how at ease they seemed in a room full of Captain America and Batman enthusiasts. I immediately bought all of the issues they had up for sale (there were only three, and they cost ten dollars collectively, so please don’t think this was some kind of Oprah situation), and asked if they would mind signing them for me. They seemed delighted at the request, and their happiness made me happy, so it was just this weird moment of scribbling pens and people smiling that belonged in some kind of heartfelt Netflix movie. They even gave me a free poster. No, really. Look.
Legit, right?! Needless to say, I knew I had to write about this in some way. So, please expect a story about indie comics at Cincy ComiCon. If you’re a newbie to comic books like myself, or if you just appreciate a change in literary scenery, I’d love it if you’d give it a read when it’s published.
That’s all for now, guys. Peace.