ComicCon returns ‘bigger and better’

By Bill Colvard - bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com
Trevor Wayne Carter and Koleson Carter have a photo op with John Wayne, Alf, Celtic Warrior Senua, from the video game Hell Blade (played by Jane Ferry) and Batman. - Bill Colvard | The News
Costume winners and judges take a group photo with event organizer Rose Ayers. Front row from left to right: Paisley Frazier, age 11, as Rey from “Star Wars,” winner of the 7-12 age group; Sydney Frazier, age 4, as Barbie, winner in the 6 and under category; Macy Carter, age 19, as Harley Quinn, winner in the 17 and up category; and Rose Ayers, event organizer. Second row from left to right: John Wayne, Alf, Dantea as Batdog held by Greg Fell, winner in the Pets category; Jane Ferry as Celtic Warrior Senua from the video game Hell Blade; and Batman. - Bill Colvard | The News
Terry Collins is set up in Memories on Main Antiques and Collectibles where he met his fans and sold comics. - Bill Colvard | The News
Roosevelt Pitt, Jr., publisher of the comic “Purge” is assisted by Angel Sexton and Ariauna Sexton. - - Bill Colvard | The News
Steve Martin was selling from an admirable collection of comics. - - Bill Colvard | The News
John Withers, IV, with the first book in his “Goblin’s Gift” series, “Castles of Imagination.” - - Bill Colvard | The News
Roger and Annette Davis, AKA Batman and Robin, although Annette Davis laughs and says, “But I’m wearing a Deadpool shirt today.” - - Bill Colvard | The News
John Wayne takes a minute to pose for a photo with Mike Vaughan dressed as Batman and Brandon Vaughan dressed as Captain America. - - Bill Colvard | The News
Wendy Hahr (left) and Tiffany Hahr (right) are the two H’s behind H&H Novelties. Tiffany Hahr makes the pillows they sell and Wendy Hahr makes the jewelry. - - Bill Colvard | The News
Christina Richardson of Momma Cricketz (left) and Autumn Sullivan of Critical Hits Creations (right) both purvey handmade and purchased items. They took adjoining booths to share the company of Sullivan’s daughter, Ripley Guynn (in the carrier worn by Richardson). - - Bill Colvard | The News
Ronnie Brady (seated center) offers duplicates of his comic book collection for sale. - - Bill Colvard | The News
Costume contest participants in the 7-12 age group strike a pose. - - Bill Colvard | The News
The Devil’s Daughter, a character created for Comic Con by Kisa Lockhart, age 8, and Gabriel Farmer Hoffman, age 6, as Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony. - - Bill Colvard | The News
Pam Hill and Ricky Hill were selling a collection of action figures and vintage comic character merchandise, including lunch boxes and a Snoopy alarm clock dated 1958. - - Bill Colvard | The News
Jake Thorne brought his John Wayne character to ComicCon and poses here with Rose Ayers, event organizer. Downtown store windows sported Batman-style “Wham” and “Pow” captions in honor of the event. - - Bill Colvard | The News

Is it Metropolis or Gotham City or even Bikini Bottom? No, it’s Mount Airy on the Saturday after July 4th when ComicCon comes to town.

Tiny Batmen, Supermen, Captains America, Barbies, Celtic Warriors, Little Ponies and a myriad of other superheroes and comic book characters wandered Main Street all day Saturday for Mount Airy’s fifth-annual ComicCon.

At noon, a costume contest brought all attention to Carlos Jones Blue Ridge Park where celebrity judges John Wayne, Batman, Alf and comic author Terry Collins judged the contest, with event organizer Rose Ayers keeping the assemblage of superheroes under control until all the prizes were given out.

“There was no rain and no wind. I don’t think it could have been any better,” said Ginny Collins, photographer for the costume contest and wife of author Terry Collins. “Every year it gets a little bigger and better.”

“I’ve begun to get the bugs worked out,” said Ayers. “We’re going to be the first Saturday after the Fourth of July from now on. That’s set in stone. Unless there’s going to be thunderstorms, and then …” her voice trailed off as she went to put out another organizational fire.

Vendors of comic books and comic related merchandise dotted the street and writers and publishers greeted their fans.

Roosevelt Pitt, Jr. is the publisher of “Purge,” a comic which, according to Pitt, features the only North Carolina superhero. The series is set in a futuristic, high-tech version of Winston-Salem known as “New Salem.”

Terry Collins was on hand with a sampling of his work. Collins, a former Mount Airy news staffer who once produced a comic strip for the paper, now spends his time writing lots of comics as well as other children’s books and coloring books.

“It’s been a career goal since I started collecting comics when I was four years old,” said Collins, who started out writing and drawing comics. “But my writing skills were improving by leaps and bounds, and my art skills were not.” That’s when Collins began to focus on writing, and collaborating with other artists for the illustrations.

Collins says he has worked with many artists. On some of the licensed work, he never meets the artist. First, Collins writes a script, like a movie screenplay. Then, the artist takes that script and interprets the material, bringing their own artistic flair to it.

Sometimes, it’s more collaborative than others, said Collins.

John Withers IV was across the street with his interactive fantasy book series, “Goblin’s Gift.” Withers has completed four works of what he plans to be a six-book series, with the fifth novel coming out before the end of the year.

“The books are interactive in that at various points in the story, the reader decides what direction he or she wants the narrative to go. The books are aimed at high school students who, Withers said, remember fondly the ‘choose your own adventure’ books from their younger days.

“So they can be a geeky high school student by day, and a barbarian by night,” says Withers.

He says the books also appeal to adults, and kids as young as seven or eight like them. But book five is going to be a little more mature.

“They gotta grow up,” he says of his characters.

Withers, who lives in Lincolnton and teaches English at Gaston College, sells his books on Amazon and at a handful of shows in the summer when he’s not teaching.

“I teach essay writing all day, and write about goblins all night,” he laughs.

Flippy and Zombie the dachshunds, made a personal appearance at ComicCon to promote their comic coloring book “Flippy the Dachshund,” which Flippy’s accompanying human said is for children of all ages.

“I’ve been collecting comics all my life,” said Ronnie Brady. “I never bought any cigarettes. I never bought any alcohol. That’s all I bought,” he says, indicating the multiple tables in his booth covered with cases filled with comic books. “It’s worked out good for me.”

Brady said he has 40,000 comics in his collection, and the stock he has brought to ComicCon to sell are all duplicates.

“I would never sell my collection,” he says.

When asked whether he does more buying or selling these days, Brady said, “It’s according to where I’m at.”

“At a large show, like the one in Charlotte, I can spend two grand,” he said with a smile. “I’m in my happy place when I walk out. There’s a smile on my face.”

Brady said the happy place is what comics are about.

“Comic books put you in a happy place. I get in the world of comics, it makes me feel better. You forget your worries for as long as your stack of comics holds out.”

Trevor Wayne Carter and Koleson Carter have a photo op with John Wayne, Alf, Celtic Warrior Senua, from the video game Hell Blade (played by Jane Ferry) and Batman.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0501.jpgTrevor Wayne Carter and Koleson Carter have a photo op with John Wayne, Alf, Celtic Warrior Senua, from the video game Hell Blade (played by Jane Ferry) and Batman. Bill Colvard | The News

Costume winners and judges take a group photo with event organizer Rose Ayers. Front row from left to right: Paisley Frazier, age 11, as Rey from “Star Wars,” winner of the 7-12 age group; Sydney Frazier, age 4, as Barbie, winner in the 6 and under category; Macy Carter, age 19, as Harley Quinn, winner in the 17 and up category; and Rose Ayers, event organizer. Second row from left to right: John Wayne, Alf, Dantea as Batdog held by Greg Fell, winner in the Pets category; Jane Ferry as Celtic Warrior Senua from the video game Hell Blade; and Batman.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0526.jpgCostume winners and judges take a group photo with event organizer Rose Ayers. Front row from left to right: Paisley Frazier, age 11, as Rey from “Star Wars,” winner of the 7-12 age group; Sydney Frazier, age 4, as Barbie, winner in the 6 and under category; Macy Carter, age 19, as Harley Quinn, winner in the 17 and up category; and Rose Ayers, event organizer. Second row from left to right: John Wayne, Alf, Dantea as Batdog held by Greg Fell, winner in the Pets category; Jane Ferry as Celtic Warrior Senua from the video game Hell Blade; and Batman. Bill Colvard | The News

Terry Collins is set up in Memories on Main Antiques and Collectibles where he met his fans and sold comics.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0464.jpgTerry Collins is set up in Memories on Main Antiques and Collectibles where he met his fans and sold comics. Bill Colvard | The News

Roosevelt Pitt, Jr., publisher of the comic “Purge” is assisted by Angel Sexton and Ariauna Sexton.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0454.jpgRoosevelt Pitt, Jr., publisher of the comic “Purge” is assisted by Angel Sexton and Ariauna Sexton. Bill Colvard | The News

Steve Martin was selling from an admirable collection of comics.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0467.jpgSteve Martin was selling from an admirable collection of comics. Bill Colvard | The News

John Withers, IV, with the first book in his “Goblin’s Gift” series, “Castles of Imagination.”
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0470.jpgJohn Withers, IV, with the first book in his “Goblin’s Gift” series, “Castles of Imagination.” Bill Colvard | The News

Roger and Annette Davis, AKA Batman and Robin, although Annette Davis laughs and says, “But I’m wearing a Deadpool shirt today.”
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0477.jpgRoger and Annette Davis, AKA Batman and Robin, although Annette Davis laughs and says, “But I’m wearing a Deadpool shirt today.” Bill Colvard | The News

John Wayne takes a minute to pose for a photo with Mike Vaughan dressed as Batman and Brandon Vaughan dressed as Captain America.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0486.jpgJohn Wayne takes a minute to pose for a photo with Mike Vaughan dressed as Batman and Brandon Vaughan dressed as Captain America. Bill Colvard | The News

Wendy Hahr (left) and Tiffany Hahr (right) are the two H’s behind H&H Novelties. Tiffany Hahr makes the pillows they sell and Wendy Hahr makes the jewelry.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0488.jpgWendy Hahr (left) and Tiffany Hahr (right) are the two H’s behind H&H Novelties. Tiffany Hahr makes the pillows they sell and Wendy Hahr makes the jewelry. Bill Colvard | The News

Christina Richardson of Momma Cricketz (left) and Autumn Sullivan of Critical Hits Creations (right) both purvey handmade and purchased items. They took adjoining booths to share the company of Sullivan’s daughter, Ripley Guynn (in the carrier worn by Richardson).
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0491.jpgChristina Richardson of Momma Cricketz (left) and Autumn Sullivan of Critical Hits Creations (right) both purvey handmade and purchased items. They took adjoining booths to share the company of Sullivan’s daughter, Ripley Guynn (in the carrier worn by Richardson). Bill Colvard | The News

Ronnie Brady (seated center) offers duplicates of his comic book collection for sale.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0492.jpgRonnie Brady (seated center) offers duplicates of his comic book collection for sale. Bill Colvard | The News

Costume contest participants in the 7-12 age group strike a pose.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0514.jpgCostume contest participants in the 7-12 age group strike a pose. Bill Colvard | The News

The Devil’s Daughter, a character created for Comic Con by Kisa Lockhart, age 8, and Gabriel Farmer Hoffman, age 6, as Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0530.jpgThe Devil’s Daughter, a character created for Comic Con by Kisa Lockhart, age 8, and Gabriel Farmer Hoffman, age 6, as Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony. Bill Colvard | The News

Pam Hill and Ricky Hill were selling a collection of action figures and vintage comic character merchandise, including lunch boxes and a Snoopy alarm clock dated 1958.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0532.jpgPam Hill and Ricky Hill were selling a collection of action figures and vintage comic character merchandise, including lunch boxes and a Snoopy alarm clock dated 1958. Bill Colvard | The News

Jake Thorne brought his John Wayne character to ComicCon and poses here with Rose Ayers, event organizer. Downtown store windows sported Batman-style “Wham” and “Pow” captions in honor of the event.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_IMG_0483.jpgJake Thorne brought his John Wayne character to ComicCon and poses here with Rose Ayers, event organizer. Downtown store windows sported Batman-style “Wham” and “Pow” captions in honor of the event. Bill Colvard | The News

By Bill Colvard

bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.