This weekend, thousands of comic book fans from around the Midwest will be flocking to Columbus for the largest comic convention in the state, the annual Mid-Ohio Con.
Celebrating its 30th year, festivities will be held in the Greater Columbus Convention center at 400 North High St. on Saturday and Sunday, where attendees will be offered an entire exhibit hall full of comic books, toys, clothes, collectibles, costumes and pop culture goodies of every sort.
Dozens of high profile comic creators will also be in attendance, including David Finch, Adam Hughes, Kurt Busiek, Frank Cho, Ethan Van Sciver and Sergio Aragones. Former "Incredible Hulk" Lou Ferrigno and Michael Berryman, horror movie icon and star of the original "The Hills Have Eyes," headline the media guests this year.
This particular Mid-Ohio Con will be a special one, thanks to the increased number of local creators making their professional debuts. The Ohio Valley Artists League, or OVAL, is a group of writers and artists from the surrounding area who have spent the past year working not only on individual comic projects, but also on a shared anthology that will premier at the convention.
Titled "OVAL Presents: Anthology of Expired Heroes," the self-published volume contains short stories from several different OVAL artists starring super heroes from the past currently in the public domain. Since they no longer fall under any modern copyright, OVAL members were free to revive obscure World War Two-era characters from now-defunct comic companies like The Lone Warrior, Flag-Man, Ghost Woman, Dynamite Thor, Balbo the Boy Magician and the Shinto Samurai in a wide range of artistic styles. The anthology is 40 pages of black and white interiors with a color cover and will retail for $5.99.
OVAL's booth at the Mid-Ohio Con will also boast a longtime veteran of the convention scene in area writer James Patrick. This weekend will mark his first appearance since being published by DC Comics with two standalone issues of "Joker's Asylum: Harley Quinn" and "Batman: Confidential."
Patrick's artist on Batman, rising star Steve Scott, will be in attendance as well, as will local publisher Broken Icon Comics. Fresh off their successful debut at Baltimore Comic Con in August, the upstart company headquartered right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley will unveil even more new issues in their ever-expanding line of books.
Admission to the convention will cost $15 per day or $25 for a full weekend pass. For advanced tickets, directions, hours and a full lineup of guests and programs, visit www.midohiocon.com. For more information on the burgeoning local comic scene, check out www.ovalnetwork.info and www.brokeniconcomics.com.
Jordan Lowe is the owner of Asylum Comics on Muskingum Drive in Marietta and the writer of the web comic Short Pants Romance.