GENGHIS CON CELEBRATES RICHES OF MIDWEST INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING
Comic Show Features the Unknown Work of Local Graphic Storytellers
You won’t find Superman, expensive back issues or fading Hollywood celebrities at Genghis Con, a comic book convention organized to showcase the work of independent artists and writers from the Midwest. The event will be held at the Beachland Ballroom on Saturday, November 28, 2009 from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm. The convention will feature the talent of approximately 50 graphic storytellers from around the Midwest whose work does not fit into the normal perception of what a comic book should be.
For 70 years the part of the country known as the “rust belt” has provided the world with an incredible abundance of creative talent in the art of telling stories with pictures. This form of communication has reached its pinnacle of popularity in the form of the beloved comic book. Many of the biggest names in comics today hail from the Midwest.
Comic readers are familiar with such Ohio natives as Brian Bendis, Brian Vaughn, Fred Van Lente, Harvey Pekar and Jeff Smith. These and many others from around the Great Lakes are the modern personalities shaping graphic storytelling as we know it today. The common thread through each of these current and rising stars of the industry is they began their careers creating and publishing their own material.
Like their famous brethren, the participants of Genghis Con use skill, imagination and craftsmanship to create engaging, original graphic storytelling art. Their work, however, remains largely unpublished outside of the creator’s own trips to the local copy center. Genghis Con exists to bring this creative talent together in one place and to provide a venue for interaction with potential readers who may not have any other opportunity to see this work.
The organizers of Genghis Con are committed to creating an event which is unique in many ways. Early in the planning stages, the convention organizers decided to break most of the rules of a normal comic convention. These changes include eliminating the dealer’s room and the endless rows of fading TV celebrities. Perhaps the most radical difference is participants will not be charged for table space as they are at other comic conventions. The organizers feel this will free the artists from feeling the pressure to “make up their costs” and allow them to focus on promoting their work.
"We are not doing this to make money,” says Scott Rudge, one of the Genghis Con organizers and owner of Astound Comics in Westlake, Ohio. “We want the creators to use the money they save on renting space to offer inexpensive copies of their work. This benefits both the artist and the audience in a way not seen at a typical comic con. We want those attending the convention to feel comfortable interacting meaningfully with the creators and we hope to do that by making the communication of ideas as inexpensive as possible.”
To further break down the barriers between the artists and readers, Genghis Con attendees will be able to build their own comic book containing the work of each artist at the show. This book will be included at no additional charge with normal admission of $5.00.
“We are looking for creators who use a comic book style format to tell their stories, but we also have accepted some ‘zine and poster artists,” says Rudge. “While we may have some of the next generation of mainstream stars displaying their work, we are also looking forward to offering the work of those who have no interest in promoting their material beyond the desire to simply tell a story.”
The call is out for artists wishing to participate in Genghis Con. Artists are welcome to submit samples of their work for consideration. The organizers of Genghis Con will be accepting submissions until November 15th. For complete details and submission guidelines, creators should go to the event website.
(There was also recently a write up on the show in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Read that here. )