Weekend Comic Convention Celebrates Comics & Its Creators
ASBURY PARK, N.J. – The Asbury Park Comicon returns April 12-13, 2014, for its 4th convention celebrating comic books, art and culture! Thousands of fans are expected to descend on New Jersey's pre-eminent comic-book convention -- this year at the historic Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel -- featuring an all-star line-up of comic-book writers and artists, more than 180 exhibitors and memorabilia dealers, and two days of activities that will appeal to everyone from indie fans to parents and their kids.
“This is a family-friendly suburban con where you actually get to meet the comic-book creators, get autographs, buy comics and collectibles in an accessible, intimate and hassle-free environment,” said Red Bank resident Cliff Galbraith, organizer of Asbury Park Comicon and a long time comics artist. “To top it all off, you don’t have the aggravation of heading into the city and you’ll be home in time for dinner. What’s a better way to spend the day for people who want to share their passions?”
Major guests include the legendary Jim Steranko, the first “rock star” of comics who is the artist/writer responsible for popularizing Nick Fury (played by actor Samuel L. Jackson in the Marvel movies); Chris Claremont, who turned Marvel's X-Men and Wolverine into two of comics' most popular franchises; superstar artist J.H. Williams III, who is collaborating with writer Neil Gaiman on the incredibly popular Sandman series from DC/Vertigo; Cliff Chiang, the brilliant artist currently drawing DC's Wonder Woman; Ren & Stimpy co-creator Bob Camp, three time Eisner Award winner Evan Dorkin; and popular illustrator Stephanie Buscema, who comes from one of comics' most important families.
Then there's all the shopping! With dozens and dozens of dealers, fans can buy old comics, new comics, sketches and autographs, toys, action figures and an enormous array of collectibles.
“There’s a wide spectrum of comics from dollar-bin bargains all the way up to super-rare comics for $10,000 to $20,000 dollars,” Galbraith said.
"Popculturalist" Robert Bruce reiterated that the show offers more than just comics. “Don’t forget there will be an incredible variety of toys and collectibles at Asbury Comicon too! Not just for today's kids, but those of us who were kids decades ago -- the emotional connection to those childhood treasures is a powerful force!” said Bruce, a noted collectibles expert and event co-promoter.
There will also be a broad range of events, from panels spotlighting writers and artists to the ever-popular Sunday Cosplay Contest -- judged by Mike and Ming from AMC’s hit TV show, “Comic Book Men,” -- with awards for the winners. Prizes will be given in a variety of categories including adults, children, couples and groups.
“This is like a modern-day circus coming to town and Halloween all-in-one,” Galbraith said. “Kids are super stoked to see the fans dressed up as their favorite comic book character and we encourage everyone to participate. The costumes and contestants are really diverse; last year, we even had a guide dog dressed as Captain America.”
Motor enthusiast -- and fans of retro TV -- are also in luck: The Batmobile, Batcycle and Green Hornet’s Black Beauty from the 1960s TV shows will be on display.
Discounted tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.asburyparkcomicon.com/tickets . Saturday tickets are $18.50, and Sunday, $17.00; two-day passes are $30. Day-of-the-show tickets purchased at the convention are $20.50, first-come, first-serve. Children eight years old and under attend free with an adult. Show hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. On street parking is available.
For more information on the convention, please visit: www.asburyparkcomicon.com.