Pittsburgh Comicon

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Coordinates: 40°24′N 79°48′W / 40.4°N 79.8°W / 40.4; -79.8

Pittsburgh Comicon
Pittsburgh Comicon logo.png
Status Active
Genre Multi-genre
Venue Radisson Hotel Pittsburgh ExpoMart (1994–2008)
Monroeville Convention Center (2009–present)
Location(s) Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Country United States
Inaugurated 1994
Attendance c. 10,000[1]
Organized by Comics World
Website
www.pittsburghcomicon.com

The Pittsburgh Comicon is a comic book convention held in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, United States, at the Monroeville Convention Center. It was founded in 1994[1] by Michael and Renee George. It is traditionally a three-day event (Friday through Sunday) and features a fan-friendly experience that allows the fans to interact with comic professionals at all levels.

Though it primarily focuses on comic books, the convention features a large range of pop culture elements, such as professional wrestling, science fiction/fantasy, film/television, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. Given Pittsburgh's connection to George A. Romero's zombie apocalypse films (with Romero's Dawn of the Dead being filmed in the Monroeville Mall),[2] horror fans are also welcomed at the convention to meet and greet with the film's actors that regularly attend.

The show also makes a concerted effort to promote local-area talent and publishers. The show raises money for various charities; over the years the show has supported local literacy organizations, the Comic book Legal Defense Fund, local Food Banks, and has raised more than $250,000 for the Pittsburgh chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.[3][4]

History[edit]

The entrance to the 2008 Pittsburgh Comicon at the Monroeville, Pennsylvania Expomart.

Windber, Pennsylvania-based comics retailers Michael and Renée George (proprietors of Comics World) staged the first Pittsburgh Comicon in April 1994[5] at the Radisson Hotel Pittsburgh ExpoMart in Monroeville. It was the first major show staged in Pittsburgh for the comic community since the 70's. From the beginning, a major focus for the show has been giving to charity, the Make-A-Wish Foundation in particular, which is the primary beneficiary of the Annual Comicon Auction.

The Pittsburgh Comicon hosted the Harvey Award ceremonies from 2000–2002,[6] with Evan Dorkin serving as master of ceremonies.[7] Jeff Smith was the keynote speaker of the 2000 awards.[7] Superstar creator Frank Miller gave the keynote speech at the 2001 award ceremony in which he vilified the comic book speculating industry, in particular Wizard magazine. He ended his speech by tearing up a copy of Wizard.[8][9] Tony Millionaire gave the keynote speech at the 2002 awards ceremony.[7] In 2003, due to a cancellation from scheduled keynote speaker Neil Gaiman, funding shortages forced a cancellation of that year's Harvey Awards ceremony and banquet (which had also been scheduled for the Pittsburgh Comicon), although award-winners were still named.[7]

The 2000 edition of the show raised $26,000 for the Pittsburgh chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.[5] The 2003 show raised $27,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.[3] The 2007 show raised $30,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and $5,000 for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.[10]

In 2006, Comic Geek Speak was named the Official Comics Podcast for the Pittsburgh Comicon and has held that title ever since.[11]

In 2009, the show moved from the defunct Pittsburgh ExpoMart to the new Monroeville Convention Center, welcoming Stan Lee as their guest of honor to inaugurate their first show in the new venue.

Dates and locations[edit]

Dates Attendance Official guests Notes
April 1994 John Byrne, Rob Liefeld, Eric Stephenson, Dan Fraga, Jim Valentino, Dave Sim, Steve Rude
April 1995 Marc Silvestri, Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Mike Heisler
April 19–21, 1996 Stan Lee, Jim Shooter, and Julius Schwartz,[12] Rob Liefeld, Martin Nodell, Patrick Block, Ron Frenz, Tony Daniel, Larry Elmore, Dan Fraga, Randy Green, Irwin Hasen, Gil Kane, Mark Morales, Michael Turner
April 18–20, 1997[13] David Prowse and Carmen Electra-*not in attendance was a last minute cancellation[14]
April 25–26, 1998 Kevin Smith and Jim Mahfood,[15] Mark Waid, James Robinson, Mike Allred, Drew Hayes, David Finch, David Wohl, Billy Tan, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Quesada, Amanda Conner, Billy Tucci, Howard Porter, David Mack, Gray Morrow, Clayburn Moore, Martin Nodell, Sheldon Moldoff, Dick Ayers
April 23–25, 1999 7,500[5] Martin Nodell, Alley Baggett, Lou Ferrigno, George Steele,[16] Steve Lieber,[17] Michael Turner, George Pérez, Brian Pulido, Tom Savini, Mark Waid, Scott Lobdell, Joe Jusko, Dick Ayers, Michael Bair, Dorian Clevenger, Scott McDaniel, Gray Morrow, John Totleben
April 28–30, 2000 10,000 Presentation of the Harvey Awards[5]
April 27–29, 2001 Frank Miller,[9] Jeff Smith, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Dave Cooper, Dan Clowes, Frank Cho, Mark Schultz, Scott McDaniel, Tom Savini, Chyna, Michonne Bourriague, Paul Blake, Claire Stansfield, Alexandra Tydings,[6] Terry Moore, Dean Haspiel, Josh Neufeld, Erik Larsen, John Romita Jr., Jim Valentino, Tim Truman, Brian Michael Bendis, Keu Cha, Jeff Smith, Al Williamson, David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Larry Elmore, George Pérez, Tom Savini $15 per day; $35 for 3-day pass; presentation of the Harvey Awards[6]
April 26–28, 2002 Carmine Infantino, William Tucci,[18] George Pérez, Ted Dibiase, Nikolai Volkoff, Frank Cho, Julius Schwartz, Al Williamson, Kenny Baker, Michonne Bourraigue, Jerome Blake,[19] Tim Bradstreet, Michael Kaluta, Julius Schwartz, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada, Robert Kirkman, Chris Sprouse, George Tuska, Brian Azzarello, Jill Thompson, and Evan Dorkin
April 25–27, 2003 Terry Austin, Terry Moore, Wayne Wise,[20] Adam Hughes, Bill Morrison, Erin Gray, George Pérez, Joseph Michael Linsner, Jim Balent, Michael Turner,[7] George Tuska, Mike Deodato, George Pérez, Michael Turner, Joe Linsner, Frank Cho, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Erin Gray, Angel Medina, Mark Schultz, Michael Kaluta, Rowena, Jennifer Janesko, David Mack, King Kong Bundy, Greg Nicotero, Jim Krut
April 30–May 2, 2004 Jim Rugg,[21] George A. Romero, Lani Tupu, and Virginia Hey,[22] Bernie Wrightson, Michael Turner, Mark Waid, John Romita Jr., Angel Medina, George Pérez, Greg Horn, Rudy Nebres
April 22–24, 2005 George Pérez, Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Michael Kaluta, Joe Linsner, Scott McDaniel, Jimmy Palmiotti, Howard Porter, Mark Texeira, Tom Smith, Michael Turner, and Sal Buscema
April 21–23, 2006 8,400[2] George Pérez, Brian Michael Bendis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Jim Balent, Adam Hughes, Greg Horn, Michael Turner, Mark Waid, Bob McLeod, Howard Chaykin, Arthur Suydam, Timothy Truman, Joseph Michael Linsner, Bruno Sammartino, Ray Park, Ed Piskor, and Ron Frenz[23]
April 27–29, 2007 George Pérez, Ron Frenz, Terry Moore,[2] Amanda Conner, Mike Grell, Adam Hughes, Joe Jusko, Joseph Michael Linsner, David W. Mack, Kane Hodder, Marc Singer, and Gigi Edgley
April 25–27, 2008 7,000[24] Timothy Truman, Mike Grell, and Robert Tinnell,[10] Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Billy Tucci, David W. Mack, Tommy Castillo, David Prowse, Aaron Douglas, Brian Harnois, Kane Hodder,[4] Francis Manapul, Jim Balent, Herb Trimpe, Arthur Suydam, Brian Pulido, Al Feinstein, Michael Golden, Michael Turner, Eric Basaldua, Patrick Block, Alex Saviuk 15th anniversary show[24]
September 11–13, 2009 10,000[1] Guest of honor: Stan Lee; other guests include Beau Smith, Billy Tucci, Khoi Pham, Terry Moore, Scott James, Sean McKeever, Joe Jusko, Pat Olliffe, Ron Frenz, Brian Pulido, Dawn Best, Dan Fraga, Herb Trimpe, Gary Friedrich, Adam Hughes, Jamal Igle, Greg Horn, Arthur Suydam, Mike Grell, Eric Basaldua, Josh Medors, Talent Caldwell, Ramona Fradon, Darryl Banks First show in the new Monroeville Convention Center
April 23–25, 2010 9,000[1] Roy Thomas, Gene Colan, Joe Sinnott, Ernie Chan, Herb Trimpe, Gary Friedrich, Talent Caldwell, Eric Basaldua, Margot Kidder, and Camden Toy[25]
April 15–17, 2011 c. 10,000[26] George Pérez, Terry Moore, Mike Grell, Tom Mandrake, Ernie Chan, Herb Trimpe, Scott McDaniel, Joshua Ortega, Joe Jusko, Gary Friedrich, Talent Caldwell, Stuart Sayger, Bob Almond, Wayne Faucher, Chad Hardin, Bob Hall, Kirk Lindo, Arvell Jones, Dan Parent, Billy Tucci, Dave Hoover, Mike Grell, Sam Witwer, Chandler Riggs, Sarah Allen, Dexter Vines, and Charles Paul Wilson III
April 20–22, 2012 Stan Lee, Bob Almond, Jim Balent, Darryl Banks, Eric Basaldua, Robert Brewer, J. Scott Campbell, Tommy Castillo, Daxiong, Ron Frenz, Holly G, Adela Garcia, Mike Grell, Scott Hedlund, Terry Huddleston, Barry Kitson, Robert Kraus, Adam Mayfield, Peter Mayhew, Scott McDaniel, Paul Monsky, Chris Moreno, Rudy Nebres, Mike Okamoto, Pat Olliffe, George Pérez, Ian Petrella, Budd Root, Alex Saviuk, Stuart Sayger, Larry Thomas, Tim Vigil, Neil Vokes, Lee Weeks, and Ron Wilson[26]
September 27–29, 2013 Jim Steranko, Jim Balent, Holly G!, Eric Basaldua, John Beatty, Paris Cullins, Michael Golden, Graham Nolan, Barry Kitson, Scott McDaniel, George Pérez, Gene Gonzales, Louis Small Jr., Budd Root
September 26–28, 2014 Bill Sienkiewicz, Jim Balent, Holly G!, Eric Basaldua, Scott McDaniel, George Pérez, Budd Root, Bob Camp, Talent Caldwell, Katie Cook, Herb Trimpe, John Beatty, Mike Grell, Chad Hardin, Holly Conrad, Patrick & Shelly Block, Ron Frenz, Rudy Nebres, Patrick Olliffe

Events[edit]

Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there are previews of upcoming feature films, portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies, and such evening events as a costume contest,[4] featuring dedicated cosplayers who put great effort into their costumes and props. Traditional events include gaming and hours of other programming on all aspects of comic books and pop culture.

One popular annual event is the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Quick-Sketch, which usually raises between $5,000 to $6,000 per show.[4] Other charity events taking place during the Pittsburgh Comicon are the annual "Casino Night," and various drawings and donations from attendees. These events benefit such charities as The Hero Initiative and local food banks.

Like most comic-book conventions, the Pittsburgh Comicon features a large floorspace for exhibitors. These include media companies such as movie studios and TV networks, as well as comic-book dealers and collectibles merchants. Like most comics conventions, the Pittsburgh show includes an autograph area, as well as the Artists' Alley where comics artists can sign autographs and sell or do free sketches. Despite the name, Artists' Alley can include writers and even glamour models.

Charity[edit]

The Pittsburgh Comicon supports many charities through its fund raising efforts. The primary charity of the Comicon is the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Since the show's inception, the Comicon has raised enough funds to fulfill a number of wishes. The show's Annual Charity Auction is main fundraising event during the show for this charity. It has been privileged over the years to be the recipient of the works of many of our talented guests willing to provide artwork and other items to be auctioned off to benefit this deserving charity.

The Comicon also holds 'Charity Quick Sketch' events featuring numerous guests that volunteer to attend the hour long events and provide original art, usually created in front of a live audience, for the event. During the event, raffle tickets can be purchased by attendees for a sum, which is donated to the charity featured at the event, and each piece of art created during the event is raffled off by picking a ticket from a those sold.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Comicon: From Marvel Legends to Online Upstarts," Pittsburgh Post - Gazette (14 Apr 2011), p. W.13.
  2. ^ a b c Machosky, Michael. "Artists, writers, fans unite for 3 days of comics culture," Pittsburgh Tribune (26 Apr 2007).
  3. ^ a b Levin, Steve. "Charity Bombarded With E-Mails Over Fund-Raiser," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (09 May 2003), p. B-21.
  4. ^ a b c d Machosky, Michael. "Pittsburgh Comicon brings fans, heroes together," Pittsburgh Tribune (24 Apr 2008).
  5. ^ a b c d Contino, Jennifer. "Conventioneers," Sequential Tart (June 2000).
  6. ^ a b c Mervis, Scott. "Heroic comeback," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (27 Apr 2001), p. 22.
  7. ^ a b c d e Press release. "2003 Harvey Awards Banquet Cancelled, Awards Unaffected, Comic Book Resources (Jan. 24, 2003).
  8. ^ Silvie, Matt. "Wizard Ripped as Pittsburgh Comicon Gains Prominence," The Comics Journal #234 (June 2001), pp. 16-17.
  9. ^ a b Brady, Matt. "Baltimore Comic Con '08: 2008 Harvey Awards Announced," Newsarama (Sept. 27, 2008).
  10. ^ a b Gold, Mike. "Michael George and the Pittsburgh Comicon," ComicMix (Mar. 18, 2008).
  11. ^ comicbookbin.com. "Official Comics Podcast". Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  12. ^ "Comic Marvels," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (19 Apr 1996), p. 2.
  13. ^ "Comic Book Fans to Convene," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (18 Apr 1997), p. A.23.
  14. ^ "Weekend Hot List," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (18 Apr 1997), p. 3.
  15. ^ "Chasing Kevin: Besides Movie Fans, Director Smith Has to Cope With Comic Book Lovers," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (29 Apr 1998), p. F-5.
  16. ^ Collier, Gene. "Comic Books Have Come a Long Way Since Archie," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (25 Apr 1999), p. A-1.
  17. ^ Weisberg, Deborah. "Pittsburgh in Comics," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (24 Apr 1999), p. C-16.
  18. ^ Lolley, Sarah. "Comicon Characters Old Legends and Edgy Newcomers Combine Forces at Comic Book Convention," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (26 Apr 2002), p. 22.
  19. ^ "Does anyone have Earth Day off on Monday? Probably not. But think about it...," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (21 Apr 2002), p. F-2.
  20. ^ "Homegrown artists at Comicon," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (25 April 2003), p. 30.
  21. ^ O'Driscoll, Bill. "Angel With A Dirty Face," Pittsburgh City Paper (28 Apr 2004), p. 32.
  22. ^ "Comicon Coming," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (08 Apr 2004), p. D-3.
  23. ^ Stephenson, Philip A. "The Big Draw: Convention Attracts Many to Comics Medium," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (20 Apr 2006), p. W-20.
  24. ^ a b Rowell, David. "Comic Book Hero; Andre Campbell's vision is severely limited, but that hasn't stopped him from pursuing his dream of making it as a comic book artist. Will he ever see success?," The Washington Post (14 Dec 2008), p. WMAG.8.
  25. ^ Eberson, Sharon; Sciullo, Maria; Norman, Tony. "Heroes & Villains Good and Evil Collide at Pittsburgh Comicon," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (22 Apr 2010), p. W.12.
  26. ^ a b Eberson, Sharon. "Stan Lee, Other Comic Superheroes Return to Comicon," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (19 Apr 2012), p. W.15.

External links[edit]