Ohio Comic Con
|Ohio Comic Con|
Former Mid-Ohio Con logo
|Venue||Richland County Fairgrounds (1985–1988)
Hyatt Regency/Columbus Convention Center (1993–1996)
Adam's Mark Hotel (1997–1999)
Hilton Columbus Hotel at Easton Town Center (2000–2005)
Greater Columbus Convention Center (2006–present)
|Location(s)||Mansfield, Ohio (c. 1980–1995)
Columbus, Ohio (1996–present)
|Attendance||5,000 – 8,000|
|Organized by||Wizard Entertainment|
|Filing status||For Profit|
The Wizard World Ohio Comic Con, formerly known as Mid-Ohio Con, is a comic book convention held during the fall in Columbus, Ohio, United States, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Initially held in early November, from 1994–2007 the Mid-Ohio Con took place on the first weekend after Thanksgiving. Normally a two-day event (Saturday and Sunday), in 2012 it expanded to three days (Friday through Sunday).
The Mid-Ohio Con was founded in 1980. In 2010, the convention was acquired by Wizard Entertainment. Wizard hosts thirteen annual conventions, including in Chicago, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Austin, and New Orleans.
The Mid-Ohio Con was founded in 1980 by voice actor and announcer Roger A. Price. Over the years, Price used the show to raise money for various charities (frequently the March of Dimes), raising a total of over $1,000,000. (Price himself was a polio victim.) Initially, the convention was held in various venues throughout central Ohio before settling in Columbus, where it has been located since 1993.
The 1985 show, held at the Richland County Fairgrounds in Mansfield, Ohio, featured the announcement of John Byrne's relaunch of the Superman books. (Byrne made regular appearances at the convention from 1981–2004.) In 1988 small press publisher Bob Corby premiered the first issue of Oh,Comics!, a 40-page minicomic featuring the work of twelve Ohio small press artists. Corby produced new issues of Oh, Comics! in conjunction with the Mid-Ohio Con for the next twenty years, ultimately publishing the work of over 100 creators ranging in age from ten to sixty.
By 1993, the show had moved to the Hyatt Regency and Greater Columbus Convention Center. The 1994 show featured an auction and a costume contest/dance party, both benefiting the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. The 1996 show featured a "Small Press Expo." The 1997 show moved to Columbus' Adam's Mark Hotel and featured a Tony Isabella roast. The 1998 show was promoted in the panels of Tom Batiuk's syndicated newspaper strip, Funky Winkerbean, in which one of the characters journeyed to the show to search for a long-lost Hopalong Cassidy comic book.
In 2000, the show expanded and moved to the Hilton Columbus Hotel at Easton Town Center. The 2002 and 2003 conventions featured special karaoke parties hosted by actor Andy Hallett. Both parties raised money for the American Diabetes Association.
In January 2008, founder Price announced he was retiring, and his company R.A.P. Promotions would entertain offers for the convention. In May 2008, the show was acquired by James and Bill Henry of GCX Holdings, and merged with Jamie and Teresa Colegrove's Ohio Comic Con. By then, the show had been struggling a bit, and GCX invigorated new life into it, as well as working closely with Columbus-area comics creators.
Dates and locations
|This section is missing information about dates, locations, and guests. (July 2012)|
|November 14, 1981||Quality Inn Park Place, Mansfield, Ohio||Special guest of honor: John Byrne|
|November 1983||Fairview Hall, Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield||David Prowse|
|November 1985||Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield||John Byrne|
|November 8–9, 1986||Fairview Hall, Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield||Guests of honor: Frank Miller, John Byrne, Stephen R. Bissette, John Totleben, and Bill Sienkiewicz|
|November 1987||Fairview Hall, Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield||Guest of honor: Dave Sim; other guests: Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, John Ostrander, Denys Cowan, Mike Grell, Carol Kalish|
|November 26–27, 1988||Fairview Hall, Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield||Stan Lee, Todd McFarlane, John Byrne|
|November 1989||Fairview Hall, Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield|
|November 1990||Fairview Hall, Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield|
|November 1991||Fairview Hall, Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield|
|September 1992||Ashland University, Ashland||Roger Stern, John Byrne, and Jim Shooter||Convention coincides with publication of DC's The Death of Superman.|
|November 27–28, 1993||Hyatt Regency/Convention Center, Columbus||John Byrne, Mike Mignola, Roger Stern||Tickets: $5/day|
|November 26–27, 1994||Hyatt Regency and Greater Columbus Convention Center||Dick DeBartolo, John Byrne, Jeff Smith, Bernie Wrightson, and Sergio Aragonés||15th anniversary show|
|November 25–26, 1995||Hyatt Regency and Greater Columbus Convention Center||Special guest: Barry Windsor-Smith; other guests: Mark Evanier, Roger Stern, William Messner-Loebs, John Byrne, Sergio Aragonés, Brian Michael Bendis, Martin Egeland, Dick Giordano, David Mack, Joe Pruett, Beau Smith, Jim Shooter, Jeff Smith, and Bernie Wrightson|
|November 30–December 1, 1996||Hyatt Regency and Greater Columbus Convention Center||Roger Stern, Darryl Banks, Dick DeBartolo, Tom and Mary Bierbaum, Tony Isabella, Paul Jenkins, Mark Waid, Leah Adezio, Dan Mishkin, Berni Wrightson, Mark Crilley, P. Craig Russell, Jim Shooter, Murphy Anderson, Dick Ayers, Tom Batiuk, John Byrne, Dick DeBartolo, Julius Schwartz, and Jeff Smith||Admission: $10/day, $15/weekend|
|November 29–30, 1997||Adam's Mark Hotel||John Byrne, Roger Stern, Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Sergio Aragonés, Mark Evanier, Mart Nodell, Tony Isabella, Joseph Michael Linsner, Sheldon Moldoff, Terry Moore, Steve Lieber, Jim Ottaviani, Paul Smith, Alvin Schwartz, Murphy Anderson, and Bernie Wrightson|
|November 28–29, 1998||Adam's Mark Hotel||Adam West, Frank Gorshin, Tom Batiuk, Tony Isabella, Mark Waid, Paul Storrie, K.C. Carlson, Dan Davis, Roger Stern, Beau Smith, Steve Lieber, Bob Ingersoll, and "Trilogy Tour" II members Jeff Smith, Charles Vess, Linda Medley, Mark Crilley, Jill Thompson, and Stan Sakai|
|November 27–28, 1999||Adam's Mark Hotel||Guest of honor: Harlan Ellison; other guests: Lou Ferrigno, Dawn Wells, Mark Goddard, Gerard Christopher, Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek, Tom Grummett, Karl Kesel, Joe Kelley, Mike Wieringo, Barry Kitson, and Dave Olbrich||20th anniversary show|
|November 25–26, 2000||Hilton Columbus Hotel at Easton Town Center||June Lockhart, Bill Mumy, Angela Cartwright, Jon Provost, and Yvonne Craig||Convention moves to new venue|
|November 24–25, 2001||Hilton Columbus Hotel at Easton Town Center||Dave Gibbons and John Byrne|
|November 30–December 1, 2002||Hilton Columbus Hotel at Easton Town Center||June Lockhart, Yvonne Craig, Ted Raimi, Dick Giordano, Bob Layton, Mark Millar, Mark Evanier, Alan Burnett, Al Feldstein, Jon Provost, Roger Stern, Bob Ingersoll, Paul Jenkins, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Jan Duursema, Jeff Mariotte, Sergio Aragonés, Chuck Rozanski, Tony Isabella, Jeff Smith, David Yukovich, Farel Dalrymple|
|November 29–30, 2003||Hilton Columbus Hotel at Easton Town Center||Mike W. Barr, Brian Michael Bendis, Kevin Eastman, Christopher Golden, David W. Mack, Sean McKeever, Jim Mooney, Michael Avon Oeming, Robin Riggs, Chris Sprouse, Mark Verheiden, Mark Wheatley, Mark Waid, and Matt Wagner. Media guests: Walter Koenig, Brad Dourif, Andy Hallett, David Carradine, Michael Jai White, Yvonne Craig, June Lockhart, and Kathy Garver|
|November 27–28, 2004||Hilton Columbus Hotel at Easton Town Center||Sergio Aragonés, John Byrne, Talent Caldwell, Stan Goldberg, Marc Hempel, David W. Mack, Michael Avon Oeming, Jeff Smith, and Tom Batiuk|
|November 25–26, 2005||Hilton Columbus Hotel at Easton Town Center||Greg Horn, Bob Ingersoll, Matt Feazell, Art Baltazar||25th anniversary show|
|November 25–26, 2006||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center||Herb Trimpe, Beau Smith, Dan Davis, Matt Webb, Darryl Banks, Paul Storrie||Convention moves to new venue|
|November 24–25, 2007||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center||Special guest: Arthur Suydam; other guests: Doug Jones, Noel Neill, Mark Goddard, Raven, Sergio Aragonés, Matt Haley, Barry Kitson, David W. Mack, Tom Mandrake, Sean McKeever, Brian Pulido, and Steve Rude|
|October 4–5, 2008||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center||Dan Mishkin, Chris Claremont, Alan Davis, Joe Kubert, Lou Ferrigno, Jason Mewes, Dick Ayers, Art Baltazar, Tobias S. Buckell, Chris Eliopoulos, Mark Evanier, Gary Friedrich, Mike Grell, Tony Isabella, David W. Mack, Bob McLeod, Steve Rude, P. Craig Russell, Roger Stern, Marc Sumerak, Arthur Suydam, Billy Tucci, Ethan Van Sciver, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, and Bernie Wrightson|
|October 3–4, 2009||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center||Beau Smith, Billy Tucci, Lora Innes, Gary Kwapisz, Ron Frenz, Tony Isabella, Maggie Thompson, Joe Jusko, Michael Golden, Darryl Banks, Jay Fife, Mike Grell, Fred Hembeck, Sean McKeever, Keith Pollard, Josef Rubinstein, P. Craig Russell, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Scott Kolins, and Chris Sprouse|
|November 6–7, 2010||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center||Guests of honor: David Finch and Adam Hughes; special guest: Frank Cho; featured guests: Michael Berryman and Lou Ferrigno. Other guests: Kurt Busiek, Sergio Aragonés, Mark Texeira, Matt Wagner, Jamie Snell, Uko Smith, and Darryl Banks||30th anniversary show|
|October 22–23, 2011||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio||Headline guests: Adam West, Burt Ward, Rob Liefeld; other guests: David W. Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jeff Smith, Arthur Suydam, Pasqual Ferry, Mike Grell, Greg Horn, Phil Jimenez, Michael Golden, Mark Texeira, Charles Skaggs, Chris Sprouse, Eric Wight, Eliza Frye, Steve Hamaker, Ed Piskor, Thomas Scioli, Marc Sumerak, Carol Tyler, and Ryan Ottley|
|September 28–30, 2012||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center||Dean Cain, Lou Ferrigno, Jorge Molina, Greg Horn, Arthur Suydam, Mike McKone, Tom Batiuk, Chad Cicconi, Stuart Sayger, Eliza Dushku, Patrick Stewart, Dirk Strangely||Show renamed Wizard World Ohio Comic Con|
|September 20–22, 2013||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center|
|October 31–November 2, 2014||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center|
|September 18–20, 2015||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center|
|July 29–31, 2016||Battelle Hall, Greater Columbus Convention Center|
Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there are portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies, and such evening events as a costume contest. Traditional events include hours of programming on all aspects of comic books and pop culture. For many years, comics writer/editor Tony Isabella was the show's panel programming director.
A popular event for a number of years (c. 1995–2001) was the panel game show Comic Book Squares, based on Hollywood Squares. In Comic Book Squares, hosted by Joe Edkins, a group of comics industry "celebrities" sat in a squarish setting, answering comic book and guest-related trivia questions while contestants (selected members of the audience) won prizes.
Like most comic book conventions, the Ohio Comic Con features a large floorspace for exhibitors, including comic book dealers and collectibles merchants. The Ohio Comic Con includes an autograph area, as well as an Artists' Alley where comics artists (as well as writers, models, and celebrities) sign autographs and/or sell or do free sketches.
With the show's 2010 acquisition by Wizard Entertainment, according to comics writer Dara Naraghi, complaints arose almost immediately about the change in atmosphere. Whereas once the show was known as relaxed and congenial, and guests were easily accessible to fans, the Wizard-run show forged an aesthetic that Naraghi found to be louder, brasher, and more expensive.
In popular culture
Mid-Ohio Con founder Roger A. Price has appeared as a comic book character in Marvel Comics. In The Star Brand #12, written and penciled by frequent Mid-Ohio Con guest John Byrne, Price is introduced as a Red Cross worker (using a cane, married to Jane Price, and living in Mansfield, Ohio, as in real life) who also claims to be "director of the north central Ohio division of the March of Dimes" (a reference to the Mid-Ohio Con's ongoing support for the March of Dimes). The Price character dies in The Star Brand #14 but is later reborn as a temporary holder of the Star Brand. Altogether, the character appears in six issues of The Star Brand.
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- Press release. "Mid-Ohio Comic Con merges with Ohio Comic Con, launches new website," Comic Book Resources (May 19, 2008).
- Mosby, Chris. "Mid-Ohio-Con Toy Drive," Tales from the Longbox (Nov. 12, 2007).
- Vrattos, Steve. "I Slept with Stan Lee, Part I: The Cleveland Show," Heroes in My Closet (Aug. 7, 2011).
- "This Week in the Arts," Columbus Dispatch (Nov. 21, 1993).
- Corby, Bob. "Oh,Comics! 20th @ Mid-Ohio Con: Oh,Comics! Celebrates 20th Anniversary at Mid-Ohio Con," Back Porch Comics' SPACE (Oct. 1, 2008).
- Feran, Tim. "Comic-Book Convention Includes Auction, Party," Columbus Dispatch (Nov. 24, 1994).
- Van Domelen, Dave. "Dave's Mid-Ohio Con Page," Dave's Online Nest (Dec. 16, 1999).
- Bush, Bill. "Convention Gets Plug on the Funny Pages," Columbus Dispatch (Nov. 28, 1998).
- Press release. "Mid-Ohio-Con & 'Angel's' Andy Hallett support The American Diabetes Association," (Nov. 17, 2003).
- Melrose, Kevin. "Roger Price retiring, selling Mid-Ohio-Con". Newsarama (Jan. 20, 2008).
- Naraghi, Dara (August 25, 2011). "Why I’m not attending Mid-Ohio-Con 2011 (or: Wizard World can go straight to hell)". Ferret Press–PANEL Blog.
- Press release. "Headline Guests Adam West, Burt Ward, Rob Liefeld Announced for 2011!," Wizard Entertainment (Nov. 13, 2010).
- "The Lively Arts," Columbus Dispatch (Nov. 3, 1986).
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- "Top Comic-Book Talents Convene for Aficionados," Columbus Dispatch (Nov. 28, 1996).
- Sangiacomo, Mike. "Superman Vet Had Write Stuff: Alviin Schwartz will make Rare Public Appearance and Discuss Years at DC," Cleveland Plain Dealer (Nov. 27, 1997).
- Conley, Steve. "Mid-Ohio Con Announces Panels Schedule," Comicon.com: The Pulse (Nov. 6, 2002).
- Sidman, Ray. "Comics News and Notes: Trimpe cancels Mid-Ohio-Con cancellation," CBGXtra (Nov. 16, 2006 ).
- Smith, Beau. "Manly Mayhem At Mid-Ohio Con," Busted Knuckles (Nov. 28, 2006).
- Smith, Beau. "Busted Knuckles: The Mid-Ohio Con Report," Comics Bulletin (2009).
- Press release. Mid-Ohio-Con Names Adam Hughes as Special Guest for 30th Anniversary Show," Comic Related (2010). Accessed June 27, 2012.
- Ali, Reyan. "Mid-Ohio-Con Celebrates 30th anniversary," News Journal (06 Nov 2010), p. A.3.
- Press release. 12 Eisner Award winners and nominees to attend Wizard World Mid-Ohio Comic Con," Captain Comics (Sep. 9, 2011).
- Isabella, Tony. "Wizard World Mid-Ohio Comic-Con: A New Hope," Tony Isabella's Bloggy Thing (Oct. 25, 2011).
- Rozanski, Chuck (December 2007). "Roger Price's Wonderful Mid-Ohio-Con". Tales From the Database.
- Seitz, Lee K. "New Universe Timeline," Nuke Me With the New. Accessed May 15, 2015.
- "Roger Price," Comic Vine. Accessed May 15, 2015.