The Long Island Comic Book Expo returns to Melville
It’s comic book season as the Long Island Comic Book Expo makes its triumphant return to the Hilton Long Island/Huntington in Melville on Saturday and Sunday.
“It took three years, but we’re back,” says event organizer Greg Aiossa. “Comic books are at the forefront of pop culture now. All of the most popular movies have superheroes, so it creates this massive fandom.
The two-day affair is all about family fun that includes character cosplay, superhero shopping, panel programming, and meeting comic book artists.
VARIETY OF SUPPLIERS
There will be two ballrooms filled with over 150 vendors selling a wide variety of comics and related memorabilia.
LONG ISLAND COMIC FAIR
WHEN OR 10am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday; Hilton Long Island/Huntington, 598 Broadhollow Road, Melville
ADMISSION $10 per day, $15 for a weekend pass, children 12 and under are free
Ronkonkoma’s Genesis Comics & Gaming will occupy three tables selling collectible card games like Magic: the Gathering and Pokémon as well as comic books in a wide range of price points.
“There’s a mix of more expensive stuff and cheaper stuff,” says store owner William Tammany. “We’ll have X-Men #1 rated 3.5 for $12,500 books at $2 and paperbacks at $5.”
Shoreham’s Ianniello Collectables is set to display hundreds of unique Pez dispensers.
“We have every genre available, from ‘Harry Potter’ to ‘Frozen’ to ‘X-Men’ and ‘Star Wars’ – every genre is there,” says collector Thomas Ianniello. “There are so many cute gifts you can buy for kids for $10-$15 and the packaging is very nice. Even adults love them.
Paladins of Cosplay is hosting three cosplay contests – one for adults on Saturday and two for kids ages 12 and under as well as ages 13-17 on Sunday (times TBD). Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place with some honorable mentions.
“What we’re looking for in the cosplay contest will be judged on craftsmanship, character embodiment, and the overall aesthetic of the costume,” said Paladins founder Lawrence Asuncion. “A primary factor will be that the costume must be 75% made by the competitor. However, children will not be required to have homemade costumes.
A video arcade is operated by the Gamer’s Club of West Hempstead offering free play on a range of game consoles. Make-up, balloon animal and painting classes are also planned, as well as panels on cosplaying, self-publishing, creating a comic book with freelance comic book writer Pat Shand of Coram (“Destiny, NY”), as well as creative writing and drawing panels. Additionally, the 1966 Batmobile will be on display for photo ops on Sunday and the zombie car from “Resident Evil” both days.
Expo guests can come face-to-face with the creators of the comics to have books signed, purchase prints and take selfies with the artists.
Colorist/editor/writer Renée Witterstaetter, who worked on ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Silver Surfer’, ‘The Thanos Quest’, ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘She-Hulk’, will sell and autograph copies of her new book, “Cloaked Crusader: George Washington in Comics and Pop Culture.”
“Fans of the shows give me feedback on what certain books mean to them. I especially get that from people who read the ‘She-Hulk’ comics,” Witterstaetter says. “She’s a very strong woman. and confident with her looks and abilities. I always felt that she radiated such positivity.
Illustrator Arthur Suydam, who designed iconic covers for ‘Marvel Zombies’, ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Black Panther’, will sign prints of The Man With No Name cover he created with Clint Eastwood as zombie.
“Meeting fans is one of the highlights of the industry for me,” says Suydam. “I’ll even do a few little sketches on the comics if they want.”
Inker/Cartoon/Artist Rodney Ramos, known for his work on “Toxic Avenger”, “What If?” and “Conan the Barbarian”, likes to inspire the next generation of artists.
“I strongly encourage kids to draw and make more artwork,” Ramos says. “They always light up and are happy about it, which is nice to see.”
THE DOCTOR IS INSIDE
Get ready to travel back in time as Long Island’s 9th Annual “Doctor Who” Convention takes place at the Holiday Inn in Holtsville Saturday and Sunday. The beloved British sci-fi series, which is celebrating its 59th anniversary and coming to Disney+ in 2023, is the centerpiece of the two-day event.
At this year’s con, the man who played 5th Doctor Peter Davison (1982-1984) will be the main celebrity guest.
“Davison will be appearing in his ‘Doctor Who’ costume for the first time in 30 years for photo ops,” organizer Ken Deep said. “He doesn’t make a ton of appearances in the United States, so it’s not a common occurrence.”
Along with a series of panels, a cosplay contest and vendors all dedicated to “Doctor Who,” there will be a launch party for the new book, “A World of Demons: The Villains of Doctor Who.” .
“This show lives on because it’s incredibly positive,” says Deep, the book’s co-author. “The hero does not carry a weapon, he uses his brain. Plus, he’s always reinventing himself, which breathes fresh air into the series.
For tickets and more information, visit: longislanddoctorwho.com. — DAVID J. CRIBLEZ