New Comicon to feature ‘Dr. Strange’ artist

If you’re a comic-book fan who has wished there were more comic-related events in Cincinnati, then you’re in luck, thanks largely to your fellow fans.

The inaugural Queen City Comicon will take place Saturday at the Duke Convention Center.

The new event is organized by the proprietors of the Cincinnati Comic Expo, which is held in September.

“Fans have been asking us for a second event,” said Matt Bredestege, administrator for the Comic Expo and the Queen City Comicon. “We wanted to space it out because there will be a lot of similarities. It’s a single-day event. We’ll see what the interest is. It would be great to have another event on the other side of the year.”

While the Cincinnati Comic Expo is known for having a broad scope beyond comic books, inviting celebrities from sci-fi TV shows and films, Bredestege said that the Expo didn’t start out that way. Due to the Queen City Comicon being an unknown commodity, like any first-time event, its origins will be on a similarly smaller scale.

“There are a lot of financial commitments to (bringing in celebrities),” he said. “We don’t want to start off that way. With the Expo, we didn’t start doing that until the third or fourth year. Whether it will follow the way of the Expo is up to the fans. If it’s successful, we’ll grow it.”

Indeed, only two of the three panels have been finalized so far. One is “Does My Hair Look Right?,” which is targeted at cosplay enthusiasts. The other is called “Comic Creators of the Midwest.”

Bredestege said, “There’s just a wealth of talent here, so local artists will be talking about what they’ve done.”

As far as the big-draw comic-book artists go, they will include Dave Aikins (“SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Dora the Explorer”), Craig Boldman (“Archie”) and Frank Brunner, who worked on the Dr. Strange and Howard the Duck comic books for Marvel Comics in the 1970s.

Brunner may be especially significant, because this November “Dr. Strange” will become the latest big Hollywood film to be adapted from Marvel Comics. The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams.

While Brunner has worked on many comic-book characters and story lines, he said he was partial to “Dr. Strange,” because he illustrated a great deal of it.

He is circumspect about the movie: “Hollywood will do their own version,” he said. “From the photos I’ve seen, they’ve made a lot of character changes. … Whether I like it (or audiences like it) remains to be seen.”

Brunner said he does about six or seven appearances per year. This is his first time in Cincinnati, and he said he’ll most likely be signing books, doing sketches and answering questions.

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Contact this contributing writer at aaronepple@gmail.com.

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