Fans flock to Free State Comicon

Craig Klotz at Free State Comicon 2011
Craig Klotz is the promoter of Free State Comicon. (Click to enlarge.)

Hundreds of comics fans attended the Free State Comicon in Lawarence, Kansas, on Saturday. Promoter Craig Klotz and his team managed an event that featured more than 30 special guests and more than 20 vendors for a day of fun.

Event highlights included the first area convention appearance of comics artist Terry Beatty since he moved to the Kansas City metro area this summer. Beatty was surprised to be greeted by a real life cosplay version of his comics character Wild Dog.

The guests included veteran comics creators such as Ande Parks (Green Arrow, Capote in Kansas) and Steve Lightle (Legion of Superheroes, Marvel Comics Presents) as well as newer creators,  webcomics cartoonists, and small press publishers..

Check out the photo gallery after the jump.

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Local Comics Shops and You!

Guest Column By CW Cooke

CW Cooke
CW Cooke is a professional comic book writer based in Kansas City.

Have you ever used the website comicshoplocator? It’s an amazing tool that can show you places you’ve never been. It can lead you to a wonderful world of comics that you might have never even knew existed.

I can tell you right now that I haven’t used it in years. I used to use it once in a blue moon just to see if a new shop opened without me knowing about it. And it seems that today there are two comic shops I had no idea about, right under my nose.

Go to the site and put in an area code. I used 66204 just for grins and it came up with six different comic shops. Three are legit comic shops I’ve been to many times, one is Vintage Stock which has their own pull lists and comics that actually does indeed make it a comic shop, and two I’d never heard of. But I will be checking out. That’s for sure.

Put in any zip code you can and it might lead you on an adventure you never thought possible. But you might also be wondering why I’m asking about this. It’s simple.

Last week it was announced that all four Atomic Comics shops were closing. They were located in Arizona and had an amazing website devoted to selling comics and comic book related merchandise. I used to frequent their website as well, checking out books before they came out, using their website often as a link for many people across the country to find books that I was reviewing for another website.

And now here we are, and they’re closing.

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Local comic book writer takes on the the royal wedding

The Royals
The Royals

Some people care about the Friday’s wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, while others set their phasers on “ignore.” For one local writer, it didn’t matter which group he was in, it was his job to learn every detail about the royal couple.

CW Cooke’s latest comic book is The Royals: Prince William & Kate Middleton, a comics biography of the future King and Queen of England. The Kansas City-based scribe has previously penned several other bio-comics for publisher Bluewater Productions.

The 32-page comic book retails for $3.99 and is available in comic book shops now. A 40-page collectors edition graphic novel is available in bookstores for $7.99.

“This has been one of Bluewater’s most anticipated biography books,” said Darren Davis, president of Bluewater, “Fans of the royal couple will love this issue for portraying William and Kate as two well-rounded and grounded individuals. But it also has enough pomp and spectacle to match the excitement surrounding the event.”

CW Cooke will be appearing at Pop Culture Comix on Free Comic Book Day, May 7th, from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Pop Culture Comix is located at 9337 W 87th St in Overland Park, Kansas.