Youngstown Comic Con Roars Back to Life This Weekend

CANFIELD, Ohio – After a three-year hiatus, Youngstown Comic Con will return this weekend, setting up shop at the new event center at the Canfield Fairgrounds.

The event will include more than 250 vendors of comics, toys and pop culture items, plus luminaries of the comics, film and wrestling worlds.

Topping the guest list is Jim Steranko, a groundbreaking comic writer, artist, filmmaker and novelist. Steranko is no stranger to the Valley. He has appeared at the Comic Con in the past, and last year he showed dozens of his paintings in a major exhibition at The Butler Institute of American Art.

Steranko is revered as an innovator whose influence is everywhere in his field. He’s best known for the critical role he played in creating the Marvel Comics phenomenon with Stan Lee in the 1960s. The writer and illustrator of the “Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD” comic, Steranko revolutionized comic books by introducing many new approaches to storytelling and art. He was also a major player in shaping the Captain America, The Hulk, Superman and X-Men characters.

Now in his 80s, Steranko loves to engage with fans.

The Canfield Fairgrounds event center, which is only a few years old, represents a new location for the Comic Con. In the past, the event took place at Covelli Centre and Packard Music Hall.

The festival is now owned and operated by Corey Ward, who also operates the Ribs N Rock festival in Boardman. Ward bought the festival from Greg Bartholomew last year. Bartholomew is the owner of All American Cards and Comics in Warren and Boardman.

This year’s list of guests also includes actor Daniel Logan, who is best known for his portrayal of young Boba Fett in the 2002 film “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.”

Also appearing will be Hanna-Barbera and Filmation Studios animator Tom Cook; actress Debbe Dunning (“Home Improvement”); and wrestlers Sid Vicious, Christy Hemme and Debra.

There will be a cosplay contest at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets to the Youngstown Comic Con are $10 ($15 for a two-day pass) and can be purchased at the gate. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Enter the fairgrounds through Gate 9.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.