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Hall of Fame City Comic Con 2017

Saturday, I attended the Hall of Fame City Comic Con, held in Canton, Ohio. I’m not sure when, exactly, they got on my ‘radar,’ though I think they might have been a Facebook ad (one of the astronomically-rare few to be properly, successfully "targeted," but that’s another story).

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After being thoroughly burned on the NEO Comic Con, I wasn’t entirely sure what to "expect" from this one, and very nearly opted not to go. But since I had pre-ordered a ticket, I figured it’d be silly not to, even if I walked in, did a quick walk-around and walked back out.

Going in, two of my main "goals" were to meet/get stuff signed by Norm Rapmund and Ethan Van Sciver.

I also wanted to find a bunch of Savage Dragon comics on the cheap.

And find some good deals on collected volumes that weren’t just the same old boring/repetitive mix of $10 Marvel hardcovers and SKINNY TPBs.

Finally, there was a Green Lantern panel scheduled with both Daryl Banks and Ethan Van Sciver that seemed likely to be interesting (Banks was the artist of the fall of Hal Jordan; Van Sciver was the artist on the redemption of Hal Jordan). Plus, it was the only one that seemed to hit me as a demographic, involving any kind of super-hero comics.

So…how did this con go?

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I had three Booster Gold issues with me to get signed by Mr. Rapmund. I wound up sticking with two, though…but could easily had multiple dozens of issues, loving so much of what the man’s done!

Then for Mr. Van Sciver, I opted for my "key" issue where I first became really aware of him as an artist–Green Lantern Rebirth #1.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything with me to get signed by Mr. Banks…something I fully intend to correct in a few weeks if I make it to another con I’m aware of that he’s supposed to be a featured guest at!

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I happened across a booth with a bunch of paperbacks, and initially figured to be just another one selling a bunch of over-stocked skinny Marvel books. But I spotted a fat, thick volume, and realized that this booth actually had some real QUALITY stuff for its pricing. I regret a couple volumes I passed on, but still wound up with these eight (8!) volumes.

I believe the paperback Marvels all have a cover price of at least $34.99, if not $39.99 apiece. And I happened to notice a $29.99 price on the hardcover The Puma Blues (a title that caught my attention due to recently becoming re-aware of the title thanks to research I did for my Super-Blog Team Up post The Death of the Mighty Mutanimals. It’s by Stephen Murphy and Michael Zulli; long associated with their Mirage Studios work with the Ninja Turtles.

Each of these worked out to a whopping $5 apiece…so I’m kicking myself all the more for those couple of Wolverine books I passed up!

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After the Green Lantern panel, I headed back out onto the floor, and wound up stopping at a booth with a bunch of Pops because I saw a Swamp Thing, and because of the flow of foot traffic. Once I’d looked at some stuff and was ready to walk away…I spotted a familiarly-packaged Superboy, and on further investigation found Eradicator as well as the black-suited Superman. There was no way in heck I was spending to buy all three…so I selected the Eradicator, finding the design a lot more appealing to me, and this is a figure I’ve wanted for quite a long time!

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Realizing I was blowing my budget, I decided to call it a wrap, knowing anything else I was likely to find would probably put me way over-budget. But on my way out, I opted to buy a copy of this "autograph print," for the art and being a ‘souvenir’ of the con, even though I should have bought it on the way in and then made the rounds to get it signed by all six guests. But then, I’m not an autograph hound, and prefer that when I get signatures for comic stuff, it’s the actual comics and they mean something to me. Not "just" some signature on a print for the sake of filling in some blanks. And I assume the sale of these prints help out the con itself, so figured why not?

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I also stopped back in at an entrance-way table, where as I’d "suspected," there were still plenty of these Voltron posters. I dug the look of this, and didn’t want to be carrying something like it around the whole con…but grabbed it on the way out.

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On the way home, having had the Pops-spark rekindled a bit for the day, I stopped at a Toys R Us hoping to find the Rafiki figure with baby Simba, but no luck. They did have this Clayface, which I’d looked for elsewhere and not seen, and assumed to be one of the oversized figures. Finding it and not wanting to have to "hunt" for it later, went ahead and snagged it!

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Along with getting those Booster Gold issues signed, also got to get a photo with Mr. Rapmund!

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And what I’d "pictured" as just getting a quick photo of the men from the fall and redemption of Hal Jordan wound up with me being in the photo with Mr. Banks and Mr. Van Sciver!


So, all in all…for me, this was about as excellent a convention as I could have hoped for, in going to it alone and not seeing any obvious 25 or 50 cent bins, and being somewhat jaded from other experiences.

I am glad I went, and have to say I’m extremely eager to read more of the Green Lantern run Mr. Banks did the art for, and to get a couple things signed by him in November.

I definitely enjoyed the panel, generally enjoying hearing favored creators speak about their work and various other things in the "comics industry," and very much enjoyed some of the topics covered in the panel. In its way, the panel itself was practically worth the price of admission in itself!

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Zero Hour Revisited – Green Lantern #55

90srevisited_zerohour

green_lantern_0055Assault & Battery

Story: Ron Marz
Pencils: Daryl Banks, Derec Aucoin, Craig Hamilton
Inks: Romeo Tanghal, Craig Hamilton, Ray Snyder
Colors: Steve Mattsson
Letters: Albert DeGuzman
Assists: Eddie Berganza
Editor: Kevin Dooley
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: September 1994
Cover Price: $1.50

This is a pretty simple issue. Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) is getting his butt handed to him in a fight with Major Force. Of course, it’s Major Force that deserves the beatdown–he killed Kyle’s girlfriend and stuffed her remains in a refrigerator…but that’s more a story and topic for some other post. As the hero takes a beating, refusing to give up his ring to the villain, it looks like it’s all over…but then MF wants one final answer from Kyle regarding a chunk of green rock found in the alley where he got his ring. This turns out to be the key to recharging Kyle’s ring, and he quickly defeats the villain…before the battle is cut short by the intervention of the LA Special Crimes Unit. Refusing to stick around for questioning, Kyle flies off. Waiting at his apartment, though, is another man who’d been known as Green Lantern–Alan Scott. Scott fills Kyle in on the basic background of the former Green Lantern Corps. As Kyle processes what he’s just learned, Superman and Metron show up to recruit him.

As tie-in issues go, thus far I’ve far preferred the Batman issue, feeling like it actually took place in the midst of the unfolding event. The Flash issue only just barely–at its end–touched the event, and now basically the same thing for this Green Lantern issue. I’d actually consider this almost a "Red Skies" tie in–that is, you DON’T actually need to read this to get anything extra, really, pertaining to the Zero Hour event. Having the context allows for a bit of empathy later in that story from what I recall, but for right this moment, I’m a bit disappointed by how un-connected this issue was.

I read this issue back when it first came out–after Green Lantern’s involvement in Reign of the Supermen and learning of new goings-on with the title, I jumped in with #50 (Hal’s villainous turn) and then followed the title from Kyle’s FULL premiere in #51 (which was functionally a #1, but in an age when titles didn’t get rebooted just because someone blinked)…so I was getting this issue anyway, it just happened to be part of Zero Hour.

The art isn’t bad, though there are a few more names involved with the art than I’m used to…whatever the case, if I didn’t see the list in the credits I don’t think I would have actually noticed…I just kinda flew through the issue, consciously trying to remember other details from this early, early part of Kyle’s run to contextualize. Story-wise, this is essentially a #5 issue, so Kyle is still being established, and there’s no real feel for him quite yet…so this works well, tossing the rookie hero into things as part of his initial journey.

As the issue of Green Lantern that this is, it’s worthwhile, and definitely a meaningful issue in the early development of Kyle…but as a Zero Hour issue, it’s tangential and really not needed (though I recall the #0 issue of the title being VERY tightly tied to the events of Zero Hour!).

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