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Lake Effect Comic Con 2018

This past weekend, I went to the 9th annual Lake Effect Comic Con, in Mentor, Ohio. (Think northeast Ohio, a couple miles south of Lake Erie–hence "lake effect!"). The convention started out at the Great Lakes Mall (still in Mentor)…I don’t recall the first couple–they may have been inside the mall itself, but don’t quote me! The ones I remember were in the movie theater lobby, of the theater sharing a parking lot with the mall. And several years ago, this con outgrew that space and moved to the Holiday Inn where I believe this is the third year.

It’s hosted by Comics and Friends, a comic shop in the Great Lakes Mall that I sure as heck wish had been around when I was a kid!

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With various things going on in my personal life, I wasn’t originally "sold" on attending. But when I found out that Dirk Manning was going to be there, I was "sold."

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Since the last time I’d seen him (at Fantasticon back in March), he’d put out The Adventures of Cthulhu Jr. and Dastardly Dirk #1…which I’ve been wanting to get (and ideally in person, at that!). So I snagged that, as well as Then It Was Dark, which is an anthology volume he’s got a story in. (I resisted Tales of Mr. Rhee as I backed a Kickstarter at a level that includes all the volumes of that series). And of course, signed, which is a fun bonus to getting these in-person!

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And for the first time since I’ve been catching him at conventions, I had stuff that I took with me to get signed!

Back in December 2017, at a sale at RuppsComics, I’d come across the first issue of Nightmare World #1 from Ape Entertainment and got that…easily a diamond in the rough! Of course, I couldn’t find the thing back in March, but had managed to in time for this convention. Very cool having this early edition of such an early issue.

And–fun to learn–Dirk showed me where one of the pieces in the issue is different from the final collected version due to a situation with the art that had to be redrawn. I’m pretty sure this is the first instance I have–specifically–of that sort of thing, and I really dig it! To be able to compare an original "version" with a redrawn version and see how they hold up against one another…a rare opportunity!

I also had my Kickstarter edition of the Nightmare World Omnibus, which even though I think it came with a signed bookplate, is not the same as getting the actual book signed in-person!

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Though I’ve meant to previously and didn’t, this time I finally got a photo of Dirk! He’s got quite a selection of stuff available, in multiple formats, and I love seeing his displays. Especially now, with Hope and Cthulhu Jr. included!

Sadly, in trying to be quick so as to not block an aisle or hold anyone up trying to get by…I did not properly frame the photo,cutting off part of the table, as well as Dirk‘s name from his banner…which otherwise is almost perfectly positioned!

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And along with the first photo of Dirk, got my first photo with him, as well!

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In my further wanderings, I came across the guys who do Canada Bear, which was quite cool–I’d already gotten the first two issues from Comic Heaven last year, and hadn’t realized that they had the third issue out already. They also had some prints, and I really liked this Thanos one, so ended up buying it along with the comic.

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I wasn’t all that impressed with the general comics or collected volumes selections at the con. Or at least, I wasn’t seeing much that would spur me to somewhat "randomly" buy something I wasn’t specifically "on the hunt" for. Nothing was matching or beating the selection and pricing I get regularly at Comic Heaven and Kenmore Komics, two stores that really set the standard for me.

But then I did find some bins with books $5 each or 5/$20 that actually had some "worthwhile" books–that is, not Marvel Premiere Edition hardcovers nor exclusively skinny 6-issue books. While $5 (or $4 with the bulk price) is not bad, it’s still not generally "worth it" to ME on "typical" Marvel paperbacks.

But then, when they’re these massive $35+ paperbacks for that $5, they’re absolutely worthwhile to me. And then with the "bulk" price…I got these for the price of any standard Marvel comic presently being published.

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Along with the paperbacks, on the way out there were some Heroclix figures on the freebie table, so I snagged Nebula…because why not?


lake_effect_comic_con_2018hAs said…I wasn’t originally "sold" on attending this convention, but ended up going because Dirk Manning was going to be there.

Though I wasn’t myself interested in many of the booths, I saw a lot of comics as well as comics-related stuff. I saw several costumes–though I was in and out/gone a couple hours before the cosplay stuff.

If I was on-point looking for pre-1990s comics, I’d’ve likely had my fill…but I wasn’t looking for single issues over 50 cents apiece.

I lucked out with my timing on getting to the hotel, and found an empty (and valid) parking spot just to the side of the building, so didn’t have too far to walk to get inside. No problem with getting in and paying for admission, and being directed to the convention space itself.

The overall space was a bit tight, and I’m glad I got there on the early side, as I hardly want to imagine much more of a crowd present, as I don’t tend to do well long-term with small spaces and lots of people. Getting around was fine for me as an able-bodied individual…I didn’t really look for and so couldn’t begin to say in terms of getting around as part of a group, or disability or such.

I do think this one’s outgrowing this space as well, at least as a casual/outside observer.

There was another convention in Akron on Sunday as well, but for where I’m at personally, I would not have made it out given the distance (and lack of Dirk). This Lake Effect convention was about as "local" as I could ask for, so ultimately as the comics person that I am, there’d have to be something really wrong for me to not actually go (even if I’d be in and out in 20 minutes).

It’s also quite cool to see the "community" in the space. I’m more of an "observer" than "active participant," so just "showing up"–especially by myself–is actually a fairly significant thing for me.

I don’t know if I’d quite use the word "fun" for myself for the con–but that’s COMPLETELY me and being quite the introvert. But I am glad that I went, and definitely look forward to the 2019 con!

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Lake Effect Comic Con Haul 2015

This weekend was the (I believe 6th) annual Lake Effect Comic Con in Mentor, OH at the Great Lakes Mall (specifically the Atlas Cinema). This is a local one-day show, primarily a "dealer’s room," but also an Artists’ Alley, and a small slate of events–a couple panels, a costume/cosplay contest, etc. The event is organized by the owner of Comics and Friends, a comic shop in the mall (that I find it hard to believe has been there so long now!)

I’ve been to at least 4 of these now, with varying degrees of luck finding stuff I’m looking for. One year I found a bunch of X-Men and Valiant stuff; another year I happened across an X-Men omnibus for 60% off cover minutes after walking in and bought it and walked out before I could spend more money. I believe it was last year I scored several action figures I’d been looking for.

I went in hoping to find a discounted Thanos vs. Hulk paperback or X-O Manowar deluxe hardcover vol. 1 and barring those, perhaps a Thanos Mighty Mugg or perhaps the Hulkbuster Iron Man Marvel Select, or maybe some cool quarter-bin issues or Power Rangers blind-box mystery vinyls, etc. Sadly, the only real bargain bins I saw were Comic Heaven and I have access to that store anytime I’m (frequently) in the area.

But one dealer had a bunch of old toys, mostly loose, as well as several classic board games…and Munchkin.

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I’ve been putting the newer Munchkin Legends in my cart at Target and then jettisoning the thing before I check out for over a year, and often considering some of the expansions elsewhere when I come across them (and not getting those for lack of having the core/original game).

Finding this "classic edition" for only $12 was a great find, and means I can at least play the game itself.

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I came across this Minimates Enterprise (with Captain Kirk) and picked it up, put it back, picked it up again, put it back, walked away, and then back to actually get it. Despite being a Star Trek fan, until now I’ve never actually had an Enterprise, and for the price (and the branding), I decided this is worthwhile and will definitely get some shelf space.

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There’s also the coolness factor for me that it’s the Original Series and not based on the new movies version. While I like the new movies, I like the "classic" stuff and it seems there’s much more available than for the new films.

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And I was recently remembering the classic/original Pokemon stuff, and finding the complete original mini-series for only $3 was well worthwhile.

With these three items, I figured I had spent enough and didn’t need to go looking for more to spend money on just for the sake of spending money; and since I hadn’t really seen anything particularly eye-catching or promising…that was that.

I was in and out in under a half-hour, spending only about what I’d usually spend in a typical weekly comic shop run, so I did well, and walked out with half my "budget" still in-pocket, which itself can now go to this week’s new comics.

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