More On The Announced Guest Artists...
Guest Artists Will Include:
Fred Hembeck - Since the tail end of the seventies, Fred has had his work published professionally by such diverse firms as Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Fantaco Enterprises, First Comics, Krause Publications, Fantagraphics Books, Eclipse Enterprises, Topps Comics, Two Morrows Publications, Archie Comics-the list isn't exactly endless, but well, you get the idea. Fred has created one of his unique ‘Across The Page’ illustrations of FINAL CRISIS villain, Libra and The Injustice Gang of The World, which will be debuted at Saratoga Springs Comic Con 2008!
Matt Smith - Matt has worked on many well regarded comic series’ over the years, imparting his stylishly sharp illustrations to such stellar series’ as, STARMAN (death of Ragdoll), SHOWCASE/Dr. Fate, NIGHTCRAWLER, THE PATH, and SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATER – his current title is SUPERNATURAL: ORIGINS
Rob Granito – Rob Granito is a very talented and engaging artist/illustrator who were happy to have returning to SSCC again this year, he has worked for over a dozen years in the fields of Comics, Sci-fi and fantasy. Working for companies such as Warner Brothers, DC comics, Disney, MTV and VH1 where he worked of a variety of medium ranging from cartoons and comic books to novel covers as well as creating sculptures and murals. He also designed the unique one-day special-issue BATMAN postage stamp for The United States Postal Service.
John Hebert – John’s comic publishing portfolio includes dynamic work on such titles as X-Men Adventures, PUNISHER, DEATHLOK, and NOMAD – his Work can also be seen produced via his own, Fifth Horseman Studios
• Garrison Excelsior, the Upstate NY Chapter of Vader’s First 501st Legion, The World’s Definitive Imperial Costuming Organization, will be in attendance and joined by Chris Simonds and his fully functional R2-D2!!!
• The Comic Book Hall of Fame, NY State’s own organization established by Syracuse’s Roger Rautio, will be in attendance to educate all interested parties in their goals for The CBHoF. The CBHoF seeks to honor those who constructed the art & history of comic book lovers favorite art form!!
• The Auction to benefit The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund – The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 to defend the First Amendment rights of comic books and the people who create and sell them. Since its establishment, the Fund has defended dozens of retailers and artists in important First Amendment cases, and provided free legal advice and education to hundreds of others. The CBLDF's guiding principle is that comics should be accorded the same constitutional rights as literature, film, or any other form of expression. If interested in contributing comics, comic art, collectibles or services to be auctioned off for the benefit of The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, please contact us though this site.
In addition to the guest artists and services listed above we have updates on other vendors and artists in attendance:
• SPA CITY COMICS - our neighborhood comic shop, (and owner, Shaun Belisto) where SSCC buys their weekly stash of ‘funny books’ will be in attendance with many great book, toys and other shop merchandise on display that you can find everyday at their Saratoga Springs, Phila Street location
• THE COMIC DEPOT – another fine comic emporium in neighboring, Greenfield Center, NY, (and owner, Darren Carrara) will be represented at the event with more comic merchandise goodness, and Darren will also be hosting our one-day Magic the Gathering, card gaming event
• EXCELLENT ADVENTURES – Ballston Spa’s Comic & Collectibles emporium. John & Matt Belskis have spent the last decade spreading comic fun in upstate NY & we welcome them at SSCC this year!
• STRONGARM LABS - graphic novels, graphic art, and unique product designs featuring zombies, hauntings, science, and other funny things. Brought to you by Mark Gonyea and Sam Girdich.
• BIG DEAL COMICS – Steve Andrews has been buying, selling & trading old/new comics, sports/non-sports cards, toys, books, movies, magazines, and monster/horror memorabilia for over 20 years in Upstate NY
Thanks again for your interest in SSCC 2008 and return to this page for regular updates as we count down to the June 21st event!!!
Magic the Gathering
8 Person Booster Drafts sponsored by the Comic Depot. More information can be found at http://www.comicdepotllc.com/sscc.php.
About the Hero Initiative: The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment. For more information, visit www.HeroInitiative.org or call 310-909-7809.
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Two brothers, Ed and Chuck Brouillette, hosted the city's first comic book convention Saturday, attracting novices and experts from the surrounding Capital Region.
The Brouillettes said they organized the show because they wanted to share their love of one of the country's classically alternative, but increasingly mainstream medium of expression.
Though comics historically had a bad reputation, the brothers and many visitors to the modest convention said they could possibly be the future of literature.
"It costs nothing to make a comic book," said Darren Carrara, 29, owner of The Comic Depot in Greenfield Center.
And the increasingly wideopen conventions allow for a freedom of expression unparalleled by any other popular medium, said Ed Brouillette of Saratoga Springs.
"Now you can print things that would otherwise be riskier," he said.
Plus, their visual format makes the texts more welcoming to readers on a variety of levels.
"Reading comic books as a kid, I'd come across new words and go ask mom or dad about it. There were a lot of big words because they were made by educated people," he said.
But the stories are easier to follow because the illustrations must match the words, said Marc Weinstein, 27, also of Saratoga Springs.
Comics can draw even struggling readers to pick up a text because of the "pictorial storytelling," said Chuck Brouillette.
"You can study it at your own rate," he said. "Kids are able to visualize the story as they read."
Perhaps that is why it was difficult for many fans -- young and old -- to articulate which aspect they liked more: the artwork or the stories.
"It is just a little of both. I like them both the same," said Zachary Bond, 9, of Glenville.
They can also provide accessible, age-appropriate inspiration to aspiring artists or writers.
"I like trying to work with the different styles," said Zack Hays, 14, of Rensselaer County.
"I'm good at writing and artwork, so this seemed like the best thing for me."
Carrara, of Greenfield Center, said he thinks people like comics because they are "fast-paced, have identifiable characters and they can be filled with timely, relevant information or they can be the exact opposite and provide an escape."
With all of these powers combined, Carrara said, comics are becoming increasingly mainstream.
Even Captain America's funeral was prominently featured in mainstream media outlets such as USA Today, he said.
"It is a unique art form," Weinstein said. "It is like professional wrestling, which is an amalgam of all the things that make TV great.
Comic books are an amalgam of all that makes literature great. It is the future of literature."
(Press) Budding Artists Display Their Talents At Comic Book Convention (2007)
Staff Writer, Albany Times Union Newspaper (The article appeared after the show in 2007)
(LEFT): TYLER VITALLO, 9, center, of Ballston Spa and Mike Andrews, 10, of Saratoga Springs dig for action figures.
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Some kids read comics. These kids went a step further. Six Saratoga-area comic book lovers got the chance to see their strips in "Crunchy Comics," a full-blown comic book produced by the Saratoga County Arts Council and were on hand to autograph them at the first Saratoga Comic Con on Saturday.
Josh Porter, 16, wants to be a graphic designer. He said he has been doodling for as long as he can remember, and now in high school "sitting in class hones the skills." The convention was organized by Chuck Brouillette, 44, a Saratoga artist who grew up in Albany, and his brother, Ed. They expected as many as 700 people - some clad in shirts and hats with their favorite characters - to check out vendors and local artists selling comic books and other memorabilia at the Saratoga Springs City Center. The convention also featured a silent auction and let fans meet several prominent retired comic artists. Chuck Brouillette said it was the first comic convention in the Capital District in 20 years. "A lot of people tell me I'm not the typical comic book guy - I am a nerd - and I love to hear that," he said. "It's just great to be in an environment where I have my art all around me."
Crunchy Comics sells for $5 at Spa City Comics on Phila Street, Saratoga Springs.