Founder expects more than 1,000 at two-day Cape Comic Con

Sunday, May 2, 2010
The Bayles family of superheroes Saturday, May 1, 2010, during the fifth annual Cape Comic Con at the Osage Community Centre. From left, Joshua, Scott, Ashley, Abby, and Sarah. (LAURA SIMON)

Comic book collectors, gamers, costumers and fans filled the Osage Community Centre on Saturday for the start of the fifth annual Cape Comic Con.

Founder Ken Murphy said the show, which features vendors, workshops and gaming, continues to become more popular.

"It has grown tremendously over the years. That first year we had it in the River Room of Buckner's Brewery and 400 people showed up. This year we will have over 1,000 guests for the weekend," Murphy said.

As the show continued to grow, it took place at a variety of locations, but Murphy said he is pleased the convention has found a permanent residence.

"We have found a home at the Osage Centre. It will be here every year during the last weekend of April or the first weekend of May," he said.

Murphy said having the show at the same time and place every year is key to its growth.

"I want to make it a regionally recognized show where vendors and local artists and professional artists and writers from an eight-state area put it on their calendar and plan on attending. I want them to know that it is a successful show and they can make contacts and build their fan base," he said.

One of this year's featured artists, Ethan Van Sciver, was at the show to sign autographs, sketch commissioned artwork and to talk with fans. He said while he attends the larger comic conventions in Chicago, San Diego and New York, he really enjoys the intimacy of the smaller shows.

"The purpose of touring is to meet fans," he said. "The smaller shows are a way to hit all corners of the country. The out-of-the-way shows are most appealing because you get to go to places where people don't have access to some of the larger shows."

Van Sciver is the artist of many popular DC Comics titles, including The Flash Rebirth and Green Lantern. For this year's show, he created a special logo that was featured on prints and shirts.

Fans get the chance to meet artists and writers but also meet people with similar interests.

"It is pretty fun here. Coming here and playing with new people is more of a challenge. You don't know what to expect from them," Dakota Harper of Benton, Mo., said as he took a break from playing Monsterpocalypse. The show has a full-service gaming center with tournaments and areas for open play.

As in past shows, this year's show had a large costume presence. Attendees dressed as their favorite characters from movies, comics and games during the show's two costume contests.

The winner of the adult competition said a lot of time and effort goes into planning the costumes.

"I am Pyramid Head from the movie 'Silent Hill,'" said Shane Hudson of Osceola, Ark. "My costume took about six months to complete, but it was definitely worth it. This is my first time here, but I will definitely come again,"

Vendors said the show provided an opportunity to attract new customers.

"The show broadens our base and helps get kids hooked on comics and reading," said Jack Huskey, owner of Marvels & Legends Comic Shop in Cape Girardeau.

The show continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

Pertinent address:

1625 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, MO

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