Cape Comic Con has super weekend

Sunday, April 22, 2012
Customers browse through comics at a booth at the Cape Comic Con 2012 at the Osage Center in Cape Girardeau Saturday, April 21. (Adam Vogler)

Comic book collectors, costumed enthusiasts and gaming fans filled the Osage Centre on Friday and Saturday for the start of the seventh annual Cape Comic Con.

Organizer Ken Murphy said the event, which features vendors, workshops, contests and gaming, continues to grow by leaps and bounds every year.

"We just keep expanding our reach and have grown tremendously over the years," Murphy said. "The first year, it was small enough to have it in the Riverview Room of Buckner's. I believe only 300 people showed up. This year we will easily have over 900 guests for the weekend."

As the show has grown, it has taken place at a variety of locations, including Buckner, West Park Mall and the University Rec Center. But Murphy says the Osage Centre has allowed the convention to gain fans and continue expanding, and brought in more vendors.

"We have definitely found a home at the Osage Centre. The facility is comfortable for our guests and fans alike," Murphy said. "And having the show at the same time of year and same place every year is key to our growth."

For vendors, the show provides a way to attract new customers. For attendees, Cape Con gives fans the chance to meet a variety of artists and writers, and also get together with people of similar interests.

"It's tough to explain, but for me this is like going to a Cardinals game or a big rock concert. I get to hang around hundreds of people who have the same passion as me," said David Strafford of Paducah, Ky. "I love walking in the door and it's full of stuff I spend hours and hours digging into."

One of this year's featured artists, Brian Koschak, was kept busy signing autographs, sketching artwork and talking with fans. He said that while he has attended larger comic cons, he really enjoys the intimate setting of Cape Comic Con.

"The ultimate reason we do this is to meet the fans," he said. "Cape Con gives me a chance to visit with everyone and discuss the art. Most fans don't get to go to the huge conventions in places like Chicago, but Ken has set up a similar experience here in Cape."

Cape Con is also featuring a full-service gaming center that includes Magic: The Gathering, Pathfinder and HeroClix, and tournaments with areas for open play. For many, this means an opportunity to show off their skills and develop strategy.

"You can't beat getting the chance to play all weekend," said Larry Harrison of Poplar Bluff, Mo. "Coming here and playing Magic with new people is also more of a challenge. Only so many people play around my area, and this really tests me as a gamer."

As in past shows, this year's event included a large number of costumed customers. Saturday's adult and children's costume contests featured a variety of characters from comics, movies, television and games. The winner of the adult competition, Ron McAdams of Cape Girardeau, said a lot of time and effort goes into planning a memorable costume.

"My costume took about six months to complete, but it was definitely worth it," said McAdams, who dressed as Barf from the Mel Brooks film "Spaceballs." "I have to say, though, that I was surprised to win. Not that I don't have a great costume, but everyone really put a lot into their character."

Today is the last day of the Cape Comic Con; it's open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, go to www.cape-con.com.

jsamons@semissourian.com

388-3641

Pertinent address:

1625 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau

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