Big Sandy is host to sci-fi, comic fans

Published 8:49 am Monday, June 4, 2018

Annual Tri-Con takes place in Huntington

HUNTINGTON — The Big Sandy Superstore Arena played host to comic, fantasy and science fiction fans on Saturday.

The annual Tri-Con event took place, featuring artists, writers, vendors and more.

Tri-Con, now in its seventh year, was founded by James Maddox and regularly draws hundreds of costumed fans to downtown Huntington for the summer event.

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Writer Beau Smith, of Ceredo, was on hand, selling copies of his work, “Wynonna Earp.”

Smith first published his creation in 1996 for Image Comics and currently puts the book out through IDW Publishing.

The character has been adapted into a television series, which now airs on SyFy.

“Our third season starts in July,” Smith said.

With 31 years in the business, Smith has worked for DC Comics, Image, IDW, Eclipse and many other publishers.

“I’ve worked for pretty much everyone except Marvel,” he said, then adding that he did once work one-shot issue the company published with Crusade comics, teaming their popular character Wolverine with artist Bill Tucci’s creator-owned character Shi.

His partner on that issue, Tucci was set up near Smith, selling copies of Shi and other comics he has worked on, as well as doing commissioned art for customers.

Smith said he plans to release a new Wynnona Earp graphic novel through IDW later this year.

The event drew many independent writers and artists, such as Steve Steiner, of Columbus, who works on the self-published Mullet Turtle Comics.

He described work as “humorous comics and zines.” A graphic designer by trade, many of his zines contained parody advertisements for bizarre products.

Steiner said this was his first visit to Huntington, but he regularly visits conventions to promote his work.

Tri-Con wrapped up with a costume contest, which included entrants dressed as a range of characters, such as Deadpool, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, the Joker, Star Trek officers,  Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Poison Ivy.

The top winner was Marley Kiser, as Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King’s “It.”

The Big Sandy will play host to another genre convention later this year, Tsubacon, which centers around anime and video games and has taken place annually since 2004.

It is set for Oct. 5-7.