NWI Comic-Con is the best and biggest comic convention in Northwest Indiana. We were able to interview the show-runner, Brian Grabinski, who gave us some insight on what exactly will be going down and some of the fun events con-goers can participate in. Don’t miss out on NWI Comic-Con 2015!
Last year’s comic-con had an amazing turnout, what are some of the new aspects of this year’s comic con to help enhance the experience? What are you most excited for?
This year’s event will feature a magic show by the amazing Obtuse, a live special FX demo performed by two former SyFy Channel contestants; Scott Mitchell and Gabby Leithsceal, and a live pop-rock concert performed by the Chicago based band, Phosphene. But this is a “Comic-Con” so let’s not forget some of our professional and well established VIP guests; Cory Hamscher, Hilary Barta, Jim Terry, Mike Norton and Tim Seeley to name a few. Not to mention our awesome artist alley and double the amount of dealers. Plus, this event will also feature a separate gaming room plus a Cosplay Corner with a Cosplay Lounge for cosplayers to take a break, mend their costumes and more.
What am I most excited about? I would have to say the entire show! This comic book convention is much bigger than last year’s and with a bigger show comes more responsibilities, more organization, and more planning. I just want to ride this crazy train to the end and see all the attendees coming together and having a good time. This will make everything that happens behind the scenes well worth it.
What is your main objective in hosting the NWI comic con? What do you hope to bring to the community?
As you know, Northwest Indiana currently doesn’t host a large capacity comic-con like the ones they have out in Indianapolis or Chicago. My objective is to change that by hopefully making the mid-sized NWI Comic-Con a yearly event. Why should all the “major cities” be the only ones to have all the fun? We can have an affordable, one-day, amazing Comic-Con right here in the Northwest Indiana region.
This area already has a growing ‘Geek Community’ with all of the local comic, anime, and gaming shops. I just bring them all together, mix in some VIP guests, local artists and dealers, throw in some on-stage entertainment, and whaa-laa! Everybody around us now has a local comic book convention that offers everything that the larger corporate owned shows have in a more, nice bite-sized, easier to chew package.
What makes the NWI Comic-Con a family friendly convention?
Number one, we ask everyone involved to keep it clean, all exhibitors, cosplayers, etc. Even though comics and most things pop-culture are geared towards adults, we want to make sure that everyone that attends this show will feel safe and have fun. So, no matter if you’re 6 or 60, you will have a great day at the 2015 NWI Comic-Con.
We offer an affordable admission which is $8 for adults and $2 for kids (compared to the $20-$30 admission fee one would usually pay for a one day pass into a larger show featuring much of the same as this comic-con). We also offer free parking (once again compared to the $20 a day parking rates most convention centers charge). This is a fantastic show for those whom have attended many comic-cons in the past, as well as a perfect show for ‘first-time’ comic convention attendees whom have always wanted to go to one but just didn’t have the extra $40 to spend on admission and parking.
NWI Comic-Con 2015 is being held at the Halls of St. George, why the change of venue?
The answer to this question is simple… The fans spoke and we listened! Everyone that attended last year’s NWI Comic-Con pretty much asked for the same thing on the 500+ comment cards we collected. And that was all whom commented asked for a bigger venue. Last year’s event was packed to capacity. Honestly, if we did not have a ‘rotating crowd’ we would have been forced to ask people to wait outside until some people inside left the building. Luckily it all worked out and despite the overcrowding issues of 2014, everyone involved had a fantastic time! The Halls of St. George is a larger location to help accommodate larger crowds, plus they offer ample parking and even a secondary parking lot, just in case the first one fills up.
We here at The Latest Pull are big fans of creators, both writers and artists, who are some of the guests that will be featured at NWI Comic-Con 2015?
The 2015 NWI Comic-Con has a great line up of Artists and Writers. This year’s VIP Guest include; Cory Hamscher (Superior Iron Man / Marvel / Inks), Dan Dougherty (Touching Evil / Beardo Comics / Artist), Dirk Manning (Tales of Mr. Rhee / Devil’s Due Ent. / Writer), Doug Klauba (The Phantom / Moonstone Books / Artist), Gabo Bautista (The Life After / ONI Press / Artist), Hilary Barta (Bart Simpson / Bongo Comics / Artist), Jim Pavelec (Magic the Gathering / Wizards of the Coast / Artist), Jim Terry (Sundowners / Dark Horse / Artist), Matthew Waite (Deadpool / Marvel / Cover Artist), Mike Norton (Revival / Image / Artist), Tim Seeley (Grayson / DC Comics / Writer).
What are some of the events that guests can participate in?
As mentioned above, we have something for everyone. This year’s event will feature a magic show by the amazing Obtuse, a live special FX demo preformed by two former SyFy Channel contestants; Scott Mitchell and Gabby Leithsceal, and a live pop-rock concert preformed by the Chicago based band Phosphene. Plus we will have a kids costume parade, an epic Teen & Adult Cosplay Contest, and two live speaking panels; “Q&A with the Comic Pros” with Mike Norton, Tim Seeley, Cory Hamscher and Matthew Waite. And “How To Self Publish Comics: Not Just Create Them” with Josh Baylock of Devil’s Due Entertainment. All of these events are free with paid admission. Keep your eyes posted for our schedule of event coming out later this month.
With obvious success in the first year of the NWI Comic-Con, what initially inspired you to create the event?
I myself have been attending Comic-Con’s since I was a kid. I have always loved these events. It is honestly a dream come true to host one and become friends with the artists, writers, colorists, and publishers that produce the books I love!
Also, I am a family man and I like to bring all three of my kids to comic book conventions and it is really hard to do that sometimes with the rising costs of some of the shows. I however can now personally understand the costs involved and for some three day conventions I can almost justify the costs… but, this is also the driving force behind me keeping the NWI Comic-Con affordable and family friendly. I want everyone to be able to enjoy comics and pop-culture with their family and friends.
As a longtime fan of comics, what books would you recommend people who are looking to get into the medium?
This is a tough one… It really depends on many factors such as age, personal interests, etc. If you’re a younger boy and have heard of Spider-Man or seen his movies or cartoons, then I recommend giving one of his Marvel comic books a try. If you’re an older male and more into action, and have heard of Batman, or seen his movies or even watched his animated shows, give this DC comic book a test drive. If you’re a young female, try out “My Little Pony” published by IDW or the new Squirrel Girl published by Marvel. If you’re an older female looking to see if you might enjoy a comic book, I recommend Wonder Woman, Catwoman or even Harley Quinn, all published by DC Comics. I know I am sticking pretty main stream as I name off these comic titles and superheroes, but these are the most iconic ones. You also have Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man Black Widow, Black Panther, Superman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and more. Want to get away from main stream superheroes? Try “HellBoy” published by Dark Horse Comics, or Invincible by Image. I also recommend that you try out “The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West” by Big Dog Ink or “The Tales of Mr. Rhee” published by Devil’s Due Entertainment. It all comes down to who you are and what you’re into but I can almost guarantee that there is a comic book for everyone.
There are a ton of superhero movies coming out in the next few years, which one are you most excited for?
Man, so many tough questions. I loved “The Avengers” and I am really looking forward to the next one “Age of Ultron.” As a matter of fact, I am looking forward to a bunch of the upcoming Marvel movies such as “Captain America: Civil War” and “X-Men: Apocalypse,” to name a few. I am also curious about the new Batman vs. Superman movie and the upcoming Wonder Woman movie as well. So many great films coming out in the next couple of years: from now all the way to 2020, with a handful of superhero themed movies every year. It’s a geeky guys dream come true.
As comic book fans ourselves we just have to know, who is your favorite comic book character of all time?
Ok, I am going to have to plead the fifth on this one. This is like asking who is your favorite Football team or who did you vote for last year… I will however say that I do like Spider-Man as equally as Batman and Captain America as equally as Superman and the list goes on and on…
And lastly, is there anything else you would like to mention about NWI Comic-Con 2015?
This show is not to be missed. No matter if you are young or old, married or single, hardcore comic fan or first-time comic-con’er, you will have a good time at the 2015 NWI Comic-Con! We are also hosting a raffle and will have many comic/pop-culture related items for sale. All of the proceeds from this will be divided equally between the two local NWI charities that we are representing and hosting at this event. So if you would like to give back to the community than please come out and assist the Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids Foundation (NICK) and the Humane Society Calumet Area.