Connecticut ComiCONN (a.k.a. ComiCONN) is an annual convention focusing primarily on comic books and their creators, along with pop culture memorabilia, gaming, science fiction, fantasy and action films, television programs and cosplay. Started in 2010 the convention is held in the South Western part of Connecticut near the New York border. In 2014, ComiCONN expanded to a three-day event and larger venue with more than 300 tables of dealers of comics, toys, collectibles and creator guests making it the largest con within 100 miles of the annual New York Comic Con.
ComiCONN "A Show for the Fans by the Fans!" was created by Erik Yacko in 2009. ComiCONN's name came from adding an extra "N" to the end of the word "comicon" utilizing the old postal state abbreviation for Connecticut "CONN". ComiCONN started as a one-day event on May 15, 2010. Show is officially rebranded to "Connecticut ComiCONN" in 2012.
The first ComiCONN was held at the Holiday Inn in North Haven, Connecticut. It the first comic book focused event of its size in the state in over 15 years. It had nearly 900 attendees and was featured on ABCâs "Nightline", which included an interview with Connecticut native, former actor Ray Hassett, who appeared in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Superman: The Movie (1978) and the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). The convention had comic creators including writer Ron Marz; artists Jerry Ordway, Jamal Igle, Mike DeCarlo, and Frank McLaughlin, and wrestler Ox Baker. It was to be attended by DC Comics/Charlton Comics artist/editor, and former Connecticut resident Dick Giordano, but Giordano died some weeks before the event.
The following year, ComiCONN was moved to a larger venue at the Stamford Plaza hotel in Stamford, Connecticut on August 27, 2011. The guest list included Star Wars actor Anthony Forrest, artist Matt Busch, former Marvel Comics artist Michael Golden, Mark McKenna and writers Paul Kupperberg and Bob Greenberger.
The show was scheduled to appear on cable news channel CNN, however due to Hurricane Irene which hit the east coast of the U.S, that weekend, many of the guests and attendees were forced to cancel their plans since airports, highways and trains were shut down due to the massive storm. 1500 fans attended the show.
In 2012, the show was officially renamed Connecticut ComiCONN, to clearly establish its home state. Featured comic creators included comic book and author Peter David, Ben 10 creator Joe Kelly, artists Billy Tucci and Chris Giarrusso, Cliff Galbraith and Rob Bruce from AMCâs Comic Book Men.
Cosplayers, stormtroopers and Star Wars characters were featured from the 501st Conn Squad and CT Jedi, including a mock "light saber" duel between the Dark Lord of the Sith and local WPLR deejay the Wigmaster. Support and prizes were donated by Hasbro, Robot Chicken, Lucasfilm, Activision and posters signed by Stan Lee. The convention was held at the Marriott hotel in Trumbull, Connecticut on August 18, 2013 with over 3,000 fans in attendance for the one day event.
On August 24, 2013, Connecticut ComiCONN was held once again at the Marriott Hotel in Trumbull, CT with almost 6,000 visitors in attendance and nearly 200 tables of exhibitors, dealers of toys, collectibles, toys and movie memorabilia. Guests included J.M. DeMatteis, Tom DeFalco, Mark Bagley, Ron Garney, Tom Palmer, Joe Staton, Michael Jan Friedman, Danny Fingeroth, Jim Salicrup, "Ren & Stimpy" co-creator Bob Camp, Thundercats" voice actor Larry Kenney, from the television series' Ghost Hunters International Shannon Sylvia, Comic Book Menââ'âs Ming Chen, Rob Bruce and Michael Zapcic, and the star of the comic book based series The Flash John Wesley Shipp.
The convention included a costume contest for both children and adults, a trivia contest, an arm-wrestling match between local WPLR deejay legend the Wigmaster and the "Man of Steel". Also featured were the 1966 Batmobile, 1966 Batcycle, R2-D2 Builders Dana Power and his Star Wars Landspeeder, a replica of the BatPod cycle from the film The Dark Knight and a phone booth with a life-size replica of actor Christopher Reeve in his Superman costume.
2014: move to arena and expansion to three days
In late 2013, it was announced that Connecticut ComiCONN would be expanding to a three-day event and be held in the Webster Bank Arena in nearby Bridgeport, Connecticut. The larger venue featured panels, gaming tournaments, cosplay contests and more exhibitors. The show plans to feature the comic book creators Neal Adams, Denny O'Neil, Keith Giffen, Rich Buckler, David Finch, Howard Mackie, William Katt, Ryder Windham, Bob Wiacek, Klaus Janson, Herb Trimpe, Tom Palmer, Carl Potts, Chris Giarrusso, Franco, Mark McKenna, Mike McKone, Danny Fingeroth, JosÃ© Luis GarcÃa-LÃ³pez, Tom Raney, Bob Layton, Josef Rubenstien, Jamal Igle, Lee Weeks, and Howard Porter. Media guests included from "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace", "X-Men" and the "GI Joe" film series actor Ray Park who portrayed Darth Maul, Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, actor Maximilliano Hernandez, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer actor Nicholas Brendon, TV's "Toy Hunter" Jordan Hembrough, Voice actors from the cartoon "Thundercats" Larry Kenney, Lynne Lipton and Peter Newman, from the Kevin Smith film "Clerks" actor Brian O' Halloran and Scott Schaiffo, and from AMC's Comic Book Men Ming Chen, Mike Zapcic, and Rob Bruce. The Batmobiles from the 1966 TV series, the Tumbler from The Dark Knight Trilogy, the KITT car from Knight Rider, the Jeep from the series "V", a recreation of the idol pedestal from "Raiders of the Lost Ark", TARDIS from the show "Doctor Who". In addition a concert was held by the fictitious group The Bat Pack, composed of members of High Adventure (band), which was a mash-up of a 60s lounge singer and the TV series Batman. The organizers had over 300 tables with creators, dealers of comics, toys, original art, gaming, and cosplay items. The 5th annual Connecticut ComiCONN was held on August 15â"17, 2014. The event had a ceremony on Saturday morning in which the Mayor of Bridgeport, Bill Finch, was led to the front of the arena in a police escort and he presented the Caped Crusader with the honorary key to the city.
The show was a first for having panels that focused on the history of Connecticut and the comic book publishing history, in particular the role Charlton Comics played in discovering so many talented creators.
In all there were over 13,000 attendees.
- Connecticut Comic-Conn 2014 Puts Comic Fans First And Doubles In Attendance
- Channel 12 TV News: ComiCONN held in Bridgeport August 17, 2014
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- ComiCONN returns to celebrate comic books - 2012
- ComiCONN 2010 Blows Fans Minds - WTNH TV News
- WHPX-TV For The Record Looks at Connecticut ComiCONN 2013
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- Neighborhood Journal TV: ComiCONN Invades Connecticut 2011