Hey all!

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of attending Akron Comic Con in scenic Akron, Ohio (yes, seriously!). This was a one-day show headed-up by Michael Savene, and I can honestly say that despite not being sure what to expect of this second-year show going into it, I was very, VERY impressed by the quality of the show itself, the guests, and the fans it attracted.

I had the pleasure of seeing several old friends who were professionals (Tony Isabella, Dave Aikins, Chris Ehnot, Marc Sumerak, and Dustin Carson among others) as well as several non-comic friends who attended the show, including Amy and Chris (congrats again you two!) and… these fine people:

Akron Comic Con

From left to right, that’s Azanah, Seymore Buttz (holding a sweet THE CROW snow-globe in front of his face — because he’s a dork like that), and my good pal Lonni hiding “Dirk Manning”-style behind baby Alister.

I first met Lonnie when I was doing a signing at a Border’s (R.I.P.) in Toledo circa 2010. He can (and should) correct me on this if I’m wrong, but I believe our meeting there was fairly random. He may have heard me on a podcast, but either way, he came into the store during my signing (Borders was always VERY supportive of me and my books), and over the years we stayed in touch. At one point (I believe it was at a signing at Rupp’s Comics in Fremont — where I’ll be in a few weeks), we both got to talking about what fans of THE CROW we were, at which time he mentioned he had a really cool THE CROW snow-globe. I told him I would gladly trade him the snow-globe for a set of THE CROW prints I bought years ago from James O’Barr, and we agreed to make that happen.

That was probably a year or two ago. At least.

Well, imagine my surprise when I saw Lonnie at Akron Comic Con… with the snow-globe! Huzzah!

This of course means that I’ll be taking the print set to Rupp’s for him to pick-up in a few weeks… and hence, at long last, the scales of karma will be balanced.

I point this instance out among all others (runners-up were raving about what a great show promoter Michael Savene or discussing the great advice given to me by Tony Isabella (“It’s Chinatown!”), but I wanted to talk about this one because, when all is said and done, this picture is largely what going to comic conventions should be about: Going to shows and meeting the people you like, be you (or them) be professionals or attendees.

And really, that’s all I’ve got to say about that, aside from the fact that I can’t wait to return to this amazing show again next year.

That aside, this coming Saturday I’m making my glorious (and LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG overdue) return to VAULT OF MIDNIGHT in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Rumor has it that a lot of old friends will be coming to the shop to visit… so hopefully you will too! Yes, YOU!  :)

Your friend in comics,
Dirk Manning