Join Us / Login

Northwest Comics Fest: A Free Comic Con For All?

Lydia Roberts L. K. Roberts
Contributor
January 15th, 2016

I am a proud Blerd who lives in the Pacific Northwest home. My dad had an interest in comic books and instilled a passion for them in me. After decades of being a Marvel Fanatic, I got sucked into the DC whirlpool that was The New 52 launch. Currently, I am moving more into various independent and non-mainstream titles. I am a proud supporter of local artists, comic book creators, and comic book businesses. My two goals as a writer for ComiConverse are 1) to highlight new, little-known, and/or diverse titles, artists and writers, and work that is coming out of the smaller publication houses and 2) to address issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation in comics and the industry.

Northwest Comics Fest: A Free Comic Con For All?
Events
64 Comments

As many of us know, the cost of attending comics-themed fan events has been rising in recent years. Our Lydia K. Roberts took a look at one entrepreneur who’s taking on that challenge with a passion.

According to the 1969 Comic Art Convention Progress Report, admission for a single day of the three-day event in New York City was $1.50 and $3.00 for all three. Rates for rooms at the Statler Hilton Hotel, the location of the convention, started as low as $15, and hotel guests could attend the convention for free. The L.A. Times article, “Every Year Of Comic-Con In One Giant Timeline,” reports that a one-day pass to the 1978 San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) was a mere $4, with a five-day pass topping out at $15.

Even taking into account inflation, there has been a staggering increase in the expenses incurred by those hoping to take part in these multi-day gatherings during this day and age. Luckily, there are numerous smaller conventions that occur in most major cities in the country, eliminating the many of the fees associated with travel and lodging. However, even when attending a local con, there are many expenses that patrons have to take into account; tickets, art prints (my personal weakness), new comics, geek gear, and food and drink. Big-ticket items like VIP packages that include autographs and photos, rare collectibles, and elaborate cosplay materials require a little more thoughtful budgeting. Regardless, every year, fans do what they have to do to make it work.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

But, what if there was a way to make all of the fun a little more affordable?

Doing just that is the goal of Northwest Comic Fest’s director, Casey Ocupe, who is seeking Kickstarter backers to create a comic and pop-culture event without any entry fees – for fans or vendors.

The event is scheduled for August 2016 in Salem, Oregon.

IMG_3427

Northwest Comic Fest Credit: 2015 Northwest Comic Fest

 

I got in touch with Ocupe to find out more about his dream.

Story continues below

On your Kickstarter page, your event is listed as a “Free Comic Con”, but there is also a note that asserts that it is more accurately a Comic Fest. Can you clarify the difference for our readers?

A Comic Fest has everything a Comic Con has and more, such as many, many performances! At my 2015 Comic Fest, there were 15 live bands outside playing the whole time. We had a comedy roast of the Red Power Ranger, Steve Cardenas, cosplayed break-dancers, parkour and martial arts performances, beat-boxing, a fashion show, a puppet show, an indoor concert with celebrity singers, and a film fest in a nearby state-of-the-art theater.

Every day, there were well-organized cosplay contests and much more… and this year our goal is to have the same, plus even more!

No one had any idea what to expect last time. I don’t think they believed it.

In the video that accompanies the campaign, you say that you want to bring more celebrities, writers, artists, etc. Can you tell me some of the people who you had at your show last year, and any who have lined up as potentials for this August, if the funding comes through?

Last year, in addition to Steve Cardenas, we had “Hannah Montana” actress Romi Dames, David Liebe Hart from “Tim & Eric,” professional wrestlers Matt Striker and Gangrel, and cosplayer Joanie Brosis. For this year’s show, I have contacts for “Walking Dead” people, “Buffy” people, “Clerks” people, “Star Wars” people, the list goes on and on. It would be dependent on reaching the goal, of course, but when we do, we can get more specific.

Free Sketches

Do you have plans for continuing with the show even if the campaign is not fully funded?

It’s a Kickstarter, so if it’s not fully funded it’s not funded at all. This is an opportunity for a business to come in and provide us with a Comic Con that’s free for everyone. The business would simply have to provide funds, and I’d do the work. It would be presented as “The Free Comic Fest, Presented by__________.”

They’d be heroes!

Story continues below

People helped organize last year’s music fest, film fest, comedy roast, along with some of the documents and the website; however, the rest of the work was more than ninety percent me. All of this was so much work that for me to do it again, I would need to really be offering something far different than the other Comic Cons; making this free, that excites me.

I’m gonna keep faith in what I’m doing and address any roadblocks when I come to them. Ask me again on Feb 2nd if the goal isn’t reached.

What has inspired you to pursue this goal?

I thought it and liked the thought.

I do just about everything I think of.

Now, people who know me know that when I say, “I’m thinking of doing ______,” not to take it for granted that those are just words in the air like they used to. A little more than a year before I did the Comic Fest, I said I was thinking about doing a Comic Con. I figure wanting to do something is the indicator that you should do it. For example, two of my projects that have taken a seat on the back burner for the Comic Fest, are finishing my custom Batmobile and finishing my life-sized Transformer.

Projects
I’ve purchased a Porsche 917 for my Batmobile. (You can google it.) I’ve cut up a VW Beetle that I will be using to make the most accurate life-sized G1 replica Bumble Bee Transformer.

Also, I do a TV show (The Northwest Comic Show) on public access, until it possibly gets picked up otherwise. I make my own music.

Now I want to do a free Comic Fest via Kickstarter, so I am.

You mention in your bio that in your youth, comics provided a sense of escape for you. What aspects of the con would be of particular interest for the younger fans out there?

I like to take the aspects of pop-culture and bring it to real life in the real world, as well as show others how to create it.

Take Mortal Kombat X, for example. It’s big right now, so I think kids might like something like several professional breakdancers having a breakdance battle in Mortal Kombat Cosplay, especially if the cosplay is very high quality.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg; concepts like that can be done all sorts of ways.

There are classes on creating your own comics. Last time, we had Steve Cardenas (The Red Power Ranger) teach a Martial Arts class. What Power Ranger fan wouldn’t want to be taught a Martial Arts class by a Power Ranger?

2015 Comic Fest; Salem, OR

How will the event be staffed and are you currently seeking volunteers?

Shortly after completion of the campaign, we’ll roll out the website, and there will be a form for volunteers. In the meantime, for people who see this as valuable enough to volunteer, they can help by sharing the Kickstarter with every person, business, and contact they know and expressing the importance of supporting this Kickstarter.

The Salem Convention Center has a large, helpful, and skilled staff, but volunteers will be needed for several positions and areas, such as Celebrity Assistant/Handler, Panel Management, Photography, Videography, Director Assistant, and much more. Until the website is up, anyone interested can message me through the Northwest Comic Fest Facebook page.

Have you received any push-back from people who are connected to other area cons?

There has been no direct push-back, and in some cases there has been awesome support, like from Kumoricon; they are amazing. Of course, I like push-back! It can be very fun to push-past, and tells you that you must be doing something very right.

Chris Herndon is an artist who has offered a print for the campaign. Can you share what it looks like?

He just offered it, so it’s probably in creation stages at the moment. Chris and I don’t really know each other very well; I believe he saw that someone was trying to give people something nice and positive and decided to get in on it. As I said in the video, I’m trying to create a good karma stimulus program, a catalyst to pass on and exponentially multiply smiles. Everyone who goes to cons in the area will go, and lots of new people who have never gone will go; the result will be tons of enjoyment.

What are some of the things you plan to do in the next couple of weeks to continue to spread the word and gather resources and swag for the event?

I’m doing podcasts, talking to the local comedy club, having associates hanging fliers, whatever I can think of. I hope everyone who reads this will consider helping and share the link. Pledging $1, $5, or $10 dollars is less than a ticket to an event or anything else you can possibly do this weekend that would lead to a fraction of the amazement generated by what I’m hoping to create.

It’s the thousands of people who think their $1, $5, or sharing of the link won’t make a difference whose contributions would add up to the total success of this campaign. If six thousand people gave $5, we’d be there. If three businesses gave ten thousand, we’d be there.

I’ll keep trying, and if anyone can help, I hope they do. If anyone has ideas, tell me.

Thank You!

 

The Northwest Comic Fest Kickstarter campaign runs through Monday, February 1st and currently has raised $593 toward its $30,000 goal.  

 

L. K. Roberts is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter: @Lyderary

(Visited 313 times, 1 visits today)

64 Comments

  1. I simply want to say I am just very new to blogging and site-building and absolutely enjoyed your website. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You actually have impressive articles and reviews. Thanks a lot for revealing your website.

  2. read more says:

    I simply want to tell you that I am all new to blogs and seriously enjoyed this web blog. Very likely I’m want to bookmark your site . You definitely come with great articles and reviews. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your webpage.

  3. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  4. Nice post. I find out something tougher on diverse blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to learn content from other writers and rehearse a little from their site. I’d prefer to apply certain while using content on my small blog regardless of whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll provide link on the internet weblog. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Technology says:

    I am continuously looking online for posts that can aid me. Thank you!

  6. Business says:

    I needed to put you that little word in order to say thanks once again for the magnificent views you have shared at this time. This has been certainly incredibly open-handed of you in giving publicly all that some people might have advertised as an e book to help with making some money for themselves, most notably considering the fact that you could possibly have done it if you considered necessary. The secrets additionally worked like a fantastic way to be sure that someone else have the identical fervor the same as mine to see significantly more concerning this problem. I’m sure there are a lot more enjoyable occasions ahead for those who find out your blog post.

  7. Game says:

    Well I truly liked studying it. This post procured by you is very constructive for good planning.

  8. Someone essentially help to make seriously posts I might state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and so far? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual submit amazing. Fantastic process!

  9. Automotive says:

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  10. Automotive says:

    I think other website proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and magnificent user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  11. Sports says:

    Good site! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  12. As I web site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling excellent , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

  13. Business says:

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such excellent info being shared freely out there.

  14. Technology says:

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  15. I as well as my friends have been looking at the nice points found on your web site and so quickly developed an awful suspicion I had not thanked the site owner for those techniques. Those guys are actually as a result stimulated to study all of them and now have truly been taking pleasure in those things. We appreciate you turning out to be considerably thoughtful as well as for making a decision on variety of brilliant topics most people are really needing to discover. Our sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to earlier.

  16. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  17. Law & Legal says:

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  18. Wow! Thank you! I permanently wanted to write on my website something like that. Can I include a part of your post to my website?

  19. Business says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  20. Healthy Life says:

    I gotta bookmark this website it seems very helpful handy

  21. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this matter here on your internet site.

  22. It is usually most suitable time to put together some goals for the long-run. I have read through this posting and if I should, I want to recommend you handful important tips and advice.

  23. Education says:

    Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely excellent. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a tremendous site.

  24. Law & Legal says:

    You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most guys will consent with your blog.

  25. Science says:

    What i do not realize is if truth be told how you’re now not actually a lot more smartly-preferred than you might be now. You are so intelligent. You understand thus significantly in relation to this subject, made me in my view consider it from a lot of various angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated except it is something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. All the time maintain it up!

  26. IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

  27. Law & Legal says:

    A lot of thanks for your entire hard work on this blog. My aunt really loves doing investigation and it is easy to understand why. I hear all relating to the compelling way you produce insightful secrets by means of this web site and therefore boost response from some other people on that area so our own princess is really learning a lot of things. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You’re conducting a powerful job.

  28. Woman says:

    Generally I don’t read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice article.

  29. Family says:

    I really like your writing style, great info , regards for posting : D.

  30. divorces says:

    Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

  31. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  32. divorcemind says:

    Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

  33. click here says:

    SacramentoCremation.us is one of the leading crematorium services in the Sacramento area. Feel free to contact us regarding any questions on Sacramento Cremation Services or concerns you might have. Our staff will respond to you as soon as possible.

  34. I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  35. lawyers says:

    Divorcemind.com is a online divorce resource for divorce attorney, attornies and lawyers. You will find the best divorce information online. Divorce Mind will make your divorce or separation a quick, convenient and private.

  36. Emeryeps is a SEO(Search Engine optimzation) and Internet Marketing company. They help businesses to get traffic from various search engine and online community. They have seo experts and consultants with many years of SEO Experiences. No matter where your business is located, EmeryEPS.com can help your business to secure your highly convertible leads online.

  37. Emeryeps says:

    Emeryeps is a SEO(Search Engine optimzation) and Internet Marketing company. They help businesses to get traffic from various search engine and online community. They have seo experts and consultants with many years of SEO Experiences. No matter where your business is located, EmeryEPS.com can help your business to secure your highly convertible leads online.

  38. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  39. IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

  40. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  41. imsc seo says:

    IMSC SEO is a Singapore SEO Company. They provide comprehensive Singapore SEO services to help SG businesses to gain traffic from search engine. Their SEO agency has many years of experiences working with overseas companies on more competitive grounds. They are the best seo company in Singapore you can find. Their SEO expert and consultant understand exactly what search engine optimization your company need to gain search engine traffic.

  42. Source says:

    I was excited to find this site. I need to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to see new stuff on your web site.

  43. I just wish to share it with you that I am new to putting up a blog and clearly loved your website. Quite possibly I am inclined to remember your blog post . You absolutely have superb article material. Be Thankful For it for share-out with us the best internet write-up

  44. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue together with your web site in web explorer, might test this¡K IE nonetheless is the market leader and a good portion of other folks will pass over your great writing due to this problem.

  45. Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last few posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your super writings. Past few posts are just a little out of track! come on!

  46. More Help says:

    Truly absorbing details that you have remarked, say thanks a lot for setting up.

  47. I was just searching for this information for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your website. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this type of informative websites in top of the list. Normally the top websites are full of garbage.

  48. situs toto says:

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  49. I’ve been surfing online greater than 3 hours these days, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It¡¦s beautiful worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as you probably did, the net can be much more helpful than ever before.

  50. I’m also commenting to let you understand what a terrific discovery my wife’s child found browsing your web page. She figured out numerous pieces, with the inclusion of what it is like to have an excellent giving nature to let many more effortlessly learn some impossible things. You really surpassed her desires. Thanks for churning out such necessary, healthy, educational not to mention easy tips on this topic to Gloria.

  51. Business says:

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  52. Woman says:

    I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  53. Automotive says:

    I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  54. Business says:

    Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem along with your website in web explorer, would test this¡K IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a huge portion of folks will omit your excellent writing because of this problem.

  55. Automotive says:

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  56. Games says:

    I have not checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I¡¦ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  57. Hello. impressive job. I did not anticipate this. This is a impressive story. Thanks!

  58. magnificent issues altogether, you simply won a new reader. What might you suggest in regards to your publish that you just made some days in the past? Any positive?

  59. Business says:

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

  60. Automotive says:

    I wanted to put you one little remark to finally say thank you once again for these amazing views you’ve provided in this case. It’s certainly seriously generous of you giving unreservedly precisely what some people might have supplied for an electronic book to help with making some profit for their own end, chiefly considering the fact that you could have tried it if you ever wanted. The tactics in addition worked to provide a fantastic way to comprehend other individuals have the same fervor like my personal own to know great deal more on the subject of this condition. I am sure there are thousands of more enjoyable moments up front for individuals who browse through your website.

  61. Automotive says:

    Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and internet and this is actually frustrating. A good site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  62. Technology says:

    I was just seeking this info for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your website. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this type of informative sites in top of the list. Usually the top sites are full of garbage.

  63. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

ComiConverse with us...

Yes No