Back To DanCon 2013 – Another Slice Of Strawberry Shortcake

Peter G writes;

Well, here we are at the Orland Park Civic Center for DanCon 2013.

Some of you are wondering, didn't you already cover that, Peter?

Well, after just two years, interest in DanCon in the area has expanded so much, the show is now split in two. There's the spring show, and the fall. I had opted for the spring show, and now, here was the second show with me simply as an attendee instead of an exhibitor. Hey, life is full of new experiences.

The floor layout stayed the same as the spring show, with the dealers off in the left wing and the creators on the right, and gaming in the back. It was blessedly easy for my just-back-from-Florida sleep deprived Polish ass to navigate. Also towards the back was a DanCon backdrop for getting your picture taken, and the path to it led you past Paul Maiellaro. Maiellaro is a tireless stumper for charity organizations like the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation, which gets toys for kids stuck in the hospital. I don't know where he gets the energy from.

This was my first time in the dealer's room. Lots of dollar and quarter boxes in here, along with a variety of variants. A couple of tables had several of the 3D DC covers for sale, a couple more had blank comic covers for sale. Crystal variants of Derpy and Doctor Whooves dolls were there for $50. And it was quiet. Blessedly quiet. It was like a library in there.

Brian Defferding

But, if you're like me, and I know I am, you want to see the creators. Almost right by the door was the always awesome Brian Defferding. Defferding does a comic called School, that starts with a girl who dies at a school and her ghost is stranded there, trying to understand what happened to her and why otherworldly creatures are interested in her. I couldn't spot him at Wizard World Chicago, which disappointed me, he's always great to run into and talk with. He's still working on the series and has even started a Kickstarter. I hope he keeps moving forward.

Working steadily along the wall was the legendary Hillary Barta. He was working quietly on sketches and talking with a kid who gravitated right to his work on Spongebob Squarepants. I should have gotten there earlier, I am totally going to commission a sketch from him. Also representing the all-ages crowd was almost every local who works on Aw Yeah! Comics, including longtime Chicago veteran Russell Lissau (who also brought his stock of Strawberry Shortcake comics that he and his daughter Meredith worked on for Ape).

Now that I think about it, capes were a distinctly minor portion of the show, lots of people trying to present something different, something new. For example, Sarah Granahan was there with the new installment of her comic, Chakrula. It's about a heroine who can rebalance people's chakras and help bring about enlightenment and understanding, a healer instead of a fighter. She also had copies of her book Koko's Gift, about a Native American girl trying to recover her destiny. A portion of her sales go to various charities to help people in need. You can check out her work at

Sarah Granahan

Towards the back was the always fun John Metych III and his compatriots. Metych is the founder of Beta 3 Comics, which makes the action-movie-waiting-to-happen Sniper And Rook. Metych has a soft spot in my heart because he has helped a lot of people get their work out and get noticed. Also helping anchor the far side of the room was Dee J Christa, a bottomless pit of energy (at Wizard World, we had talked about her cosplaying as human Twilight Sparkle and me as human Shining Armor), and Mikey Babinski, who has done a LOT of work for The Bigs, including one of the early Spider-Man custom retailer covers.

Andrew Winkel and Christopher Brault

Chilling out towards the front was Serema Guerra. She's a great sketch artist and got a big break by working on The Mice Templar, a criminally underrated series. There was also Joe D. McFee, the founder of Xigency Studios (Amazonia, AWF). Andrew Winkel was there with Christopher Brault to move copies of the book The Adventures Of Raceboy And Super Qwok, based on his own kids. Also doing his thing was Preston Shuttlesworth. He's a longtime veteran of the trenches who founded Delce de Oja, an anthology of creator-owned short stories, comics, and illustrations. Each issue features the information on the contributors so that, if someone likes your work and wants to recruit you for a project, they can find you (I haven't done anything for him because I can't come up with anything that fits within the five page limit). If you are looking to spread awareness of your work, point your browser to eyecandytheillustratedmagazine and come up with something. You'll be glad you did.

Serena Guerra

There were a few cosplayers of note there. The best was a Huntress (pre-DCnu version). There was also an Ant Man, a couple of Ghostbusters, and Baby Doll from Suckerpunch.

It was a wonderful turnout and lots of creators did well. Unfortunately, I could not join in the post-convention frolicks. I had to go home as I could feel the ginseng wearing off. I'm glad I went.

…but yeah, I'd rather be on the other side of the table. ;)

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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