You won't find anything too flashy at this weekend's Cleveland Comic, Card & Nostalgia Festival happening at the American Legion Hall in Fairview Park. Lou Ferrigno won't be signing autographs. The Batmobile won't be there. And you won't see any barely clothed folks dressed up like naughty ninja schoolgirls or Voltron walking around the place.
What you will find at this twice-a-year event — which used to be called Saturday's Child, until organizers realized that nobody knew what the hell that meant — are tons of comic books, trading cards, action figures, and old monster magazines for sale by dozens of regional vendors.
At last year's show in October, I picked up a stack of Mad magazines from the '60s and '70s for a quarter each, two issues of the Planet of the Apes magazine/comic that Curtis put out in the early '70s for less than $2, and a "100-Page Super Spectacular" issue of Batman from 1975 for 50 cents.
There are hourly giveaways too, but since I've never won anything, I can't say for sure what they are — I was too busy throwing elbows at a box of Marvel comics overseen by a fat guy in a Boba Fett T-shirt. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 18. Admission is $4. Find more info at harpercomics.com.
Now that news about the Watchmen prequels has sunk in for a couple of weeks, it still sounds like a really bad idea. Like, colossal bad. Michael Keaton-as-Batman bad. Not that they asked me.
This summer, DC will release seven miniseries based on what the masked and caped heroes did before the events that took place in the 12-part 1986 series that changed comics forever. Rorschach, Minutemen, Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl, Ozymandias, and Silk Spectre will each get their own four- or six-issue series.
Dave Gibbons, the artist and co-creator behind the original Watchmen, has endorsed Before Watchmen. Not so surprisingly, the other creator, perpetually cranky writer Alan Moore, is pissed. When the project was announced, he said: "As far as I know, there aren't that many sequels — or prequels — to Moby Dick." We're with Moore on this one.
You still have another six weeks to vote in the 10th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, which honors the best monster everything of 2011. There are 32 categories to vote on — including Best Movie (Hobo With a Shotgun — take that, Oscars!), Best Classic DVD (Criterion's Island of Lost Souls has this one locked up), and Best Convention (our own Cinema Wasteland — duh). You have till April 1 to vote at rondoaward.com.
For Your Shelf:
Joe Golem and the Drowning City: Hellboy creator Mike Mignola's latest is an illustrated novel about an old magician and an alternate (and very wet) N.Y.C.
Justice League: Doom: Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern show the Avengers how it's done in this new Blu-ray animated feature.
Transformers Prime: The Complete First Season: Optimus Prime + Megatron - Michael Bay = the new Transformers TV show you should be watching.