Long Island Comic Book Expo returns to Melville – Newsday

Self-publishing Weightlifting

‘Tis the season for readin’ comics as the Long Island Comic Book Expo makes its triumphant return to Hilton Long Island/Huntington in Melville on Saturday and Sunday.

“It took three years, but we’re back,” says event organizer Greg Aiossa. “Comic books are at the forefront of pop culture now. All the most popular movies have superheroes, therefore it creates this massive fandom.”

The two-day affair is focused on family-friendly fun that includes character cosplaying, superhero shopping, panel programming and meet and greets with comic book artists.

VENDOR VARIETY 

There will be two ballrooms filled with over 150 vendors selling a wide variety of comic books and related memorabilia. 

LONG ISLAND COMIC BOOK EXPO 

WHEN/WHERE 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday; Hilton Long Island/Huntington, 598 Broadhollow Road, Melville

INFO licomicbookexpo.com

ADMISSION $10 per day, $15 for a weekend pass, kids 12 & under go free 

Genesis Comics & Gaming of Ronkonkoma will take up three tables selling trading card games like Magic: the Gathering and Pokémon as well as comic books in a wide price range.

“There’s a mix of more expensive stuff to cheaper stuff,” says store owner William Tammany. “We’ll have X-Men No. 1 graded 3.5 for $12,500 to $2 books and $5 trade paperbacks.”

Ianniello Collectables of Shoreham is set to display hundreds of unique Pez dispensers. 

“We have all types available from ‘Harry Potter’ to ‘Frozen’ to ‘X-Men’ to ‘Star Wars’ — every genre is there,” says collector Thomas Ianniello. “There are so many cute gifts you can pick up for children for $10-$15 and the packaging is very nice. Even the adults like them.”

COSPLAY CONTESTS 

Paladins of Cosplay is hosting three cosplay contests — one for adults on Saturday and two for kids in age groups 12 and under as well as 13-17 on Sunday (times to be determined). Awards will be given out for first, second and third place with some honorable mentions.

“What we are looking for in the cosplay contest will be gauged on the craftsmanship, embodiment of the character and overall aesthetic of the costume,” says Paladins founder Lawrence Asuncion. “A primary factor will be that the costume must have 75% of it made by the competitor. However, kids will not be required to have homemade costumes.”

MORE ACTIVITIES 

A video game room gets run by the Gamer’s Club from West Hempstead offering free play on a series of gaming consoles. Face painting, balloon animals and painting classes are also scheduled as well as panels on cosplay, self-publishing, how a comic is made with indie comic book writer Pat Shand of Coram (“Destiny, NY”) plus creative writing and drawing panels. Additionally, the 1966 Batmobile will be on display Sunday for photo-ops and the zombie car from “Resident Evil” on both days.

SPECIAL GUESTS 

Expo guests can come face-to-face with the people who actually make the comics to get books signed, purchase prints and take selfies with the artists. 

Colorist/editor/writer Renée Witterstaetter, who has worked on “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Silver Surfer,” “The Thanos Quest,” “Jurassic Park” and “She-Hulk,” will be selling and signing copies of her new book, “Cloaked Crusader: George Washington in Comics and Pop Culture.”

“Fans at shows give me feedback on what certain books mean to them. I particularly get that from people who read the ‘She-Hulk’ comic books,” says Witterstaetter. “She’s a very strong, secure woman with her looks and abilities. I always felt she radiated such positivity.”

Illustrator Arthur Suydam, who designed iconic covers for “Marvel Zombies,” “Deadpool” and “Black Panther,” will sign prints of The Man With No Name cover he created featuring Clint Eastwood as a zombie.

“Meeting fans is one of the highlights of the industry for me,” says Suydam. “I’ll even do some little sketches on the comics if they like.”

Inker/penciler/artist Rodney Ramos, who is known for his work on the “Toxic Avenger,” “What If?” and “Conan the Barbarian,” likes to inspire the next generation of artists.

“I strongly encourage kids to draw and do more artwork,” says Ramos. “They always light up and get happy about it, which is great to see.”

THE DOCTOR IS IN 

Get ready to do some time traveling as the 9th annual Long Island “Doctor Who” Convention is coming to the Holiday Inn in Holtsville on Saturday and Sunday. The beloved British science fiction series, which is celebrating its 59th anniversary and moving to Disney+ in 2023, is the centerpiece of this two-day event.

At this year’s con, the man who played the 5th doctor Peter Davison (1982-1984) will serve as the main celebrity guest.

“Davison will appear in his ‘Doctor Who’ costume for the first time in 30 years for photo-ops,” says organizer Ken Deep. “He doesn’t do a ton of U.S. appearances so this is not a common occurrence.” 

In addition to a series of panels, a cosplay pageant and vendors all dedicated to “Doctor Who,” there will be a release party for the new book, “A World of Demons: The Villains of Doctor Who.”

“This show endures because it’s incredibly positive,” says Deep, who co-authored the book. “The hero doesn’t carry a gun, he uses his brain. Plus, it’s always reinventing itself, which breathes fresh air into the series.”

For tickets and more information, visit: longislanddoctorwho.com.   — DAVID J. CRIBLEZ 

David J. Criblez is a reporter for Newsday’s exploreLI, covering entertainment-related events from local music to stand-up comedy to festivals.

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