The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

Comic fans come together at MSP ComiCon

Whether a dedicated curator or just curious about comics, ComiCon welcomes all this weekend.

MSP+ComiCon+is+an+annual+two-day+convention+held+at+the+Minnesota+Fairgrounds+in+St.+Paul.+The+convention+is+put+on+and+hosted+by+a+group+of+volunteers+from+the+Midwest+Comic+Book+Association+%28MCBA%29.+It%E2%80%99s+a+popular+show+for+comic+book+creators+as+they+get+tables+for+free+in+addition+to+meals.
MSP ComiCon is an annual two-day convention held at the Minnesota Fairgrounds in St. Paul. The convention is put on and hosted by a group of volunteers from the Midwest Comic Book Association (MCBA). It’s a popular show for comic book creators as they get tables for free in addition to meals.

MSP ComiCon is an annual two-day convention held at the Minnesota Fairgrounds in St. Paul. The convention is put on and hosted by a group of volunteers from the Midwest Comic Book Association (MCBA). It’s a popular show for comic book creators as they get tables for free in addition to meals.

Joe Dumas

Joe Dumas

MSP ComiCon is an annual two-day convention held at the Minnesota Fairgrounds in St. Paul. The convention is put on and hosted by a group of volunteers from the Midwest Comic Book Association (MCBA). It’s a popular show for comic book creators as they get tables for free in addition to meals.

Francheska Crawford Hanke, Senior Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Coming to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, the Midwest Comic Book Association (MCBA)’s MSP ComiCon features an old-fashioned comic convention focused purely on the original form of comics themselves.

Mike Frigon, member of MCBA, described the event’s connection to the classic conventions.

“MSP ComiCon, formerly Spring Con, is an old-school, meat-and-potatoes, fan-driven comic book convention,” said Frigon. “We’re not the new pop culture kind of convention. We’re not an autograph convention, persay. We’re a straight-up comic convention absolutely dedicated to preserving and fostering one of the truly American art forms.”

The event is entirely volunteer-based from the MCBA, who organize the entire convention, and a collection of other businesses and organizations who donate their resources, including Atlas Games, Comic Art House, Graffic Traffic, Valiant, Viz Media, NiCoral and their Arkham Carnival and The Source.

In addition, a wide range of exhibitors will be present including IKV Rakehell, a Star Trek and Klingon group, Minnesota Superheroes United, TwinLUG Legos and a variety more with interests focused on specific fandoms from Star Wars to Tolkien.

With gathering special guests, coordinating creators and advertising the event, a lot of work goes into the entire event, but it’s not done for profit. In fact, every year, donations are made to several charities, including: Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, Greyhounds of America and the local food shelves. This year, Bikers Against Child Abuse has been added to their charitable list.

“This is like a second full-time job,” Frigon said. “[But] we’re not in it for the money, we’re in it for the love.”

The event itself offers a plethora of activities, including the huge number of creators and dealers selling their art and comics, family-friendly kids events, the sights of costumed fans and a contest for them in addition to a charity auction. This year a gaming demonstration has been added.

Offering so much to do and see, the convention risks being a tad overwhelming for those who haven’t attended before, but that’s part of the thrill. With the people of MCBA and all the returning creators and sponsors, the show is organized by a tight-knit, genuine cast.

“We’re almost family. The two shows we put on a year are like family reunions,” Frigon said.

Cory Strode, a podcaster who’s been involved with the ComiCon for 28 years, echoed the same sentiment.

“I always call this convention a kind of family reunion. We have creators who come year after year after year,” said Strode. “It’s kinda a big, nerdy family reunion, and every year the family gets bigger.”

For long-time participants, the weekend holds new intriguing elements like additional kid activities, from decorating a cape and mask to making their own comics or meeting the slew of first-time special guests.

“For me, it’s seeing people I haven’t seen in awhile… There’s also going through the dealer’s table and getting enough stuff to read for the summer,” Strode said.

For first-timers, Strode has a pre-show podcast to prepare anyone for the upcoming weekend on the Thursday prior, and he has four key tips.

“First thing is, comfortable shoes. The floor at the grandstand is concrete. It has been around longer than you and it will be around a lot longer than you,” he said.

Second and third, he advises bringing both friends for company and a cell phone charger to snap more photos.

“The last thing to bring is a bag that won’t get into other people’s way. You’re gonna be hitting those dollar tables and your eyes are gonna be bigger than your backpack,” Strode said.

For the entire pre-show podcast, visit http://www.krayzcomix.solitairerose.com/.
Once prepared and excited, convention-goers can experience the MSP ComiCon on May 14 and 15 starting at 10 a.m. both days, ending at 6 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. The event costs $14, but a canned good donation acts as a $1 off coupon, and parking is free. Anyone who can’t get there physically can watch a live stream held by Strode at https://www.youtube.com/user/CoryStrode.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
The student news site of Hamline University.
Comic fans come together at MSP ComiCon