Updated: Oct 11, 2018
The North Texas Comic Book Show, a two-day comic book convention, saw collectors, cosplayers, and merchants come together with some of the industry’s most famous comic artists in the Irving Convention Center to celebrate the best of what the comic and cosplay worlds have to offer over the July 21-22 weekend.
July’s event was the first of the biannually produced comic book shows hosted at the Irving venue. The spacious exhibition room, coupled with the enormous selection of memorabilia, literature, and artwork, created the type of open, inviting, and accessible atmosphere the North Texas Comic Book Show is known for.
“North Texas Comic Book Show, or NTCBS as it is affectionately known, is probably my absolute favorite smaller con” said Daniel Calhoun, the NTCBS’s self-proclaimed ‘most vocal supporter.’ “It focuses more on comics, instead of movies or TV shows, and has more of a family reunion feel than a business event, It is a con that cosplayers have taken as our own, and one near and dear to all of our hearts. This con is my suggestion for anyone who has never been to one before, because you can get a taste of the geek life, but not be overwhelmed. You walk away from it feeling you are a part of a larger community.
“This show really is my heart and soul. Not only is it six years going, but it is also my four year anniversary of working for the show. We have over 100 events in Texas alone. Myself, as well as many of the cosplayers you see at shows, are involved in the charity, Heroic Inner Kids. Many of us are also members of the group, North Texas Cosplay [NTC]. From friends I have in other states, I can state that we in Texas, North Texas specifically, have probably the most organized group in the whole country. We have over 5000 members in NTC itself.”
The vast majority of the exhibition room’s center area of was set aside for vendor stands of art and bins full to the brim with comic trinkets and memorabilia, while the outside border was reserved for the more renowned comic artists. Fans were free to interact with their favorite artists, most of whom spent their time not in conversation, but drawing and expanding upon their already impressive galleries available for sale.
“It’s so refreshing to come to conventions that are a bit more laid back like this,” cosplay fan Sophie Martin said. “A lot of the comic cons and other events get really big, making it difficult to interact with your favorite artists and writers. Especially for those people who may have not yet have been introduced to the crazy world of cosplay, but are interested, or maybe for those who are societally anxious, smaller conventions and shows like this are really nice. You also can learn a lot by having the ability to ask artists questions. Some conventions get huge, and that can mean huge lines to wait in.”
The many booths and activities simultaneously ongoing often made it possible for fans to find one-on-one time with their specific artists of interest. By being able to do so, fans are given a platform to examine the opinions and thoughts of their favorite professional artists.
“You’re never going to like your own art style, ever,” Mike Wolfman of Unearthly Comics said. “Probably once you do start liking it, you should just quit. You’ll never like it. You have to get your opinions from other people, and they’re going to love it, so you have to listen to the other people.”