Author Archives: grcomiccon


The Grand Rapids Comic-Con will have an electronic gaming room for all you console fans.

This gaming room will be hosted by Nintendo! There will be console gaming units available at the show where we will be demoing the newest selection of games. Included in the consoles will be the Nintendo 2DS which is Nintendo’s brand new handheld system that launches October 12! The 3DS, 3DSXL and the WiiU systems will also be available.

Games showcased to be announced.

As with all events at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con, there will be no extra charge for the electronic gaming room at the show!

Board and Card

The Grand Rapids Comic-Con is pleased to announce that Capital City Collectibles will be operating the card and board game room at the show on October 12!


10 am

Munchin: A humorous card game for 2-6 adults. Time to play: approximately one hour.

11:30 am

Pokemon: Take on the role of a Pokemon trainer, using your creature to battle. Two-plus players. Time to play: approximately 45 minutes.

1 pm

Kaijudo: A trading card game based on the popular TV show and Japanese card game “Duel Masters”. Two players. Time to play: 10-45 minutes.

2:30 pm

Cardfight!! Vanguard: A trading card game of dueling astral spirits battling on the planet Cray. Two players. Time to pay: 10-45 minutes.

4 pm

Fluxx: A fast-paced card game for 2-6 players. Time to play: approximately 30 minutes.

There is no charge for playing any games at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con! All games will be available for purchase from Capital City Collectibles right in the gaming room for those who may be interested.

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Capital City Collectibles is a store in Lansing specializing in collectible games as well as new and collectible comics. We host card and board gaming tournaments many days of the week. For more information on their store visit them at


6Squirrels Creations will be displaying some larger than life Transformers costumes at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con!

Starscream and a couple other characters from the iconic science fiction series will be on display at the con for photo opportunities. The Starscream costume is over eight feet tall, so these costumes are quite impressive. Make sure to take a few mintes at the show to check out the Autobots and Decepticons in the back of the exhibition hall and get some photos with these excellent creations.

For more information on Squirrels Creations please visit their website at

Special Needs

GR-Comic-con Text-Logo Color bannerThe event staff at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con is committed to creating an epic annual event for all of the fans out there. We want to make sure that every fan who attends, including ones that may have specific special needs, has an amazing and memorable time.

Disability Advocates

We are working closely with Disability Advocates Of Kent County to create a memorable experience for people who may have special needs

Handicap Accessibility

The DeltaPlex is mostly on one level and every room is handicap accessible; the gaming room and anime room/film festival is on the second level but all rooms are accessible with an elevator. There is ample handicap parking in the front of the building that is clearly marked. The bathrooms all have handicap toilets and other facilities.

Seating at Film Festival and Seminars

There will be space saved in each seminar room and the film festival for wheelchairs. This space is limited so make sure to get in line early. Although we will do everything possible to accomodate people with special needs, in order to be fair to everybody attending the event we will not provide early access to the vending hall or other events or the ability to skip lines. We will allow you to have other people to stand in your place in line. We also can not guarantee attendance to every seminar or autograph signings, although we will do our best to make sure you have the quality experience you deserve like everybody else.

Guide Dogs and Service Animals

Guide dogs and service animals are welcome at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con on the condition that they are leashed or appropriately controlled. Since we will not be allowing in any other types of animals into the show we ask that each service animal has a certification license or some other documentation that verifies that the service animal is indeed needed. It also helps if your service animal is clearly marked with some kind of designation such as a “Paws With A Cause” vest or some type of equivalent. The owner assumes full responsibility for the actions of his/her animal.


All staff at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con will be clearly marked with a  badge around their necks. If you have any questions or special needs please feel free to ask.


If you have any questions, concerns, or comments please feel free to write co-Event Coordinator Mark Hodges at

Arvell Jones

arvell jones headshotBooth 433

Arvell Malcolm Jones has been drawing comics for a long time, his earliest work appears in Marvel Comics’ Marvel Premiere #20-22 (Jan.-May 1975), drawing the martial arts superhero Iron Fist. He’s drawn for Marvel such titles as Iron Man, Luke Cage, Avengers, and Daredevil. Jones worked on the DC Comics series All-Star Squadron in the mid-1980s, penciling the majority of the issues released between 1985 and 1987. After leaving the comics field for several years to work in television. He returned in 1994 to provide pencils on the DC Comics/Milestone Media series Kobalt.

arvell jones 1He co-found and managed as Executive Vice President a public company that produced websites for Microsoft, New Corporation, Oldsmobile, Chevy, Corvette, and others. For the last few years he’s headed his own production company Encode Entertainment,  and produced shows for CoLours TV, he is also Adjunct Faculty in the Illustration Department at the College For Creative Studies.

Arvell is currently accepting commissions. If you wish to have original artwork from Arvell Jones please write for more information. You can pick up the finished artwork at the show.

He returns to comics to work on two Indy titles to be released soon.  For more on Arvell’s artwork visit

How Can I Help

grand rapids tonight 21

photo/Tony Wright

“How can I help with the Grand Rapids Comic-Con?”

This is probably the most asked question we get in regards to the Grand Rapids Comic-Con. There are many people who want to help, but for some reason or another they do not feel as if they are able to assist in any way. We want to let you know that is not true, as there are many ways fans can help in growing the Grand Rapids Comic-Con into the world-class event that we know can develop right here in West Michigan.

Here are some simple, practical ways that just about everybody can do to assist in growing the Grand Rapids Comic-Con:

  1. Attend the event: This is a simple one–make sure you show up! Your attendance shows support both financially and emotionally, both of which are important to the promoters!
  2. Fill up the car: If you have friends who want to attend but don’t have proper transportation make sure to help them out in that regard.
  3. Can’t afford the show? Volunteer!: We understand that finances for some people can be rough, especially in this economy. If you can’t afford to attend the show as a paying customer then we would encourage you to volunteer a few hours to help out with the running of the event. We will only ask for a few hours of your time and you can attend the rest of the event for free. Write us at and put “I want to volunteer” in the subject matter and our volunteer coordinator will get back with you.
  4. Pass the word along via social media: Make sure to invite your online friends to join us on Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Help us promote: We are printing thousands of full color postcards and hundreds of posters for the Grand Rapids Comic-Con, and there is no way we can hit everywhere. If you are willing to pass out some cards at your school or leave some in your work’s break room or front desk please write us at and put “I need some postcards” in the subject matter. Make sure to state how many postcards/posters you will need and we will send you how many you request.
  6. Wear a costume: Nothing adds more fun and festivity to a popular arts show like the Grand Rapids Comic-Con than to wear a costume. We encourage everybody to show up in a costume of your favorite character from comics or the movies. Just remember we are a family-friendly show so keep the costume PG-13 or cleaner. For more guidelines visit our Costuming page.
  7. Take some time at the show to catch a film or seminar: There will be a lot more going on at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con than just a vending room. Make sure to take some time to read the schedule at the show and attend a few seminars, presentations, or film screenings that sound interesting. This shows support to all the people who work diligently on these special events, who also greatly appreciate your attendance.
  8. Spend some money in the vending room: Vendors are a lot like Ferengi from Star Trek–they like money. Especially at a first-time event, vendors take a lot of risk attending a show like the Grand Rapids Comic-Con and have a lot of expenses such as gasoline, hotels, and the booth rental. Show support for them by spending some money in the vending room on items that you enjoy. Ideally if each person who attends the show would spend $30-50 with vendors they would spread the word that the Grand Rapids Comic-Con is a high quality event, and when we grow into larger facilities we would be able to fill the space with eager new vendors plus the original ones would return.
  9. Buy a print in “Artist Alley”: The independent artists attending the Grand Rapids Comic-Con also have expenses, plus many of them are working on being seen at the next level. Make sure to support their journey by purchasing a print or two from favorite artists at the show. It also helps in the fact that the artists tell their artist friends that the Grand Rapids Comic-Con is a high quality event that supports the arts community, and that increases our pool of available artists that are willing to attend the show.
  10. Support our charitable efforts: Kitchen Sage is a very worthy charity that helps feed poor children in West Michigan, and they deserve our support. Quality support of our charitable works gives the Grand Rapids Comic-Con a good image in the community.
  11. Keep the event a safe one: It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch, and it only takes one person to ruin a good time for many others. Make sure to not be that person by obeying the rules of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con and gently reminding your friends who may not be doing so that it is in the event’s best interest to cooperate.
  12. Give feedback: We do want your opinions, seriously! Make sure to spend some time after the Grand Rapids Comic-Con to give your feedback on what you liked and did not like about the show. You may do so by filling our a survey that we plan to have available after the show, writing us at, or posting on our Facebook wall.

See, you were going to do most or all of that anyway, right? Being supportive of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con is quite easy, and we greatly appreciate any and all support!

Family Events

The Grand Rapids Comic-Con will have a significant amount of events and activities for families with even the youngest children. We will be creating numerous events for children that are both educational and informational for the young ones.

Family-Friendly Comic Books

peanuts comic bookChris Galvan, a national expert on comic books, will be doing a seminar for parents about the comic book industry and how to shop for family-friendly comics in a world that doesn’t look so family-friendly. Chris currently writes a blog called “What’s In The Longbox” that is a comic book review site as well as being a writer for Comic Buyer’s Guide magazine, the largest publication in the world that reviewed comic books until it closed in 2013, and a comic book reviewer for West Side Comix. Chris is also a family man with children who read comic books, so he speaks from personal experience. Parents who have children who love comic books will find Chris’ presentation an essential part of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con!

Learn How To Draw

randy zimmerman

Randy Zimmerman, the publisher of Flint Comix and West Side Comix, will be doing a special drawing seminar specifically for children. Randy will be teaching the young ones on how to draw the characters Mickey Mouse and Spongebob Squarepants. Randy does these kind of art events at schools and libraries in his native area of Flint, Michigan, and will create a great experience for aspiring young artists.

How To Make Scooby Snacks

tommy fitzgeraldChef Tommy Fitzgerald, the head behind Kitchen Sage and the Juice Ball Initiative, will be running a presentation entitled “How To Make Scooby Snacks” which is designed to teach children basic culinary skills and how to make smart, healthy choices on snack food. This will be a hands-on presentation where children will be able to be actively involved in making a simple snack food item that will not require adult supervision. Chef Tommy regularly gives similar presentations around West Michigan in elementary schools through Kitchen Sage, which is the official charity of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con.

Vending Room Economics 101


The Grand Rapids Comic-Con is a fantastic opportunity for parents to teach their children about the value of a dollar and what it can buy. The convention will have a large vending room with thousands of items to buy, and parents who wish to teach their children the value of money can use this opportunity to help their children learn how to plan their purchases.

Here is what we propose you should do with your children in the vending hall:

  • Before attending the show, have your children make a “holy grail” list of items that they really want. Make sure that list is fairly specific: instead of putting “action figure” or “poster” on the list make sure they specify types of characters that they want (for example, “Superman action figure” or “Star Wars poster”).
  • Make a budget for each child that they are allowed to spend in the vending hall based on their age. Although each family can pick their own amounts, we would propose at least $10-20 for younger children and double that for pre-teens. Make sure your children does some extra chores around the house so they understand that their money required some effort on their part.
  • Make each child go through the entire vending hall at least once without spending a cent. This teaches them how to shop around and not make snap decisions on purchases.
  • The second time through the vending hall is the time to pick up those “holy grail” items that they have seen.
  • If they still have money left over then it is time to take a look at those items that may not have been on their list but appealed to the kids on their first or second time through the vending room.
  • Make them stick to their budget. Do not bend and give them extra money!
  • If they can not get everything they want then help them with discussing each item and assist them in making intelligent decisions with their money.
  • If they desire to buy an item that may not be age appropriate then take advantage of the time to discuss that item and why it may not be for their age group. Don’t just tell them no, tell them why you don’t approve of a certain item and explain your point of view in a loving manner. Your children may not agree, but it gives a bonding opportunity with you and your children in an environment they will enjoy.

Family Costuming

use 27One unique element of popular arts shows such as the Grand Rapids Comic-Con is that many attendees will show up in costumes of their favorite superheroes and movie heroes and villains. Why not take advantage of this and have the family costume together? This is a great opportunity to have a family bonding moment, plus the children will remember the time they have long after they have grown up.

You could have everybody pick their own costumes, but why not pick a group costume that the family could do together? Maybe your family could go as a group of Jedi, The Avengers, or characters from The Wizard Of Oz, but you could also cosplay as a famed family unit such as the Addams Family or the Incredibles. Discuss it as a family and plan accordingly for a unique day of fun and imagination!

More family-friendly presentations to be announced.

Art Show

art/Mike Deodato

art/Mike Deodato

The Grand Rapids Comic-Con is pleased to be hosting one of the largest one-of-a-kind art sketch shows in the United States on October 12!

Over 100 individual, truly unique sketches will be displayed for public view in a museum-style setting at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con for all show attendees to see. Every piece is an original piece hand drawn or colored by the artist–no prints or reproductions here. Over 200 comic artists will be represented in the show including the following:

  • Jim Lee
  • Frank Miller
  • George Perez
  • Greg Horn
  • Dave Dorman
  • Mike Deodato
  • Jim Steranko
  • Billy Tucci
  • Mark Texeira
  • Tim Vigil
  • Uko Smith
  • Mike Okamoto
  • Adam Kubert
  • Joe Kubert
  • …and many, many more!

    art/George Perez

    art/George Perez

This show will only appear at two other conventions across the United States in 2013, so this is truly a unique and rare opportunity. In addition, there is no additional charge to enjoy the art show at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con!

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This art show is courtesy of Dan’s Dream, a nonprofit agency that creates awareness for comic book artists.

Dan’s Dream is essentially an unselfish desire by a dedicated comic art fan to share his collection with the world.  Dan Frazier has been collecting comic sketch art for decades and at long last, it will be available for public viewing.  Nothing gives Dan greater joy than showing people his astounding collection.  Art exhibition tours are being planned and we hope they will culminate in a series of sketchbooks of his collection being published.   A percentage of proceeds from the tours and books will be donated to comic industry charitable organizations that are near and dear to Dan’s heart.  It’s extremely important to Dan to give back to those who have brought him such joy.

So, come out and meet Dan and experience some phenomenal original art.  See what all the buzz is about!

“Friend” Dan on Facebook to keep up with this exciting project  –

dan's dream logo

The Grand Rapids Comic-Con, a family-friendly comic book and popular arts convention that will be held on October 12 at the HSB Building in Wyoming, will be hosting an annual comic book art contest for students in the area. Each participating school will be able to enter one student’s work per category (grades 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12).

Five finalists per category will be selected by a committee of local artists. The finalists will be judged by several national comic book artists who will be attending the Grand Rapids Comic-Con. The finalists for each category will receive four tickets to the Grand Rapids Comic-Con on October 12 as well as a trophy and a lanyard for their achievement and having their work displayed in a world-class art show that will be hosted at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con including original work from famous comic artists such as Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Joe Quesada, and Greg Horn. The winners in each category will also receive a larger trophy and a $100 check.

Rules for children’s art contest

  1. Students may enter at their school if they participate.
  2. Each student is allowed one entry.
  3. Each entry must be an original piece from the student themselves, no help from teachers, parents, relatives, etc.
  4. Student is to provide their artwork on paper no larger than 8.5×11 inches. Format of art can be any style the student desires including crayon, chalk, pen/ink, watercolor, etc.
  5. Artwork must center on some type of superhero character. The superhero character can either be an existing character or a character created by the student.
  6. Student entries will be divided into four categories: 2-3 grade, 4-5 grade, 6-8 grade, and 9-12 grade.
  7. Each participating school will set up their own way of collecting entries for the contest.
  8. Deadline for students to submit their submissions to their school will be September 21, 2013.
  9. School will select one entry to represent their school per category and will mail their original submission(s) to the following: Attn: art contest, West Michigan Convention Ventures, 4787 Brookside Dr. SW, Grandville, MI 49418. Entry must include some form of contact information for the student with communication through the school being preferred. Entries must be postmarked by September 28.
  10. West Michigan Convention Ventures will take the entries and narrow the field down to a final five entries per grade category. Finalists will be notified by October 4.
  11. Each finalist will receive the following: up to four free tickets for the Grand Rapids Comic-Con on October 12 for the student and their immediate family (parents, guardian, siblings); a badge worn around the neck that recognizes their achievement; their artwork framed and displayed at an art show at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con that will also display original artwork from numerous national comic book artists; and recognition at a ceremony announcing the winners of the children’s art contest.
  12. The children’s art contest finalists will be judged by a committee of national comic book artists attending the show. They will pick one winner from each category. If there is a tie, it will be broken by Mark and Jennifer Hodges, the co-event coordinators of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con.
  13. The winner in each category will receive a check for $100 (one hundred dollars) and a trophy at the awards ceremony on October 12. The rest will receive a similar trophy or award to be determined.
  14. All judges’ decisions are final.
  15. Students who attend a school not participating in the children’s art contest or are home schooled may enter the contest by sending their unfolded entry to the following address: attn: art contest, West Michigan Convention Ventures, 4787 Brookside Dr. SW, Grandville, MI 49418. Entry must include the original artwork (no copies), the student’s name, grade, and an email address of the parents so we may communicate about the entry.
  16. Finalists may pick up their original, framed artwork after 5 pm at the show on October 12. If that is not possible arrangement for pick-up can be made.
  17. The Home School Building or HSB Inc. is not hosting, organizing, or judging this contest in any way and is to be held harmless for any problems or legal issues associated with the children’s art contest.
  18. This children’s art contest is being sponsored by West Michigan Convention Ventures LLC, 4787 Brookside Dr SW, Grandville, MI49418. Email contact is and the phone number is 616-281-5930. Contact name is Mark Hodges.