On March 10 from 1 to 4 p.m., October Country Comics, located at 5 Cherry Hill Center in New Paltz, will be hosting its second annual autograph signing, featuring 12 artists, writers and inkers – many of them longtime legendary veterans of the comic-book industry. Last year, Mike Giacoia, manager of October Country, said that 500 people showed up for the free signing, many bringing books from their private collection to get signed.
“Some get autographs so they can put their stuff on eBay and get more money,” noted Giacoia, adding that plenty more are dedicated fans who value their own personalized copy of a revered artist’s work. The veteran artists include two octogenarians: Joe Sinnott, who’s famous for his work on the Fantastic Four – he still draws the syndicated Spiderman strip – and Ramona Fradon, known for her superheroes in the 1950s as well as the Brenda Starr comic strip.
The other participants are artists/inkers Terry Austin, Dan Green and Joe Staton; writers/artists Fred Hembeck and Walt Simonson; writers Todd DeZago, Ron Marz and Louise Simonson; artists Matthew Dow-Smith and Herb Trimpe; and inker Bob Wiacek. Each of the artist and writers will be stationed at a table displaying his or her work. Graphic novels will also be represented – Giacoia calls them “larger, more expensive versions of comic books” – which also differ in that they describe a complete narrative, versus the serial form of comic books.
Besides having the opportunity to meet some of the biggest names in comic books, you’ll also want to browse the shelves of October Country: The store carries all the new Marvel and DC titles, as well as a wide range of alternative press comics, supplies, roleplaying and card games including Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, new baseball-card packs, card supplies, posters, tee-shirts and a huge back-issue section with over 50,000 comics.
Giacoia said that, while comic books seemed destined to disappear as a viable artform a decade ago, since then there has been a resurgence – with the exception of 2011, when sales slumped due to the lousy economy; this year’s sales have bounced back. Giacoia has been a collector since age ten, so he knows his stuff. For more information, visit www.octobercountrycomics.com or call (845) 255-1115.