Life In Four Colors: Gem City Countdown-Part Two
"The Secret Origins of Gem City Comic Con"
Bill Thade and Jesse Noble may not exactly be house hold names to some of you, but in the Dayton Ohio area... .these two are quickly becoming Four Color Comic Book Legends.
For the past four years these two guys have put together Gem City Comic Con... a already legendary one day comic event that comes into the Dayton early April each spring faster than a speeding bullet and hits you harder than a powerful locomotive.
But as the legend continues to build each year with yet another successful con under their belt... one may wonder how did this all come about.
Who are these masked men?
How did Jesse Noble... former rock guitarist turned comic collector first met Bill Thade... a man with almost "cosmic awareness" when it comes to finding the hardest to find collectable comic treasures in the known universe.
Or at least I wondered exactly how this modern day Rick Jones and Captain Marvel first met.
This past Sunday, March 8th, I had the opportunity to ask about the Untold Secret Origin of Gem City Comic Con.
Bill Gladman: "I'm here at the Buckeye Con today up in Columbus Ohio and I'm talking with Jesse Noble and Bill Thade, the two gentlemen behind the growing phenomenon known as Gem City Comic Con which Comic Related will be headed to and covering in detail very shortly. I've been attending and enjoying that convention for years. Since the first year as a matter of fact, but I was wondering how this con came to be. Could you give us a little history about the con itself, and maybe how the two of you guys happened to meet and get to know each other?"
Bill Thade: "Go ahead."
Jesse Noble: "Well. Okay. It's a long, confusing and twisted tale. But it ended up something like this. I was a customer at his shop and the two of us would often talk about how there were no good shows in the Dayton area... "
JN: "... and there just hadn't been in forever and we felt there was this large gaping hole in the convention circuit around us."
BG: "This was true."
BT: "And Dayton, I think, is the number one comic city in the state of Ohio. There are more comic shops per captia in Dayton... then anywhere. And they're all doing really well."
JN: "Nobody's struggling. And it was really a no-brainer. We sat down and talked about it and it was kind of one of those things... ."If we could find a place we could do this and we could do that" and the next day I came back into the shop and was like... guess what? I found a place. And we were off and running."
BG: "And that place happened to be the Wright State Student Union over on the Wright State Campus."
JN: "That's correct. And it's always been there."
BG: "How did you come across that location? Did you have some kind of connections there?"
JN: "I work on campus. I work with those people everyday and if I ever need something for the show I know exactly what office to walk in to and who to talk to... and they can't hide from me."
BG: "And Gem City Comic Con is born. And it's really been a great show. It's going on what... .it's fourth year? Is that right?"
BT: "This will make our fourth year."
BG: "Chuck and I like to call it the one day show that hits you like a two day show... .sometimes he likes to refer to as the biggest one day show you will ever go to. A really active show that everybody seems to gravitate to."
BT: "Everybody really seems to like it and we've been really lucky in the amount of dealers who like to come out and be a part of this show. Which is really, really great. A lot of them have used their connections to pull in some really top notch comic creators and talent. And the fans have just been great. The number of people that turn out each year just continues to amaze me."
BG: "What amazes me is the comic guests you two guys continue to pull in year after year. I mean Chris Claremont this year. Frank Brunner. Michael Golden a couple of years ago."
JN: "Marv Wolfman."
BG: "Yeah, that's right. Marv was there last year."
BT: " And the guests... I mean all the guests we've had at the show so far... when we see there later at other shows, even shows much bigger than ours, big two day shows, they always tell us they do better at our shows."
BG: "Billy Tan at Mid-Ohio mentioned that exact same thing. I mean Billy Tan at your show last year was swamped. He had a very sizable line all day long until about the last twenty minutes of the day... .which I finally managed to get a chance to sit down and talk to him."
BT: "I know. I mean he didn't even eat his lunch. I started to feel bad because I thought he didn't like it. I went up to him and asked him if he wanted something different and was... no I'm just busy. I'm trying to make some money. Go away."
BG: "That's awesome. Well we look forward to being there. Comic Related will be there all day long covering the event and I really appreciate a little back story about the con."
JN: "I really wish there was some kind of killer origin story, but that's about it."
BG: "It's actually much better than the story that Bill told me earlier."
JN: "Hard telling what that was, but truthfully... I wish there was some kind of really cool origin story but it's more of a ... hey... why not... okay... type of story."
BG: "Well I think it's really cool you were a customer at the store first and you guys hooked up and started doing this. That was pretty awesome."
BG: "And I hope you guys have a really good day here. Business has been very brisk this first hour."
BT: "It has been very busy."
BG: "I'll try to get this up in the next couple of days. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me."
JN: "Hey, not a problem. Take care."
Bill Gladman - Bill is a writer and illustrator and currently working on several different projects including the first issue of an ongoing comic book series (Prodigy), an illustrated fantasy novel (The Book of Noheim), and the first of four illustrated science fiction/fantasy novels (Jack the Rabbit, Living Legend of the Purple Plains) as well as a light-hearted on going mini-comic (Three Wise Men). Bill also pens a column for Comic Related and will be doing a mix of regional convention coverage.
blog comments powered by Disqus