Pittsburgh Comicon facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsPittsburgh Comicon
|Venue||Radisson Hotel Pittsburgh ExpoMart (1994–2008)
Monroeville Convention Center (2009–2014)
David L. Lawrence Convention Center (2015–2016)
|Location||Monroeville, Pennsylvania (1994–2014)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2015–2016)
|Organizer||Comics World (1994–2014)
Wizard World (2015–2016)
The Pittsburgh Comicon was a comic book convention held in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, United States. It was founded in 1994 by Michael and Renee George. It was traditionally a three-day event (Friday through Sunday) and featured a fan-friendly experience that allowed the fans to interact with comic professionals at all levels.
Though it primarily focused on comic books, the convention featured a large range of pop culture elements, such as professional wrestling, science fiction/fantasy, film/television, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels. Given Pittsburgh's connection to George A. Romero's zombie apocalypse films (with Romero's Dawn of the Dead being filmed in the Monroeville Mall), horror fans were also welcomed at the convention to meet and greet with the film's actors that regularly attended.
The show also made a concerted effort to promote local-area talent and publishers. The show raised money for various charities; over the years the show had supported local literacy organizations, the Comic book Legal Defense Fund, local Food Banks, and had raised more than $250,000 for the Pittsburgh chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Windber, Pennsylvania-based comics retailers Michael and Renée George (proprietors of Comics World) staged the first Pittsburgh Comicon in April 1994 at the Radisson Hotel Pittsburgh ExpoMart in Monroeville. It was the first major show staged in Pittsburgh for the comic community since the 1970s. From the beginning, a major focus for the show has been giving to charity, the Make-A-Wish Foundation in particular, which is the primary beneficiary of the Annual Comicon Auction.
The Pittsburgh Comicon hosted the Harvey Award ceremonies from 2000–2002, with Evan Dorkin serving as master of ceremonies. Jeff Smith was the keynote speaker of the 2000 awards. Superstar creator Frank Miller gave the keynote speech at the 2001 award ceremony in which he vilified the comic book speculating industry, in particular Wizard magazine. He ended his speech by tearing up a copy of Wizard. Tony Millionaire gave the keynote speech at the 2002 awards ceremony. In 2003, due to a cancellation from scheduled keynote speaker Neil Gaiman, funding shortages forced a cancellation of that year's Harvey Awards ceremony and banquet (which had also been scheduled for the Pittsburgh Comicon), although award-winners were still named.
The 2000 edition of the show raised $26,000 for the Pittsburgh chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The 2003 show raised $27,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The 2007 show raised $30,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and $5,000 for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
In 2006, Comic Geek Speak was named the Official Comics Podcast for the Pittsburgh Comicon and has held that title ever since.
In 2009, the show moved from the defunct Pittsburgh ExpoMart to the new Monroeville Convention Center, welcoming Stan Lee as their guest of honor to inaugurate their first show in the new venue.
In 2015, Pittsburgh Comicon was acquired by Wizard World, becoming Wizard World Comic Con Pittsburgh. In addition, the convention moved to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. Wizard World held the convention there for two years, but did not hold one in 2017 or 2018. However, their site does list Pittsburgh on their list of shows for 2019.
Dates and locations
|April 1994||John Byrne, Rob Liefeld, Eric Stephenson, Dan Fraga, Jim Valentino, Dave Sim, Steve Rude|
|April 1995||Marc Silvestri, Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Mike Heisler|
|April 19–21, 1996||Stan Lee, Jim Shooter, and Julius Schwartz, Rob Liefeld, Martin Nodell, Patrick Block, Ron Frenz, Tony Daniel, Larry Elmore, Dan Fraga, Randy Green, Irwin Hasen, Gil Kane, Mark Morales, Michael Turner|
|April 18–20, 1997||David Prowse||Carmen Electra was a last-minute cancellation|
|April 25–26, 1998||Kevin Smith and Jim Mahfood, Mark Waid, James Robinson, Mike Allred, Drew Hayes, David Finch, David Wohl, Billy Tan, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Quesada, Amanda Conner, Billy Tucci, Howard Porter, David Mack, Gray Morrow, Clayburn Moore, Martin Nodell, Sheldon Moldoff, Dick Ayers|
|April 23–25, 1999||7,500||Martin Nodell, Alley Baggett, Lou Ferrigno, George Steele, Steve Lieber, Michael Turner, George Pérez, Brian Pulido, Tom Savini, Mark Waid, Scott Lobdell, Joe Jusko, Dick Ayers, Michael Bair, Dorian Clevenger, Scott McDaniel, Gray Morrow, John Totleben|
|April 28–30, 2000||10,000||Presentation of the Harvey Awards|
|April 27–29, 2001||Frank Miller, Jeff Smith, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Dave Cooper, Dan Clowes, Frank Cho, Mark Schultz, Scott McDaniel, Tom Savini, Chyna, Michonne Bourriague, Paul Blake, Claire Stansfield, Alexandra Tydings, Terry Moore, Dean Haspiel, Josh Neufeld, Erik Larsen, John Romita Jr., Jim Valentino, Tim Truman, Brian Michael Bendis, Keu Cha, Jeff Smith, Al Williamson, David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Larry Elmore, George Pérez, Tom Savini||$15 per day; $35 for 3-day pass; presentation of the Harvey Awards|
|April 26–28, 2002||Carmine Infantino, William Tucci, George Pérez, Ted Dibiase, Nikolai Volkoff, Frank Cho, Julius Schwartz, Al Williamson, Kenny Baker, Michonne Bourraigue, Jerome Blake, Tim Bradstreet, Michael Kaluta, Julius Schwartz, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada, Robert Kirkman, Chris Sprouse, George Tuska, Brian Azzarello, Jill Thompson, and Evan Dorkin|
|April 25–27, 2003||Terry Austin, Terry Moore, Wayne Wise, Adam Hughes, Bill Morrison, Erin Gray, George Pérez, Joseph Michael Linsner, Jim Balent, Michael Turner, George Tuska, Mike Deodato, Michael Turner, Joe Linsner, Frank Cho, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Angel Medina, Mark Schultz, Michael Kaluta, Rowena, Jennifer Janesko, David Mack, King Kong Bundy, Greg Nicotero, Jim Krut|
|April 30–May 2, 2004||Jim Rugg, George A. Romero, Lani Tupu, and Virginia Hey, Bernie Wrightson, Michael Turner, Mark Waid, John Romita Jr., Angel Medina, George Pérez, Greg Horn, Rudy Nebres|
|April 22–24, 2005||George Pérez, Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Michael Kaluta, Joe Linsner, Scott McDaniel, Jimmy Palmiotti, Howard Porter, Mark Texeira, Tom Smith, Michael Turner, and Sal Buscema|
|April 21–23, 2006||8,400||George Pérez, Brian Michael Bendis, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Jim Balent, Adam Hughes, Greg Horn, Michael Turner, Mark Waid, Bob McLeod, Howard Chaykin, Arthur Suydam, Timothy Truman, Joseph Michael Linsner, Bruno Sammartino, Ray Park, Ed Piskor, and Ron Frenz|
|April 27–29, 2007||George Pérez, Ron Frenz, Terry Moore, Amanda Conner, Mike Grell, Adam Hughes, Joe Jusko, Joseph Michael Linsner, David W. Mack, Kane Hodder, Marc Singer, and Gigi Edgley|
|April 25–27, 2008||7,000||Timothy Truman, Mike Grell, and Robert Tinnell, Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Billy Tucci, David W. Mack, Tommy Castillo, David Prowse, Aaron Douglas, Brian Harnois, Kane Hodder, Francis Manapul, Jim Balent, Herb Trimpe, Arthur Suydam, Brian Pulido, Al Feinstein, Michael Golden, Michael Turner, Eric Basaldua, Patrick Block, Alex Saviuk||15th anniversary show|
|September 11–13, 2009||10,000||Guest of honor: Stan Lee; other guests include Beau Smith, Billy Tucci, Khoi Pham, Terry Moore, Scott James, Sean McKeever, Joe Jusko, Pat Olliffe, Ron Frenz, Brian Pulido, Dawn Best, Dan Fraga, Herb Trimpe, Gary Friedrich, Adam Hughes, Jamal Igle, Greg Horn, Arthur Suydam, Mike Grell, Eric Basaldua, Josh Medors, Talent Caldwell, Ramona Fradon, Darryl Banks||First show in the new Monroeville Convention Center|
|April 23–25, 2010||9,000||Roy Thomas, Gene Colan, Joe Sinnott, Ernie Chan, Herb Trimpe, Gary Friedrich, Talent Caldwell, Eric Basaldua, Margot Kidder, and Camden Toy|
|April 15–17, 2011||c. 10,000||George Pérez, Terry Moore, Mike Grell, Tom Mandrake, Ernie Chan, Herb Trimpe, Scott McDaniel, Joshua Ortega, Joe Jusko, Gary Friedrich, Talent Caldwell, Stuart Sayger, Bob Almond, Wayne Faucher, Chad Hardin, Bob Hall, Kirk Lindo, Arvell Jones, Dan Parent, Billy Tucci, Dave Hoover, Mike Grell, Sam Witwer, Chandler Riggs, Sarah Allen, Dexter Vines, and Charles Paul Wilson III|
|April 20–22, 2012||Stan Lee, Bob Almond, Jim Balent, Darryl Banks, Eric Basaldua, Robert Brewer, J. Scott Campbell, Tommy Castillo, Daxiong, Ron Frenz, Holly G, Adela Garcia, Mike Grell, Scott Hedlund, Terry Huddleston, Barry Kitson, Robert Kraus, Adam Mayfield, Peter Mayhew, Scott McDaniel, Paul Monsky, Chris Moreno, Rudy Nebres, Mike Okamoto, Pat Olliffe, George Pérez, Ian Petrella, Budd Root, Alex Saviuk, Stuart Sayger, Larry Thomas, Tim Vigil, Neil Vokes, Lee Weeks, and Ron Wilson|
|September 27–29, 2013||Jim Steranko, Jim Balent, Holly G!, Eric Basaldua, John Beatty, Paris Cullins, Michael Golden, Graham Nolan, Barry Kitson, Scott McDaniel, George Pérez, Gene Gonzales, Louis Small Jr., Budd Root|
|September 26–28, 2014||Bill Sienkiewicz, Jim Balent, Holly G!, Eric Basaldua, Scott McDaniel, George Pérez, Budd Root, Bob Camp, Talent Caldwell, Katie Cook, Herb Trimpe, John Beatty, Mike Grell, Chad Hardin, Holly Conrad, Patrick & Shelly Block, Ron Frenz, Rudy Nebres, Patrick Olliffe|
|September 11–13, 2015||First show held by Wizard World; first show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center|
|November 4–6, 2016|
Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there were previews of upcoming feature films, portfolio review sessions with top comic book and video game companies, and such evening events as a costume contest, featuring dedicated cosplayers who put great effort into their costumes and props. Traditional events included gaming and hours of other programming on all aspects of comic books and pop culture.
One popular annual event was the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Quick-Sketch, which usually raised between $5,000 to $6,000 per show. Other charity events taking place during the Pittsburgh Comicon were the annual "Casino Night," and various drawings and donations from attendees. These events benefited such charities as The Hero Initiative and local food banks.
Like most comic-book conventions, the Pittsburgh Comicon featured a large floorspace for exhibitors. These included media companies such as movie studios and TV networks, as well as comic-book dealers and collectibles merchants. Like most comics conventions, the Pittsburgh show included an autograph area, as well as the Artists' Alley where comics artists could sign autographs and sell or do free sketches. Despite the name, Artists' Alley could include writers and even glamour models.
The Pittsburgh Comicon supported many charities through its fund raising efforts. The primary charity of the Comicon was the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Since the show's inception, the Comicon had raised enough funds to fulfill a number of wishes. The show's Annual Charity Auction was main fundraising event during the show for this charity. It had been privileged over the years to be the recipient of the works of many of our talented guests willing to provide artwork and other items to be auctioned off to benefit this deserving charity.
The Comicon also held 'Charity Quick Sketch' events featuring numerous guests that volunteered to attend the hour-long events and provide original art, usually created in front of a live audience, for the event. During the event, raffle tickets could be purchased by attendees for a sum, which was donated to the charity featured at the event, and each piece of art created during the event was raffled off by picking a ticket from those sold.
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