Log in

Comic book creators, wrestling legend come to Lebanon


It's not every day that nationally known comic book creators and a WWE Hall of Famer come to Lebanon, but on June 22, the Cowan Civic Center is going to transform into a nerd heaven.

People from all over the region will be flocking to the Civic Center on June 22 for the third annual Massey's Comics Route 66 Comic and Toy Convention.

"We're extremely excited to be able to put on this event for the community once again and bring in new and exciting guests, artists and vendors," said event organizer Casi Massey. "We love going to these events around the state and are happy to bring it to our community."

The Route 66 Comic and Toy Convention will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Massey's Comics in Lebanon or at the door.

Special guests this year include comic book artists and writers who have been published by DC and Marvel Comics, who are responsible for bringing the likes of Batman and Spider-Man to the masses respectively.

"We've got comic book creators coming in that have worked in the industry for years - legends you might say, and some who are on their way up," said co-organizer Fines Massey. "Most of them are from right here in Missouri. It's amazing the amount of talent we have here in our backyard!"

Javier Saltares is one such artist, who is the co-creator of one of Marvel's most popular characters - Danny Ketch, the Ghost Rider of the 90s. Saltares, who lives in the Springfield area, was a "Ghost Rider" mainstay for years, working on numerous issues and series. He also worked on other Marvel titles, including "Iron Man" and "RoboCop." He also worked for DC on "Catwoman" and "The Flash." He's also known for his work drawing "Alien vs. Predator."

Another new guest this year is artist and writer Phil Hester, who hails from just north of us in Iowa. Hester is perhaps best known for his work on "Green Arrow" with filmmaker Kevin Smith. He has also worked on many other DC titles including "Swamp Thing," "Superman," "Nightwing" and the recent "Gotham Year One." He also has some creator-owned properties like "Firebreather," which was turned into an animated film for Cartoon Network.

Other professional artists this year include Mark Armstrong, who co-created Spider-Ham (the cartoon pig version of Spider-Man); Kyle Strahm, who drew and co-created Image's popular "Twig" series; Baldemar Rivas, whose latest work includes "Power Rangers vs. Godzilla;" and Ryan Kincaid, who just wrapped up a series for Mad Cave Comics.

Wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer Bushwhacker Luke will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans at the show courtesy of Brian Thompson Enterprises. Bushwhacker Luke was one half of the popular Bushwhacker tag team in the WWE during the 80s and 90s. Luke was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.

Along with the guests, the convention will also be full of vendors selling everything from comic books to video games to lightsabers and everything in between.

The convention also will be hosting some area groups, including the Missouri Ghostbusters and Springfield Lego Users Group. The Ghostbusters will be bringing all their movie-inspired costumes and gadgets, as well as an Ecto-1 - ghostbusting car. The Lego group will once again create a display of their homemade builds for the show. Food trucks also will be on hand when attendees get hungry.

Throughout the day, there will be Q and A panels with guests, followed by a cosplay contest for all our costumed attendees. The contest will include prizes for the winners.

Putting on the Route 66 Comic and Toy Convention is truly a community effort. According to the Masseys, the event would not be possible without the help of several sponsors this year, including Edward Jones Financial Advisor Jeffrey B. Myers, Boat Town Brewing, Cafe Judes, Jonesy's and Reba's Family Care.

For more information about the event, visit www.facebook.com/route66toyandcomicconvention.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here