Greenfield event celebrates collectible comics and artists behind them

By CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer

Published: 05-26-2023 10:52 AM

GREENFIELD — Comic book lovers, assemble!

The Western Massachusetts Comic Book Show is returning to Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center on Sunday for a day full of comic books, art and family fun. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., folks can visit with more than 40 vendors and artists that will be spread out across the venue.

This marks the fifth time the event, which is returning to an annual format, has been held at Hawks & Reed. The show is organized by Kit Henry and his wife Kristen, who co-own and operate Amazing Comics. The couple created the Western Massachusetts Comic Book Show in 2019, and Kit Henry said it’s been running strong ever since, with between 300 and 500 attendees expected.

“It was kind of a shot in the dark when it started. The first year we had stellar success and then we were held back by the pandemic,” he said. “We’ve been building on it since and it’s been a rolling ball.”

Attendees get a free grab bag of comics at the door and will have the opportunity to win other door prizes — all of which are donated from event vendors and other local businesses. The event is sponsored by Greenfield’s His and Hers Comics, which will have an in-store signing event going on with Steve Murphy, who worked extensively on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and artist John Rovnak.

Henry said there will be 20 comic vendors of all kinds, as well as more than 20 artists showing off their work.

“Our event features vendors who don’t typically come out very often. You won’t see the inventory you see month-to-month at other shows,” Henry said. “Some of these vendors haven’t come out since before the pandemic.”

For those seeking to purchase comics, Henry said they’ll have everything from everyday “reading comics” for a few dollars to “investment copies,” which can go for thousands of dollars.

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Among the artists and writers that will be on hand Sunday are Marcus McLaurin, who developed the “Marvels” comic; Casey and Rose Coller, who have worked on “Transformers” comics; and writer Jim Lawson and artist Michael Dooney, who worked on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

“They’re the best local artists we can find,” Henry said. “The focus is really staying on collectible comics and the artists who create them.”

Admission is $5 for adults. Children are admitted for free. More information about the event can be found on its Facebook page at facebook.com/westernmasscomicshow.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.

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