Conway, Arkansas, is one of the five fastest-growing communities in the state and its only 30 miles north of the Little Rock Metropolitan Area, making it a popular destination. Visitors to the city will love the variety of outdoor activities, restaurants, shopping centers, and events. Conway also features the state's most vibrant art scene, due to its proximity to three of the state's major universities.
ComiCon-way has established itself as the leading comic book themed event in Arkansas, in only five years. Attendees will find a comic book enthusiast’s nirvana, featuring panels and talks from comic book artists, writers, and creators. Patrons will also have the opportunity to meet guests first hand to get items autographed or to have a short conversation. Comicon-Way also features a marketplace where visitors can purchase just about anything geek-related, from comic books to clothes. The Faulkner County Library is the host of the event, and admission is free to the public. The event is free to the public We got the opportunity to interview Kara Dyer, representative for ComiCon-way, to talk about this celebration of comic book culture.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
KD: ComiCon-way is Arkansas’ premiere comic, sci-fi, anime, and gaming convention. It’s brought to you by the Faulkner County Library, which serves its patrons through educational and literary opportunities that encourage the use of imagination, creativity, and intellectual freedom. ComiCon-way is one of these occasions, and it's free and open to the public.
In five years ComiCon-way has expanded outside of Faulkner County into surrounding areas and states, with attendance reaching 6,000 visitors in 2015. Highlights of this year’s show will include a panel of creators, writers, and artists. Featured events include gaming tournaments, costume contest, the 501st Legion, the Tardis from Dr. Who, Star Wars photo ops, space bridge simulator, vendors, and a mini heroes corner.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event.
KD: You will meet the talented individuals that create, draw, or write for some of the top characters in the comic book industry, such as Howard Mackie (co-creator of Ghost Rider) and Alex Saviuk (long time artist of Spiderman). We will also have top artists in the industry now such as Aaron Kuder, Ken Lashley, and much more. Our shopping area will contain comics, collectibles, costumes, art, toys, clothing and everything geek. Gamers can enjoy tabletop game demos as well as video game tournaments and demos. Sit in on artist panels, writers panels, drawing duels, and educational panels throughout the day. Kids will love our mini-heroes corner with prizes, games, face painting, crafts and more. Be sure and dress up as your favorite character and enter our cosplay contest for a chance to win a cash prize. When the night ends and you have experienced it all, be sure and come back for Day Two for new panels, new experiences, and the group cosplay contests.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
KD: Conway is a growing city that offers nice hotels and accommodations for all travelers. ComiCon-way is currently partnered with Fairfield Inn & Suites and Candlewood Suites, to give discounted rates on lodging to our attendees.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
KD: ComiCon-way brings creativity, fun, and excitement to Conway. Although there are other events like ours, the Faulkner County Library’s desire is to serve the public and bring new experiences to people of the city. ComiCon-way is supported by Conway’s Advertising and Promotions Commission.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?
KD: ComiCon-way has raised money for Norm Breyfogle, a long-time artist of Batman, who had a stroke shortly after having to cancel his appearance at our 2014 show. The 501st Legion, an international fan-based organization, dedicated to the construction and wearing of screen-accurate replicas from the Star Wars universe, raises money for the Make a Wish Foundation with “Shoot a Trooper.” Also, we have held raffles to help raise money to offset convention costs.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
KD: ComiCon-way started out in a public library, pulling in over 1,700 attendees. Last year we hosted the event at the Conway Expo Center, and 6,000 people attended. ComiCon-way brings many of the same guests, vendors, and experiences of the larger shows, but offers something they can’t: free admission. Ultimately, the event is located in a great town with great people, and is presented by a great public library!
For more information about ComiCon-way, please visit their website.