Scranton Comic Con assembles artists, writers, wrestlers, and cosplayers at Radisson Hotel on Nov. 24
From a press release:
The Scranton Comic Book Convention will return to the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel for its fall edition on Sunday, Nov. 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., gathering writers, artists, cosplayers, vendors, and even pro wrestlers in downtown Scranton.
Special guests will include professional wrestlers Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (WWE, WCW, NWA) and Andrew “The Reinforcer” Anderson (“Gotham,” “The Wrestler”), Rick Leonardi (illustrator for Marvel Comics and DC Comics – “Uncanny X-Men,” “The New Mutants,” “Cloak & Dagger,” “Spider-Man 2099,” “Batgirl”), Keith Williams (illustrator/inker for Marvel, DC, and King Features Syndicate – “The Phantom,” “Superman,” “Web of Spider-Man”), Scott Beatty (writer for DC, Dynamite Entertainment, IDW, Dark Horse Comics, Wizard, and ToyFare magazine – “Batgirl: Year One,” “Robin: Year One,” “G.I. Joe,” “Star Wars Tales”), Darren Auck (art instructor at Kubert School of Art and illustrator for Marvel Comics – “Hulk vs. Thing,” “Ren & Stimpy,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “What If…”), Dave Sharpe (letterer for Marvel and DC Comics, artist, and metal musician), Howie Noel (creator of “Tara Normal,” TAPS Paramagazine cartoonist, illustrator, caricaturist, and writer), Jason Lenox (writer/artist for Ugli Studios and Dark Horse – “Lords of the Cosmos,” “King Conan”), Chris Ring (writer/artist of “Carbon Knight,” “The Perfect Victim,” “Nevermore,” and “The Scariest Creature”), Gerry Stankiewicz (character illustrator and creator of “The Tale of Steve Silverado”), Jared Brown (artist at Darkstream Studios), Mike Hunter (writer/artist), and Bryn Allen (artist).
Admission to the convention (700 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton) is $5 for adults and free $5.00 for kids 12 and under. Hourly door prizes will be given away, with a grand prize drawn at 4 p.m.
Comic book illustrator Rick Leonardi was born in Philadelphia in 1957 and grew up in New England. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1979. His professional career began in 1980. His work is characterized by his use of dynamic poses, panel composition, and shifting of the camera eye and perspective. He is largely self-trained, having intensively studied reprinted and collected work from Hal Foster, Alex Raymond, Milton Caniff, and Will Eisner. His well-known works include various issues of “Uncanny X-Men” and “The New Mutants,” as well as runs on “Cloak & Dagger,” “Spider-Man 2099,” “Nightwing,” “Batgirl,” and “Green Lantern Versus Aliens.”
Leonardi is credited, along with fellow illustrator Mike Zeck, with designing Spider-Man’s famous black and white costume he switched to during the “Secret Wars” miniseries and with creating the costume for Spider-Man 2099. He was penciler/inker for the original four issues of “Watson and Holmes,” which received an Eisner nomination for Best New Series in 2014. More recently, he completed a run on “Batman Beyond” for DC comics while (barely) finding time to pencil “Sensational Spider-Man: Self-Improvement” for Marvel.
Comic book inker Keith Williams enrolled in the School of Visual Arts in New York City from 1976 to 1980, majoring in media arts and studying under Will Eisner, the creator of “The Spirit” comic strip. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts. With the help of Marvel comic book artist and mentor Don Perlin, Williams started working for Marvel Comics in 1982 as a background inker, working for Joe Sinnott and Mike Esposito. At Marvel, he became the first John Romita Raider, an art correction group. He later became an assistant editor under Jim Owlsley (Christopher Priest) on the Spider-Man group of books. The two became the first all-black editorial team in Marvel’s history. He later became John Byrne’s background artist on “Alpha Flight,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Superman,” and “Action Comics.” He began regularly inking “Web of Spider-Man,” which lasted four years. In between that time and after, he worked on many other books at Marvel, including “Silver Surfer,” “She-Hulk” with John Byrne, “Warlock,” “Quasar,” with Greg Capullo, “Star Trek” and “X-Men.”
Williams worked on “The Mask” and “Walter” with artist Doug Manke and “Star Wars: Droids” at Dark Horse Comics, “Superman” and the “Lobo/Mask” graphic novel with Doug Manke at DC Comics, “Quantum and Woody” and the covers of “X-O Manowar” at Valiant; and “Kolchak: The Night Stalker Chronicles,” “Buckaroo Banzai,” and “Domino Lady” for Moonstone Comics.
For 10 years, Williams worked on “The Phantom” for King Features Syndicate. At Avatar Press, he inked “Lady Death” and “Crossed” covers as well as a “Crossed” webisode comic, “Wish You Were Here,” and the cover and interiors of the comic book “Uber.” Additionally, he inked bestselling author Max Brooks’ graphic novel “The Harlem Hellfighters.”
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
One of the toughest, most rugged competitors ever to come down the pike, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine more than carried on the tradition first established by his legendary father, the late Johnny Valentine. A top-ranked WWE Superstar during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, his career saw him earn a slew of singles and tag team championships in different eras of sports entertainment history in the NWA, WCW and WWE.
In the late ’70s and early ’80s, Valentine bounced between the NWA and WWE. “The Hammer” held the NWA Mid-Atlantic (every territory had their own tag team champions) World Tag Team title with Ric Flair. He also held the WWE World Team title with Brutus Beefcake. As a singles competitor, he won the United States Championship in the NWA and the Intercontinental Championship in WWE. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Valentine is one of the few Superstars who can lay claim to competing on the NWA’s first Starrcade (he defeated “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in a Dog Collar Match to win the United States Championship) as well as the first WrestleMania (he successfully defended the Intercontinental Championship against Junkyard Dog).
After leaving the WWE, “The Hammer” made frequent appearances on WCW Monday Nitro as late as 1997 and returned to compete on WWE Monday Night Raw in 2005, 35 years after his debut match. Valentine’s hard-hitting style in the ring will never be forgotten by those who saw him and, along with fellow WWE Hall of Famers “Nature Boys” Flair and Buddy Rogers, he helped make the figure-four leglock a staple of sports entertainment.
Andrew “The Reinforcer” Anderson
Andrew “The Reinforcer” Anderson, nephew of Ole and Arn Anderson (a.k.a. the Anderson Brothers), was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1967 as the third member of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew. He graduated St. Peter’s College in 1989 with a degree in business administration and got his start in the wrestling world in 1997, discovered by wrestling legend Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. He trained extensively under the tutelage of Gino Caruso, Nikolai Volkoff, and the Kodiak Bear at Caruso’s ECPW gym in Lake Hiawatha. His first tag team partner was Volkoff back in 1997.
As an actor, Anderson starred as the werewolf in director Michael P. Russin’s horror anthology “Creepy Tales – Girls Night Out” and as a viking in a General Electric commercial. He starred in the Academy Award-nominated film “The Wrestler” with Mickey Rourke and more recently appeared in an episode of the Fox television series “Gotham.”
See photos from the 2017 fall edition of the Scranton Comic Con here and learn more about Lake Ariel comic book writer Scott Beatty in Episode 95 of the NEPA Scene Podcast: