By Joseph Pratt
Small business has boomed in downtown Portsmouth, with many offerings from comic books to photography studios. In fact, the sprouting of small business has picked up so much steam in the comic book world that Portsmouth Jaycees plans on hosting the first, of what could be annual, Jaycees Comic Convention.
The convention is being called J-Con and is being planned around the idea of getting a larger population interested in local comic shops, as well as bringing the four Portsmouth has together for a celebration of comic books, fantasy, anime, and science fiction. Jaycees has also reached out to other various vendors of the geek niche in locations like Chillicothe, Ashland, Ironton and Huntington, which they hope will add more variety to the event.
The four local shops to join in on the bandwagon of a comic con includes Dungeon Dwellers, Castle Comics, Awesome Town, and Sorta My Comics.
Kevin Doss, lifetime lover of comics and all things geek chic, is the owner and operator of Dungeon Dwellers, a comic and game shop that sits on the Portsmouth esplanade, which is on the corner of Gallia and Chillicothe streets.
“I believe this will be a great opportunity for the people of Portsmouth,” Doss said. “Jaycees is putting in a lot of effort to give attendees some of the geeky goodness that is comics.”
Doss said that he will be showcasing gold and silver age comics that are harder to find, unless one frequents comic shows and major events.
The event is being organized by Shane Marcum, who is a newer member of Portsmouth Area Jaycees.
“I was asked to organize the event and I am very happy to do so,” Marcum said. “The idea behind the planning is that we can get the names of these shops out in the public and give the community a chance to check them all out in one place, all while raising awareness of Jaycees and raising money for the organizations we benefit.”
Marcum has booked a special guest for the event, Amber Lee Connors — a voice actress who has voiced Android 18, from Dragon Ball Z, for YouTube group Team Four Star. She also voices Lilith Kishimoto for Holy Knight and has appeared in video games.
The organization will also have a game room set up with various gaming platforms.
During the event, there will be a Magic the Gathering card tournament and tables for other freestyle card games.
The Jaycees Comic Con will be held at the Portsmouth Jaycees location at 2209 Gallia St on June 27. Price of admission is $5 per person. Doors open to the public at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. For more information call 740-357-8192.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.