A staple of the Jersey Shore comic scene is moving up north. The Asbury Park Comicon, began in 2012 as a small show focused solely on comics without the movie and TV celebrities other shows have focused on. By 2014, it had grown to 150 exhibitors and eight panel discussions. Now, going by the new name East Coast Comicon, the show will be held at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus on April 11 and 12.
With dozens of guests and over 200 exhibitors, this year’s show will be the largest yet. There’s also a full lineup of panel discussions over the course of this two-day event. On Sunday form 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, cosplayers can compete across various categories for adults and kids in a costume contest. There will also be a trivia game and prizes will be awarded.
For the younger fans, check out the Kids Love Comics! lineup. With eleven demonstrations and classes on the schedule over the course of the weekend, kids can meet some artists and participate in hands-on activities sure to spark their creativity. A few notable items on the agenda include a Light Saber training workshop, a Superhero University where kids can make a cape and mask, the opportunity to learn to draw SpongeBob SquarePants with Gregg Schigiel who draw the SpongeBob comics, and a puppeteering workshop.
Local veteran comics writer-editor and historian Paul Castiglia will be at the event to promote his new anti-bullying project, Rise: Comics Against Bullying. This new comic is an all-star anthology of mainstream and indie writers and artists and each story has an anti-bullying theme. Paul is known for his work on Archie’s Weird Mysteries series, and has contributed to such titles as Sonic the Hedgehog, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, DC Showcase, Dark Horse’s Tex Avery’s Droopy and several others. Look for Paul in the Kids Love Comics! Pavillion from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on both Saturday and Sunday.
Ticket prices for adults start at $25 if purchased in advance online. Kids tickets (ages 6 through 12) begin at $6. Children 5 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult (limit 2 children per adult). Tickets, if available, will be sold at the door for a higher rate.
This event will be the largest of its kind in northern New Jersey to date. With plenty of free parking in an easy-to-get-to location, it’s sure to be a hit for comic fans of all ages. For more information about the event, including the panel and kids events schedule, please visit the East Coast Comicon website here.