By Evan Ream
BOOM! BANG! POW! These are common phrases found in comic books like Batman and Wonder Woman. Now, these comic books are coming to life in the Grand Rapids Comic-Con Nov. 9-11 at DeVos Place.
The Comic-Con scene is fairly new to the Grand Rapids area. The co-owner of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con, Mark Hodges, hosted the very first Grand Rapids Comic-Con event on Oct. 12, 2013.
With some first-time events or conventions, the expectations of a large turnout may not be great, however, for this event, that was not the case.
“We had lines out the door literally over a mile long,” Hodges said. After this idea was thought up and brought to life by Hodges and his wife, they realized their “lives officially were never going to be the same.”
While the final product of the convention exceeded expectations, there is a lot of work that goes into an event like this.
“It usually takes about a year and a half to plan one of these things,” said Hodges. “It is a complicated process to put together something like this.”
Some of the work that goes into the convention is focused on recruiting celebrities and guest speakers that are featured at the event. Some of the celebrities include Doug Jones, who worked on “Star Trek Discovery” and “The Shape Of Water,” and Danielle Colby, who works for the television show “American Pickers.”
Hodges had to communicate with many different booking agencies and search the internet for the Comic-Con guests.
Not only did Hodges have to find the numerous guests for the event, he also had to find ways to get people to come. His advertising techniques included postcards, billboards, radio, television and social media.
Overall, Hodges said that he surrounded himself with “good people with a similar vision to make this event happen.”