Breakthrough comic artist Jim Steranko appears at Warren comic show
WARREN, Ohio – Mercurial comic artist Jim Steranko headlines a comic, art and toy show July 6 at the Packard Music Hall.
Hey, it's not that far and may be the only chance you'll get to see Steranko this side of the San Diego or New York comic cons.
The fifth annual All AmeriCon show also features talented artist Darryl Banks, who drew Green Lantern and many other iconic characters.
"All AmeriCon has been building for five years and this year we needed a venue big enough to host it," says All AmeriCon founder Greg Bartholomew. "The only complaint we have had about our convention from dealers and attendees was that prior venues were too crowded. Moving to the Packard Music Hall solves all that and gives us the needed room to expand."
If you don't know Steranko's name, you'll know his work. Just Google his name and hit images and be prepared to be amazed. Steranko, an escape artist, safe cracker and all-around amazing guy, was something unexpected in the late 1960s when he took over "Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD."
It was bizarre, captivating and broke all the rules that dominated comic book art for decades. And we loved it.
His work inspired a legion of young artists to break away from convention and take chances with comic art. Panels were weirdly shaped, images broke through from one panel to another and much of his work is among the most erotic in comics. That's erotic, not obscene, big difference.
I remember seeing his modern art designs on SHIELD, Captain America and The Hulk and being bowled over. No one had ever seen anything like it and he was an immediate success.
"As a conceptual artist for the Raiders of the Lost Ark film, Steranko helped design the iconic look of Indiana Jones," said Bartholomew.
It's hard to get any cooler than that.
And yes, in his youth Steranko was an escape artist who drove police in Reading and Wyomissing areas of Pennsylvania crazy with his stunts. Plus he was an accomplished safe cracker.
He tells a great story about walking into a Reading safe company and offering to help them create a crack-proof safe. The owner laughed and said his safes were already crack-proof. Steranko smiled and opened every safe in the showroom. Not sure if he got the job or not, but he should have.
Later, Steranko shied away from comic work – despite the pleas of his fans. Seeing him is a rare opportunity.
Banks is no slouch, either. He is the co-creator of the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern character and was the artist on "Green Lantern" for most of the 1990s, creating new looks for many of that title's characters.
In addition to Steranko and Banks, there will be 70 other retailers and artists.
All AmeriCon 5 will be held at the Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave, NW, Warren, from 11 a.m. To 5 p.m. July 6 with a $3 admission.
For more info, call Greg Bartholomew at 330-646-3663.