Highland Heights Comic Con is happening at NKU this month

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Highland Heights Comic Con is kicking off March 18 at Northern Kentucky University. This gathering will be the comic convention’s premier event, the only comic convention in Northern Kentucky.

Bob Frantz, a locally-based freelance comic writer, is organizing the event. Frantz writes comics like “Metalshark Bro” and “Ninja Nuns.” “Metalshark Bro” won the Ringo Award for Best Humor Comic in 2021.

Bob Frantz won a Ringo Award in 2021. Photo provided | Bob Frantz

Frantz was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He moved to Northern Kentucky 10 years ago with his wife, Stephanie, and their two children because of Stephanie’s job.

Frantz says he is very fond of Northern Kentucky.

“Northern Kentucky has got that nice small-town vibe to it. It’s very peaceful. It’s very kind. The people are kind. It’s a really great place to raise a family,” Frantz told LINK nky.

Inspired by their love of comics and the area, the couple decided to start a Comic Con in NKY.

“The Cincinnati Comic Expo does a great job doing what they do. But, I feel like sometimes comics and comic creators can be kind of pushed into the background. What I wanted to do was move those people to the forefront and make it an actual comic book convention,” Bob explained. “I love comics and I love comic conventions. In some cases, I think we are getting away from it all. Bring it back to its base. So much of popular culture comes from comics. I want to have a celebration of that medium. Celebrating comics.”

At the convention, vendors will sell comic books, artwork, role-playing games, and more. Five featured comic artists are scheduled to appear.

Brian Level, a comic artist and professional tattooer who lives in Covington, is slated to be there. He is well known for doing the artwork for “Batman vs. Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham” for DC Comics from 2021 to 2022.

Kyle Starks, a comic creator from Southern Indiana, is scheduled to appear. He is best known as the longest-tenured writer and occasional artist for Oni Press “Rick and Morty” comic. Starks will work on a new adults-only Peacemaker mini-series for DC in May.

Matt Nixon, a comic writer for Image Comic from Louisville and who wrote “Wolverine” for Marvel in the late 1990s and early 2000s, will attend.

Kelly Williams, a horror artist who lives in Memphis, is scheduled to appear. He produced for “Eerie Magazine” and “Creep Magazine.”

Chas! Pangburn, the Senior Editor of Mad Cave Studio and Wilder resident, will attend the event.

Also scheduled to attend, the Bluegrass Garrison – 501st Legion, a costuming organization that supports charitable causes, promotes volunteerism, aids in non-profit fundraising activities and promotes interest in Star Wars. Members wear Storm Trooper, Imperial Officer, Sith Lord, Republic Commando and other Star Wars costumes.

Cosplay will be abundant with convention goers dressed as superheroes, Star Wars characters, anime characters and other fictional franchises.

The convention will feature 60 tables: 40 for Artists Alley, 12 for comic book vendors, including Arcadian Comics & Games from Newport, five for featured guests, and some vendors that sell role-playing games and other items.

Frantz says that Artists Alley is the lifeblood of any convention. It is a group of aspiring artists who produce quality comic art forms but have not yet gained fame. Their offerings range from original comic books to prints featuring DC and Marvel characters.

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“We’ve got a really good show. We’ve got a lot of really good comic creators. We’re really excited to bring it to the people of Northern Kentucky,” said Frantz. “It’s going to be a fun time.”

Tickets cost $10 for adults, and admission is free for children ages 10 and under. People can buy their tickets online in advance with card, but they will only accept cash at the door.

The event is scheduled to take place at NKU’s Student Union Building on March 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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