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Sunday, May 23, 2021 

North Carolina specialty store tries out their first convention

The Triad City Beat wrote about the owners of East Gate Comics launching their first convention in Greensboro:
Wonder Woman and Naruto gather on the patio of the Greensboro-High Point Marriott Airport hotel enjoying hot dogs and snacks as Teen Titans’ Raven and Starfire arrive at the first annual Triad Comic Con on Sunday. Inside and around the hotel’s grand ballroom, more than 20 vendors selling comic books, custom art and a variety of Funkos — nearly 4-inch-tall figurines with round, usually black eyes and oversized heads — gather. Towards the front of the room, Marvel fan Avery Little is dressed as Captain America, posing for pictures with other guests. DJ Dlinkwent plays hip-hop beats in the background which morph into the “Cha Cha Slide” that gets attendees moving. Nearby, Charles “Chuck” Ramsey, one of the event’s organizers, takes a breather in a chair to the left of the hotel entrance. He says coordinating his first Comic Con was unpredictable at times.

“You’ve gotta be able to flow like water,” he says.

Ramsey collaborated with Daryl Cullins, who works at EastGate Comics in High Point and the owner of EastGate Comics, Fred Wright Jr., to raise comic awareness in the area.

“We wanted to bring something back to the Triad,” Cullins says. “High Point hasn’t had a steady comic shop in over ten years. We’ve been in business for three years, and we’re still growing.”
Well I wish them good luck with their venture. Interestingly enough, in regards to the approach some local publishers have to storytelling, it says:
Instead of selling rare collectibles or books of more well-known comics, some vendors push their own material in hopes of gaining new supporters. ENDtense Studios, a Black-owned, Greensboro-based, family-operated comics company, is one of them.

“We try to put a variety of different characters in our stories so everyone will have a story they’re attracted to,” says Jerome Smith, author of “Electrik Tiger” and one-third of ENDtense.

The men each created their own comic with Black characters and Black heroes, drawing inspiration from their personal lives to mold the stories, a task Elijah Simon, another member of ENDtense, enjoys.

“We can take a situation from our personal life and turn it into a fantasy and exaggerate on it,” he says.
Now this is amazing. We have here some guys in writing/illustration who not only conceive their own stories and characters, they also recognize the benefits of fantasy escapism and build on it in the right ways, hopefully without being political. If only more in the industry proper would learn from this, we'd have a far better, healthier industry out there. This is something to learn from.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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