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Wednesday, September 21, 2022 

Memphis Comics Expo puts creators first

The Commercial Appeal has a brief announcement about the 7th Memphis Comics Expo:
Now in its seventh year, the Memphis Comic Expo continues to follow the mission outlined by event founder Donald Juengling and branded on the convention's social media sites: "Creators Come First!"

The creators, in turn, appreciate the emphasis on actual comic books rather than movies and TV shows inspired by comic books (although writers and others who work on comics-inspired and genre film and television projects will be represented).

Past Expos have featured such titans of the comics medium as "X-Men" innovator Chris Claremont, "alternative" comics titans Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez and the late George Perez, master of the superhero splash page. This year's roster will include more than 30 professionals, representing Marvel, DC, Archie Comics, Image, Dark Horse, and other companies. Guests — to name only three — will include Mark Waid, writer of the hugely successful 1996 DC comic-book miniseries "Kingdom Come"; Rick Leonardi, co-creator of "Spider-Man 2099"; and James O'Barr, creator of "The Crow," the 1978 comic book that inspired a 1994 movie starring the late Brandon Lee. Cartoon voice actors and professional wrestlers also will be on hand, including Jerry "The King" Lawler and "Downtown Bruno" Lauer.
Well they do have something ideal going. Yes, the comics and creators matter far more than the spinoff merchandise that's become far too common, and came almost entirely at the expense of what it's based on. But you could still reasonably wonder if right-wing creators with viewpoints any liberals running these conventions don't agree with are welcome at this one, and if not, what's the point of telling us the creators take precedence?

Discussion of whether conservatives are welcome at a convention like Memphis Comics Expo is exactly what's not being found in the wider press. With a country so divided as it is now, that's why the subject is more relevant than ever.

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