The Great Allentown Comic-Con is going down this weekend – meet the promoter, Chris Wertz
This August 4th and 5th in Pennsylvania, “The Great Allentown Comic Con” is going down, and it will be quite the two-day event. Featuring panels with some pretty big names in comics, movies and sci-fi, event promoter Christopher Wertz has been hard at work to put this regional comic con on the map with the big boys.
NerdNewsToday: What was the inspiration for the Great Allentown Comic Con?
Christopher Wertz: Well, put most simply it was a love of comic books and the sequential art form, and a desire to create a show that was fun for kids as well as adults…which is why we are free for children 12 and under.
NerdNewsToday: This is not the first GACC, so tell us a bit about the growth between past events and fan reactions to the show?
Christopher Wertz:Correct, technically this is our Eight show, and with the exception of a bad choice of a Halloween date show our first year each event has had more and more attendees.
Tell us about your background in nerdom and running events?
Christopher Wertz: Well…without getting too detailed I first started selling comic books and collectibles while I was still in elementary school, and while ultimately I did go on to college and have a successful consulting career I decided to get back into this industry. Eventually, I realized that the Lehigh Valley area was ripe for a mid sized show that is usually only found in major cities like New York, Pittsburgh, or Philadelphia.
NerdNewsToday: Who will be appearing at this event?
Christopher Wertz: My goodness, it is probably easier to say who isn’t appearing…alright, that might be a stretch, but here we go. For our comic book fans our biggest names are going to be Neal Adams and Jim Steranko, both legends in the comic art field. For more Pop Culture fans we have guests like Brandon DiCamillo of CYK/Jackass fame, Tron/Caddyshack actress Cindy Morgan, Star Wars actor Jeremy Bulloch, Wrestler Brimstone, Kung Fu Legend Jim Kelly and Taimak, Power Ranger David Yost, and voice actor Kirby Morrow. We of course have dozens more guests who are talented fan favorites!
NerdNewsToday: As a comic fan, have you been able to have any of your idols appear at your conventions?
Christopher Wertz: Well I have to admit it has been fun getting to know many of the guests we have had, such as Lee Weeks, Mark Mckenna, Jamal Igle, and of course Tom Kane, Peter Mayhew and Robert Picardo.
NerdNewsToday: Are there any local comic artists or companies that event-goer’s should pay special attention to?
Christopher Wertz: We have local publisher High Evolution Studios who have supported us greatly the last few shows by hosting an after party for us. Scott Hanna, who has just recently founded a new art school, and well dozens of great local artists.
NerdNewsToday: As a man who has surely gone to many other comic cons in his lifetime, what has been the best thing you ever bought or saw at a con?
Christopher Wertz: I have seen some amazing costumes over the years, and probably the best was an Iron Man at NYCC a few years back that looked like it came right off the movie screen.
NerdNewsToday: You are also working with a charity for this event, tell us about what you are doing with them and how they are linked with this convention?
Christopher Wertz: Well we have tried to help good causes at our larger shows, last year we raised awareness of Epilepsy and the Toteman comic book, this year we are helping The Tomorrows Children’s Fund – which helps fund research and assist families with children fighting cancer and bloodborn diseases at Hackensack University Hospital.
NerdNewsToday: What are the plans for future events?
Christopher Wertz: We are looking at least two shows next year in the Lehigh Valley, and if things work out possibly more shows elsewhere in the country…wish I could say more right now!
NerdNewsToday: Why should people come check out the Great Allentown Comic Con?
Christopher Wertz: Because they want to have an exciting time with fellow lovers of comics, sci-fi, kung-fu, anime and general POP CULTURE…and at a decent price too!
The Great Allentown Comic Con goes down this August 4th and 5th at the Merchant’s Square Mall. Head to their official website for more details on all of the panels and how to get there. Team NerdNewsToday will be there, so say hi when you see us!