NWI Comic Con and the Rise of Fandom and Families #StayWeird219

By: Christine Bushby Last Updated: February 24, 2016

Males have been producing and collecting comics since 1938, when the first Superman appeared. But in recent eras, women have not only shown an interest in comics and superheroes, they have become writers and illustrators in their own right. Women have also become interested in video games, as well as fantasy and sci-fi genres. This has changed the landscape of the comic con industry.

So here we are at our own NWI Comic Con, with fans from toddlers to grandparents and everyone in between. Gone are the days when you’ll only see geeks dressing as their favorite character, it’s a family affair now. And that’s exactly what founder and showrunner Brian Grabinski wanted at his con.

“I always had to travel to Chicago or Indianapolis to go to a show; we didn’t have one in Northwest Indiana. So I thought, if I create one here, I want one that’s family friendly and affordable”

As a fan and con goer himself, over the years he developed a relationship with a multitude of artist and dealers. So when he questioned them about working at a con of his own, they were more than happy to do so.

Artist Chris Guzman, of Crown Point, had a table at Saturday’s event. I asked him, as an artist, what drew him to the con.

“There are so many art lovers in Northwest Indiana. If you’re a lifer, if you’ve lived in northwest Indiana your whole life, if you’ve lived so close to Chicago, and you see all that pulse and all that heat coming from Chicago, we want something like that here. That’s exactly what this is.” Adding “For sixty bucks you can actually get into the comic con (in Chicago), here, kids are walking in for two dollars. I mean, where are you going to beat that? How are you going to beat that? There is so much talent in this place, and I’m excluding my table, they (Brian and Kelly Grabinski) could charge ten times that, and they would get it. They’re wonderful people, and I’m lucky to be here.”

That’s what this con is about. Not the celebrities, but the artist, writers, and publishers of comics. The fans that love their creations, the family’s that come in costume together. It’s seems Brian has met his goal. He did create a family friendly, affordable con, right here at home.