Bradenton, Florida is getting its first comic con. Suncoast Comic Cons is scheduled for May 29-30 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. Florida Comic Cons interviewed comic con entrepreneur Kerry Tarpley of Suncoast Comic Cons to learn more about this first-ever event.
Here five giant reasons you should be there:
Reason # 1: Suncoast Comic Con is starting big for a first-time convention
The con is expecting more than 2,500 attendees who will have more than 20,000 square-feet of vendors, artists, panels and gaming to enjoy. And Suncoast Comic Con is being held at a convention center (Bradenton Area Convention Center). Most successful comic cons in Florida start at hotels and move to convention centers as their audiences grow over a few years. Suncoast Comic Con is going straight to a larger space for a bigger event. This sort of bravery should be rewarded with your presence at the event.
Reason # 2: The comic book talent is serious
Tarpley’s vision is to be one of the top comic-focused conventions in the southeastern U.S. While such a lofty goal will take years, he’s off to a good start in his first year with this roster of talent. Here are the four headliners among the nearly 20 comic book artists and authors who will be at Suncoast Comic Con.
Ryan M. Kincaid
Ryan M. Kincaid is best known for his cover art. He is a prolific penciler who works for many companies including DC comics, Archie comics, Absolute Comics Group, and numerous others. His cover art for Batman/Superman # 1 in 2019 (first image) was widely praised. He also has worked on titles such as Vampirella and Red Sonja (second image) as well as TMNT, White Widow and Dick Tracy, to mention only a few. In addition. he is the creator, cover artist, and writer for “Persuasion” (third image), a self-published comic that began on Kickstarter.
Mike DeBalfo is an illustrator best known for his “good girl” pinup art. He also illustrates comic book covers for titles like “Zombies vs. Cheerleaders” (first image), “Lady Death” (second image), and Soulfire (third image) In addition, he is known for his work with Zenescope and Aspen Comics. You can see more at his online store with sketches, limited edition prints and clothing.
Eric “Ebas” Basaldua
“Ebas” is an artist best known for his style of strong, sultry and sexy females. He began began his career at Top Cow Productions, starting with backgrounds for founder Marc Silvestri. He later worked on Witchblade/Wolverine, Grimm Fairy Tales (first image), and Tomb Raider (second image). His recent work includes cover art for Zenescope Comics (third image). Note, he is the brother of comic-inker, Rick Basaldua.
Alex Saviuk illustrated titles in the 1970s like Green Lantern, Superman and The Flash (first image). Saviuk began his career in 1977, and only one year later completed his first full work for the company: Green Lantern Green Arrow #100 (second image.) In the 1980s, he became a key Spiderman artist for seven years (third image.) Most recently in 2019, he created variant covers for Symbiote Spider-Man #1–5 series 1 and 2 for Marvel. Something good to know: Saviuk does incredible commissions.
Reason # 3: Headliner artists are creating exclusive cover art for Suncoast Comic Con
Comic convention cover art is cool. Some of the best posters in existence are convention cover art, which is often created by the guest artists that year. Suncoast Comic Cons guest artists will produce two exclusive comic book covers and four prints — all branded with the con’s logo, theme and personality. As an example, artists Kincaid and DeBalfo are collaborating on a comic cover for the convention, and Ebas will have an exclusive print that will feature Mary Jane wearing a Suncoast Comic Con tee-shirt. And, the event offers a free 11X17 promotional poster that can be signed by the four collaborating artists.
Commissioning guest artists to create exclusive convention art adds to the pre-allure and post-fascination of an event. This is an impressive first step toward Suncoast Comic Con building a reputation for being dedicated to the art of comic books.
Reason # 4: It’s a chance to support an annual comic con in Bradenton
A successful event in its first year will ensure another next year, and in the following years. Your attendance at this year’s event supports Suncoast Comic Con getting started. Besides, Bradenton is only a hop from St. Petersburg and Sarasota, a skip from Tampa and Fort Myers, and a jump from Orlando. And let’s face it, you don’t have anything better to do.
Reason # 5: Florida Cosplay Digital Magazine will be there
Florida Comic Cons publishes Florida Cosplay Digital Magazine, which will be at Suncoast Comic Con 2021 in search of talented cosplayers. Look for a meet-up on our Facebook. Here are some of our past magazines. Learn more and read mags (covers below)
Suncoast Comic Cons tickets and coronavirus measures
Tickets are on sale: $20 for the weekend, $15 for Saturday and $10 for Sunday. Masks are required and there will be hand sanitizer stations. Learn more: https://suncoastcomiccon.com/
Florida Comic Cons has your back when it comes to cons
Florida Comic Cons is a news media website that covers comic conventions and cosplayers in The Sunshine State. The 2021 Florida Comic Con Calendar provides a month-by-month listing of upcoming conventions and the Florida Comic Con Map illustrates where comic cons are happening throughout the state.