Saturday February 1st marks the debut of the Independent Creators Expo, seasonally appropriately nicknamed I.C.E., at Wright State University’s Student Union. To the naked eye, I.C.E. May appear to be like a comic book convention and that’s a good starting point for understanding the event. But you won’t see Wolverine, Batman or Spider-man playing a prominent role at this show.
“I want I.C.E. to be the show where people go to see original work and support the mediums they love at ‘ground zero,’ where it all begins,” says Brandon (Bjay) Johnson of Studio Akumakaze, the Kettering art/design studio hosting the event.
As the name suggests, I.C.E.’s focus is on the work of independent comic and graphic artists much like Columbus’ popular Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo (S.P.A.C.E.), which has celebrated many of the Dayton area’s independent comic creators for many years.
With its own manga-style comic book, SCRAP, Studio Akumakaze is part of a longstanding community of comic creators in the Miami Valley that includes Justin Wasson and Jason Young of Buyer Beware Comics, among many others.
“I thought that a show that focused entirely on original work and independent creators would be a nice companion show for Gem City Com Con [also held at Wright State],” says Johnson. “And also be a good way to kick off the year and stir up some excitement for the artistic community before the convention season begins in the spring.”
Another departure from the more traditional comic book convention is that in addition to comic/graphic artists, I.C.E. is welcoming local, independent filmmakers and musicians. Nightbeast and Red Hot Rebellion head up the musical offerings and filmmakers Eric Widing (Hellhounds) and Shawn Burkett (Concept Media) are among the motion picture guests who will also be joined by Dayton area horror host Baron Von Porkchop.
“In my opinion, it wouldn’t have made sense NOT to include [filmmakers and musicians],” said Johnson. “Independent music, film, and comics are all driven by the same desires: to create something new, to improve their individual genre/medium, to rebuild the heritage and credibility of their medium, to celebrate the things that inspire them to be an artist, and to challenge the mainstream with fresh new ideas/concepts. It only made sense to bring them all together and create an atmosphere that would be ripe with creativity and also be a place to share ideas, network and help one another reach a bigger audience.”
How To Go:
Independent Creators Expo (I.C.E.)
Saturday, February 1st, 10am-5pm
Wright State University Student Union Hall