Young Professionals Cup o' Kryptonite in Des Moines is filled to the brim with comic books and graphic novels. (Juice File Photo)

Cup o' Kryptonite in Des Moines is filled to the brim with comic books and graphic novels. (Juice File Photo)

Comic Book I-Con events, comic shops

Published on October 15th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler

“The Avengers,” “Iron Man,” “The Dark Knight” — these films have made billions at the box office, but for years the characters had more grassroots fan bases through their adventures in comic books. Comic fandom is still going strong today, with conventions like the San Diego and New York Comic Cons seeing turnouts of more than 100,000 fans each year.

Des Moines’ comic fandom exists on a much smaller scale, but enough fans are here to support several comic book shops. Multiple Des Moines professionals make their living writing and drawing comics, and there’s a growing community of cosplayers (people who dress up in awesome, elaborate or sometimes just silly costumes).

You’ll see some of them on display this weekend at the annual Comic Book I-Con. Here’s a look at Des Moines’ comic book scene. 

Comic Book I-Con

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Forte Convention Center (next to Buzzard Billy’s), 615 Third St.

Cost: $8, free for children 10 and younger with a paid adult.


Comic Book I-Con Guests

Scott Lobdell: Writer on “Superman,” “Superboy,” “Teen Titans,” “Uncanny X-Men” and others

Phil Hester: Iowan, artist or writer of books like “Invincible Universe,” “Green Arrow,” “Wonder Woman” and “T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents”

Jason Pearson: Artist on “Body Bags,” “Astonishing X-Men,” “Deadpool,” “Amazing Spider-Man”

Zach Howard: Artist on “Godzilla,” “G.I. Joe,” “Star Trek,” “Star Wars”

Jolyon Yates: Artist on “Lego Ninjago”

Aaron Gillespie: Artist/writer on “Bionic Man,” “Hell Yeah,” “Negative Burn”

Also appearing: Trevor Talbott & Scott Meier, Thom Hotka, Jonathan Sims, Everett Paul Burris, Scott A. Snyder (not the DC Comics writer), Austin Allen Hamblin, Duane Murray, Terry Pavlet, Ant Lucia, 3B Entertainment, Dave Wheeler, Trish “Trixie” Hunter, Tiffany Gilbert, Will Grant, John Ira Thomas, Carter Allen, D. Ryan Allen, Jason Wright, Scott Stewart

Schedule (Saturday, Oct. 19)

11 a.m.: Q&A with Scott Lobdell

11:15 a.m.: Cosplay parade for TV/movie/video game characters

11:30 a.m.: Cosplay parade for anime/manga characters

11:45 a.m.: Cosplay parade for DC/Marvel characters

Noon: “Total complete awesome cosplay mashup!!”

Noon: Panel on creating and publishing your own comic, webcomics, idea creation and more with Thom Hotka, Matty Martin and others

1 p.m.: Annual trivia contest

1:30 p.m.: HeroClix Clicks for Kids tournament ($20)

3 p.m.: HeroClix Prob for the Cause event ($20)

5:30 p.m.: The Comedy Gauntlet: An I-Con Universe Spanning Event. After party with stand-up comedy by “Superman” writer Scott Lobdell, Greg Althoff, Preston Tompkins, Dan Umthun and others.

Other events

Assembly Required

What it is: Third annual Iowa G.I. Joe convention with G.I. Joe comic book artist and Iowan Ron Wagner and experts and toy designers

When: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 16

Where: Central Library, 1000 Grand Ave.

Info: or

Drink & Draw

What it is: A monthly art event/gathering for comic book artists and fans

When: 8 p.m. the second Thursday of each month

Where: GoodSons, 2815 Beaver Ave.

Cost: Free


Comic shops

Not even sure where to buy comics? Here are five local comic shops that will have the latest issues of “Superior Spider-Man” and “Saga.”

Cup O’ Kryptonite, 2608 Beaver Ave. The shop plans to open a satellite location and coffee shop inside The Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry St., when the building opens in 2014.

Jay’s CD & Hobby, 3315 S.E. 14th St. and inside Valley West Mall, 1551 Valley West Drive, West Des Moines.

Mayhem Collectibles, 7500 University Ave., Clive and 2532 Lincoln Way, Ames.

Old Curmudgeon Comics, 4720 Mortensen Road, Ames.

Rodman Comics, 318 S. Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny.


About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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