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Lake Effect Comic Book Convention Returns this Sunday to Mentor

Mentor comic book convention returns with more events, more featured guests and more fun

The Lake Effect Comic Book Convention returns from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Sunday at Great Lakes Mall and it will have more events, more industry professionals and more contests than before.

"It's about three times bigger than last year," said Joe Lovece, the manager of Comics and Friends. "We're expecting more than 1,000 people."

For the first time at Lake Effect, writers and artists from the comic book profession will host panels about their jobs and the industry on the mall's event stage.

Thom Zahler, a Lake County native who writes and draws Love and Capes, will join Craig Tucker and Michael Neno to talk about online comics at 1 p.m.

Then, The Simpsons writer Chris Yambar, newspaper strip creator Derf, and Gary Dumm, an artist who has worked with Cleveland laureate Harvey Pekar, will discuss how comics often tell stories about more than superheroes at 2 p.m..

Finally, Mark Sumerak and Bob Ingersoll -- a pair of writers who have worked for Marvel Comics -- Marvel/DC artist Mike Gustovich and Phantom Jack creator Michael Sangiacomo will talk about how writers and artists interact at 4 p.m.

More industry professionals will also attend the convention, talk with fans and sign some autographs.

Meanwhile, the mall's will have free movie screenings all afternoon, including classic Jonny Quest cartoons, Persepolis, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Hayao Miyazaki's acclaimed My Neighbor Totoro.

Guests at the convention can also compete in HeroClix and Magic: The Gathering tournaments, as well as a costume contest. (People need to call 440-255-4242 to pre-register for the tournaments but not the costume contest.) Winners will get bragging rights and cool prizes.

Lovece said the costume contest is his favorite part of the convention. He added that a brother-sister duo set the bar by dressing as Spike and Tails from the Sonic video games last year.

Comic and Friends will also use the convention as an opportunity to give to a worthy cause. The store will host a silent auction that ends at 5 p.m. and benefits the Veterans Administration.

"A good friend of ours, Tim Bean, passed away last year," Lovece said. "He was a vet and worked with the VA. This is our way of remembering him."

Lovece said Lake Effect Comic Book Convention will have something for everyone to enjoy, not just people who already consider themselves comic fans.

"Anybody can find something they're interested in," he said.

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