Spring brings on the superheroes. With Comic Book Day and the new "Avengers" film coming soon, collectors and cosplayers are getting in gear. Enter the Long Island Comic Book Expo at Old Bethpage Village Restoration on Sunday, April 14.
“It’s a colorful atmosphere where you can come across solid deals and some good finds,” says expo creator Greg Aiossa, 39, of Glen Cove. “But it’s not just comics. We have clay statues, stuffed animals, Funko Pops, Legos, video games and more. It’s as family-friendly as possible.”
Here’s a day-planner guide:
Suit up and showcase your costume at cosplay contests for both kids and adults at 4 p.m.
“This is a place for cosplayers to network and feel validated without having to go to the city or out of state,” says cosplayer coordinator Liz “Rizuki” Vazquez, 33, of Brentwood. “Our suggestion is — be somebody who brings you joy.”
Among the rules to abide by: No nudity, no firearms and no political or religious viewpoints are allowed, plus each costume must be at least 75 percent handmade for award consideration. Prizes will be given to first place winners.
Get educated about cosplaying through some all-day panels. Learn how to cosplay in a group at the panel, “I’ll Form the Head: Cosplay Groups” at 11 a.m., or figure out how to be a mermaid at the “Mermaiding 101: Diving into the Hobby” panel at 2 p.m. Beginners can learn how to cosplay at the “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing! Tackling Your First Cosplay Project” panel at noon.
“We want people to walk away feeling empowered with cosplay information and connect with other Long Island cosplayers,” says Vazquez.
MEET THE ARTISTS
Comic artists will be on the floor selling their books and meeting fans face-to-face.
“There’s nothing more inspiring than people coming up to your table, asking you questions and getting into what it is that you do,” says indie comic book artist Rich Drezen, 34, of Massapequa. “It’s a big boost.”
Drezen is the author/illustrator of “Luckyzilla,” a comic series based on multi-cultural detective Bruce Deodato, who transforms into a giant wolf that protects mankind from racism and bullying in Massapequa Heights.
“We all have our differences but it’s important that we find our common ground,” says Drezen about the moral premise of his series. “We need to learn to live with each other and work together toward a common good.”
SHOP THE VENDORS
Comic books — both new and vintage — will be in abundance from local vendors along with accompanying paraphernalia such as posters, action figures and T-shirts. Unique items for sale include handmade one-of-a-kind miniature sculptures ($10-$20) from colored clay and wax created by Louis Shaffer, 31, of Hampton Bays.
“People can ask for any character and I’ll make it, even if I’ve never heard of it,” says Shaffer, who customizes each piece. “If they can get me a picture or describe it really good, we’ll dream together.”
From role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder to board games such as King of Tokyo, Dominion and Dungeon Mayhem, they will all be running throughout the day.
“We will be doing a library format. People can just pick a game and play it,” says Chuck Baglivio, owner of Cosmic Comics & Games in Baldwin. “We will also be doing gaming demos showing everyone how to play.”
A variety of games will be for sale ($20-$50) as well.
“Board games went through a revolution about 15 years ago when they became really cool complex multiplayer puzzles,” says Baglivio. “Where video games feature a ton of information, with board games you still have to figure things out on your own. People like that aspect.”
LONG ISLAND COMIC BOOK EXPO
WHEN|WHERE 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, April 14, Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Road
ADMISSION $5 (ages 10 and younger free with paid adult)