AMHERST — A steady stream of children, parents, adults and teenagers came into Main Street Amherst, some even dressed as their favorite comic book characters, for the first Lorain County Comic and Toy Show on Saturday.
Alan Thompson and his friend Chuck Daugherty hatched the idea for the show, and started planning at the end of 2018. The goal was to put Amherst on the map by uniting local comic-book stores for an event.
“One of the biggest things everybody is scared of when it comes to Amherst is that they think it’s past Sandusky, when they think it’s an hour away from Cleveland when it’s only 20-25 minutes away,” he said.
Thompson said there’s no comic-book convention like this in Lorain County, which forces many local collectors to go outside the county for such an event. Most of the closest conventions are near Cleveland, he said.
Thompson worked with Main Street Amherst to use its space while inviting other comic-book stores to offer items for sale. Among those taking part were Warlock’s Coolectibles in Sheffield Lake, Comics Are Go in Sheffield, Chuck’s Comics in Amherst, and Phat Daddy’s Comics in Jamie’s Flea Market. Keith’s Comics in Elyria was invited but unable to attend, Thompson said.
The vendors brought comics, toys, figurines, posters and artwork sketches from famous artists. Two local artists, Alan Sharp and Rick Lozano, attended the show and created drawings for free.
The event also mixed a little charity in with the fun. Thompson’s wife, Stephanie, had a raffle to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio, which is based in Lorain. About 1,000 raffle tickets were sold during the event. Attendees also were invited to donate nonperishable food to be entered for door prize drawings.
Jack Martin, a comic book and toy collector from Norwalk, walked away with a few comics and won a raffle prize of a wood log slice with the characters of the comic-book series and Marvel movie “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Martin, who loves Marvel comics, particularly Spider-Man, said the event is certainly great for the growth of Amherst.
“It’s a good thing for a small town like this, I usually never come through here. It’s probably like my second time in this town, honestly,” he said.
Thompson said he was surprised by the turnout and plans to look for a larger venue for next year’s show.