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Comic books draw out people of all sorts

April 29, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

When the guys in the office first started talking about the Pittsburgh Comicon at the Monroeville Expo Mart, everyone laughed and made fun of them. Who would have ever thought that I would be attending. I thought Little Man might enjoy it.

I talked a friend, Missy, and her little boy into going with my son and me. We met two of the guys I work with there. Well, I guess you could say we only met because the other one spent the entire three hours we were there in line for some guy's autograph. I say some guy - he says Stan Lee. I say Stan who? He almost passes out. How could I not know who Stan Lee is? I don't. Apparently, he is the creator of Spiderman. Who knew?

First, we had to get soft pretzels for the boys, which actually cost less money than I had anticipated. After their hunger was taken care of, we ventured to the Batmobile. Yes, the Batmobile from the 1966 movie. Not the exact one, but a replica built by a couple of guys. Their setup was cool. They had episodes of the old "Batman" television series playing over and over again. They had pictures of the old cast hanging around their space. You could pay to have your picture taken while sitting in the car, or take as many as you wanted for free, from behind the barricade. Little Man chose not to sit in the car.

After seeing the Batmobile, we ventured outside to see Ecto 1. What is that, some of you may be thinking? It is the car driven in the "Ghostbusters" films. The four Ghostbusters were there, too. And they, and their car, were NOT part of Comiccon. They were just fans who attended the event. Really. Four guys made costumes and a car to look just like the one in the movie. They had proton packs. One had glasses. The car had a ghost painted on the side and an Ecto 1 license plate on the front. And on the back was an honest-to-God Pennslyvania license plate. The thing was street legal! What some people do amazes me.

After getting wet from the rain while outside checking out Ecto 1, we headed back inside to get autographs from two guys we actually knew: Ian Petrella, who played Randy in "The Christmas Story," and Larry Thomas, who played the Soup Nazi on "Seinfeld." Petrella had a leg lamp like the one in the movie sitting on his table along with pictures you could have him sign. Thomas had pictures or soup ladels he would sign.

Most of the event was about comic books, obviously, so for those who know nothing about them that was all there was to see. If the comic book wasn't something that had been turned into a movie or cartoon or television show, I had never heard of it. Sorry. Just me. I like Superman and Batman, but they are only ficitonal characters who appear on the screen and in print. I have never heard of Dead Pool or Steel Man or Steel Dog, or anything steel for that matter. There were people dressed up as characters I have never heard of or even seen.

I did know the Joker, the Riddler, Wonder Woman and Thor, but I have no idea who the man in camouflage was supposed to be. Or the girls who wore practically no clothes, but had tails. To each her own, I guess.

I was glad I attended the event. We had fun. We saw some famous people and some very crazy people. Some people don't care what they look like in public, I guess.

But everyone has some hobby, whether it be comic books or "Twilight." I have guilty pleasures, too.

Don't we all?

(Letusick. a resident of Rayland, is copy editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)

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