Cradle Con is back: After a three-year hiatus, Long Island’s comic book/pop culture convention returns in full force to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City on May 14-15.
“People have described us as the convention of DIY punk rock comics,” says Seamus Keane, director of special events. “We focus on locally published independent comic book writers and artists, as well as merchants in and around Long Island.”
This family-friendly event will be multi-faceted with a variety of activities over two floors centered around the themes of superheroes, sci-fi, horror, animation and fantasy. Guests can meet comic book authors and artists, shop for comics, memorabilia and more, visit two special exhibits, enter a cosplay contest and even learn how to become a Jedi.
Ask questions and take selfies with comic book creators like Brooklyn-based artist Buzz who’s worked on titles like ‘Vampirella’, ‘Justice Society of America’ and ‘Power Rangers’. Don’t miss your chance to meet Valley Stream voice-over artist Wayne Grayson, who is famous for his work on the “Yu-Gi-Oh!” and the TV series “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” or Jared Reinmuth, of Manhattan, co-writer/screenwriter of “Big Black: Stand at Attica.”
Brooklyn-based comic artist/writer Jamal Yaseem Igle, who’s been a series artist on titles like ‘Supergirl’, ‘Green Lantern’, ‘Nightwing’ and ‘Firestorm’, is looking forward to meeting Cradle attendees Con. “I like talking to fans because I’m a fan,” he says. “I still read comics regularly and also watch all the shows. So we speak the same language.
THE ALLEY OF ARTISTS
Upon entering Artist’s Alley, guests can meet several artists who will be on hand to showcase and sell their work.
Visit Wyandanch’s Lina Almonte at the Little Shop of Madness where her 3D printed items, such as clocks, keychains, earrings, phone grips, coasters, handbags and wall panels, are on sale. Next, head to comic book artist James Avila, of Melville, creator of the modern fantasy series “All I Have To Do Is Dream”, who will be selling comic books and fine art prints .
Brittany Pleasant of Central Islip, Artisan’s Nook is crocheting dolls of characters from anime, cartoons, movies, and DC or Marvel universes, which will be available for purchase.
“The excitement and anticipation in the air is palpable,” says Pleasant. “I’m completely exhausted at the end of the day, but it’s hard to wipe the smile of gratitude from my face.”
More than 80 vendors will fill the museum’s atrium and cafe where patrons can purchase hundreds of items ranging from vintage video games to rare Funko Pops to new and used action figures. Comic Book Depot, in Wantagh, is expected to sell comic books ranging from $1 to $1,000 and Muteki Sales, in Queens, has hard-to-find Japanese toys, model kits and collectibles. Meanwhile, North Babylon’s Sneaks ‘N Geeks Collectibles plans to bring a carefully curated selection of sneakers, comics, apparel, toys, gaming systems, vinyl and more.
“We have something for everyone’s budget,” says Thomas Knox, owner/founder of Sneaks ‘N Geeks Collectibles. “If we don’t have it in stock, we’ll do our best to help you locate this item.”
The Arcade Age, which has been closed since January 1, will be reinstalled just for the Cradle Con weekend offering free play on over 50 video game arcade machines, including classics like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong , Street Fighter and Galaga as well as rare titles such as Sega. Spider-Man: The Video Game and Marvel vs. Capcom.
William Simons, who resides in Suffolk County, will display his collection of movie props, masks, busts and costumes called ‘Billy’s Basement’, including items from ‘Beneath the Planet of the Apes’, ‘The Mummy”, “American Werewolf in London” and “Creepshow”.
“I love showing off my collection and sharing it with people,” says Simons. “There’s no point in picking up things and hiding them in a closet so no one sees them.”
Dress up as a superhero or pop culture character and enter the cosplay contest on May 14 at 4 p.m. at the theater for adults and May 15 for children at the same location at the same time. Both adults and children can learn the ways of a Jedi as the Saber Guild – Endor Temple will be offering Jedi training classes as well as a ‘Good vs. Evil’ battle that fans can see at the Dome Theater on both days.
Panels are scheduled hourly to discuss a host of topics. Some topics include “The History of Star Trek”, “Why Jack Kirby is Still King”, “Can Indie Comics Save the Industry?” and “What Grue Knew: An In-Depth Discussion of the Work and Legacy of Mark Gruenwald”.
On the refreshment side, the museum café will be open and the Teriyaki Plus food truck will serve outside.
10 a.m. to 7 p.m., May 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 15, The Cradle of Aviation, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City
NEWS 516-572-4111, cradleofaviation.org
ADMISSION $25 for adults ($20 in advance), $12 for children ($10 in advance), $30 weekend pass (in advance only)