Local comic book fans and enthusiasts, many draped in the colors of their favorite superhero or wrapped in costumes from their preferred sci-fi franchise, made their way to the Santa Clarita Comic and Toy Expo at College of the Canyons on Sunday.
More than 500 participants and 55 vendors turned the normally quiet East PE building into a bustling shrine to all things comic book.
The event, hosted by Saugus based Kimzar Kollectibles, was the second and final installation of this year’s expositions.
“It’s our second show, we did one in march,” said Kimzar owner Lisa Simonian. “We plan to continue doing them twice a year due to the popularity of it.”
Simonian first imagined the event as an opportunity for local comic book collectors to be able to buy and sell merchandise and to share their collective passion without having to brave the traffic to larger events in Los Angeles or San Diego.
“Through our local comic and toy shop that we have in Saugus, we had a lot of people asking for [an event] closer,” she said. “It brings everyone who’s excited about comics and toys here to the Santa Clarita Valley.”
Simonian’s vision was manifest in the event. The 55 vendors who attended the event hailed from all corners of Los Angeles County, but most attendees did not have to leave the valley.
For many of these vendors, however, the Comic and Toy Expo was about more than just sharing their love for graphic novels.
Santa Clarita resident Kate Moore, for example, represented the Geek Girls Society and the Geek Girls Forever organizations – which focus on cultivating girls’ interest in comic books and increasing womens’ prevalence within the field.
Greek Girls Society, she explained, is chiefly for girls under 18 years-of-age and provides after school programs where grils can play games, earn badges, and write their own comic books. Geek Girls Forever is the affiliate womens’ group that host 8-10 meetings each month along with a graphic novel book club.
Holding down a booth covered in freshly printed comic books and brilliantly colored pieces of artwork was Ventura resident Calvin Nye, owner of his own company CN Comics.
Nye said his job entails self-publishing comic books and creating “a whole lot of art.”
Since being diagnosed with autism, Nye has used his talents to augment awareness for the condition. In his comic book series Joe Hero, the eponymous main character is a superhero who learns
to deal with his autism.
“I am diagnosed with autism myself and I wanted to actually promote a character who is just like that,” Nye said.