Eastern Iowa Comic Convention continues tradition while creating new memories

CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - It may seem like a comical hobby, but the Eastern Iowa Comic Convention is something many take very seriously.

People search through bins of comics at the Eastern Iowa Comic Convention in Coralville. It was the third straight year the Country Inn & Suites hosted the event. (Aaron Scheinblum, KCRG)

For many of the traders and collectors at the event, comics serve as more than a hobby- to many, comics are a lifelong passion. Some say as entertaining as the hobby is, it is even more important to share that passion with their children.

Consider it a small-form treasure hunt; and in the meeting room at the Country Inn & Suites in Coralville, it was an opportunity for eastern Iowans to search through bins full of comics, allowing them to continue their lifelong hobbies.

"I kind of read them, off and on, when I was a kid and I used them to make myself better," said Charles Mitchell, who brought his three children in an effort to extend his passion and tradition to the rest of the family.

"They show abilities with drawing," Mitchell said. "I'd like to give them a different thing that they can take from or draw."

Taking a love of art from a comic-style of drawings is something Haley Allen knows all too well. More well known as "Hams," she is a freelance illustrator from Mississippi, who recently moved to Iowa.

She showed up to the comic convention as an opportunity to introduce herself to eastern Iowa, while also serving as a chance to introduce eastern Iowans to her.

"I'm new to the area and I haven't done any events up here yet," Allen said. "And so I was kind of just wanting to try it out, I guess."

Alan Morton was an organizer for the event, who also doubled as one of the vendors at the event. He said the attendance always fluctuates, but it was their third year at the hotel in Coralville.

He said when it comes to the popularity of movies based on comic books, it has given them a chance to expand people's horizons.

"There were a couple girls: 'wow, the movie only came out a couple weeks ago and already they have a comic book.' Well, no," Morton said. "The comic book came out a long, long time ago and they made a movie about it."

For organizers like Morton, the passion is simple:

"You get to talk to people that don't make fun of the fact you have funny books," Morton said.

But this hobby is no joke, no matter what people are looking for- because for the people attending, it is all about looking forward to the future.

Morton said the next stops in Iowa include Altoona on Saturday, March 9 at Adventureland Inn, as well as the Ramada Inn in Bettendorf on Saturday March 16/