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Andrew Satterfield, Cincinnati Comic Expo

Meet Andrew Satterfield, founder and director of the Cincinnati Comic Expo, an annual celebration of comic books, cinema and pop culture that will be held this weekend at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

How long have you been involved with the Cincinnati Comic Expo? What were you doing beforehand? 
I started the Cincinnati Comic Expo in early 2010 along with my best friend, Matt Bredestege. It was created after visiting and exhibiting at many conventions outside the region and wishing our great city had one as well. The last convention held in Cincinnati happened in the 1990s. So after a decade of waiting, we gathered the support of many regional comic shops, booked a facility and the rest is history. This is simply a labor of love for me, and I maintain a day job that supports my family. 
As director of the expo, what kind of duties do you handle? 
I oversee all aspects of the show. We also have a dedicated staff of volunteers, and without them the show would not be possible. 

Do you see the new Cincy ComiCon as a threat or an asset to your organization? How would you describe what they are doing compared to what you are doing? 
Cincinnati is a dynamic city, and we are extremely grateful for all the support of our event. They are a new event, which we believe with help broaden the market and raise awareness for both events. With our show growing so quickly (advance tickets purchase totals are double last year) I really haven't had the time to pay attention to the specifics of another show.
What local resources have proved vital to your event? 
Several local comic book stores such as Rockin Rooster Comics, Comics 2 Games, Queen City Comics, Parker’s Records and Comics and Comic Book World have been huge supporters of the show from inception. They also support the show by selling tickets to our event. These stores, their products and customers are the main reason the Cincinnati Comic Expo came to be. The Cincinnati Comic Expo will have other events and celebrity guests over the weekend, but the backbone is the art in comic books and the artists that draw them. We are very pleased to have the support of these stores throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. 

Next, there are the local businesses involved. We have formed partnerships with many Cincinnati institutions that provide support for this event. The 2013 Cincinnati Comic Expo is pleased to be partners with Tom + Chee, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Zombie Walk, Hoxworth Blood Centers, OKI LUG (Ohio Kentucky Indiana LEGO User's Group), Yelp and many more. 

Then, there are our volunteers! The show requires a small army of people at the doors, on the show floor and managing the many events at the show. If it was not for the volunteers, the event would not be possible.   

Last, but certainly not least, are the fans. They are the reason the show is what it is today. We listen to what our fans want, and by reviewing the completed surveys at the end of each show and through our interactions on social media, we work hard every day to bring them the best show we possibly can.   
Which of your vendors or guests are you particularly excited about? 
That is the great thing about the Cincinnati Comic Expo: We have a little something for everyone. We have John Rhys-Davies for fans of Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings. Craig Parker for the fans of Spartacus. We have David Yost, the original Blue Power Ranger. Marina Stirtis from Star Trek the Next Generation. Richard Kiel, who played "Jaws" in The Spy Who Loved Me, for all the Bond fans. For horror fans, we have Ricou Browning, who played the Creature in Universal's Creature From The Black Lagoon.

If comics are your thing, then we have an amazing line-up of comic creators. We have Doug Mahnke who draws Justice League of America and Green Lantern. Jeff Lemire, who co-writes not only Justice League of America, but also Justice League Dark. If you love team books, we have Eddy Barrows coming in from South America. Eddy is the artist on Teen Titans. For our young at heart fans we have Art Baltazar, who draws Tiny Titans, and Christopher Jones from Young Justice and Batman Strikes. That is just a small fraction of the amazing talent we have attending the Expo. In total, we have over 100 comic creators coming to the show. They range from legends to superstars to individuals just getting their feet wet. 

This year, we also have several comic publishers attending the show. They include Zenescope, Aspen Publishing and Ringtail Café. They will be scouting for talent and reviewing portfolios.   

So it is difficult to pick a single person that I’m most excited about seeing, because many of these creators and celebrities have become an extended member of the Cincinnati Comic Expo and close personal friends.

Interview by Sean M. Peters

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