October 26, 2021

Heroes, villains swarm

Annual comic festival fills former Cortland factory

Photos Shenandoah Briere/contributing photographer

Vickie Thayer and Chelsey Cochrane of McLean look through a book of Brandon Whipple’s illustrations trying to decide which to buy. They bought three drawings.

Captain America came, and Spiderman, too. Wonder Woman hung out with Harley Quinn. Batman, the Joker and the Riddler made peace and Cruella de Vil brought just one dalmatian.

And there were Klingons, lots of Klingons as hundreds of people packed the Cortland Corset Building on Saturday at the 4th Annual Heroes and Villains Con put on by owners Stephen Vincent Jr. and Vanessa Mielke.

On the second floor, Vickie Thayer and Chelsey Cochrane of McLean checked out Brandon Whipple’s table where he was selling his illustrations.

Whipple, who owns Brandon Whipple Illustronics in Moravia, has been participating in the event since it first began in 2015. This year he celebrated a milestone with the release of Monster Carnival — a book of 10 stories done by 27 artists. One of the artists was Whipple.

“It’s his first published work,” said Heather Dann, who was working at the table with him.

Eden Grant, 5, reaches for a drawing by Charles B. Barnett III, while her mother, Thalia Ortiz watches. Eden picked out two photos Saturday during the 4th Annual Heroes and Villains Con at the Cortland Corset Building, 75 E. Court St.

Whipple said it’s nice to be back and see new and old faces.

“They keep getting more and more talented people,” he said.

He was glad to see a lot of people like Thayer and Cochrane checking out his artwork. “A lot of our happiness is contingent on people looking at them.”

Thayer and Cochrane bought three pieces — Mario, Thanos and Nightmare Before Christmas.

Thayer said they first came to the event last year and thought it was amazing. This year she got the grandchildren involved, even having them dress up as Spiderman and Captain America.

“Got to get them started,” Thayer said. “It’s nice to see different stuff come around the area that’s for anyone.”

Thayer’s brothers got her started reading comics.

“My brothers used to leave them in the bathroom and I’d steal them and read them,” she said. Thor became her favorite.

She also liked that a lot of other people dressed up for the convention. “If I ever came across a costume I like, I’d wear it.”

Noel Passeri, of Noel Comix Caricatures, Cartoons and Comics, works on a drawing of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the 4th annual Heroes and Villains Con Saturday.

Jasmine Jordan was walking around the building taking in everything she could. She attended the convention after getting into comics because her friends read them.

“I was always curious,” she said from behind her Star Wars Imperial officer outfit. “I’m also into cosplay, so I wanted to check it out. I love Star Wars and I love the Dark Side,” she said.

Down in the comic book store, Vincent kept busy behind the counter as the line to buy comics grew and grew.

He was nothing but smiles as he rang up purchases, talked to people about their costumes and favorite comics.

“I think we broke last year’s attendance for sure,” he said.