Growing-up, I remember that we only ever had a single comic book show around my area: the Portland Comic Book Show. It was promoted by a group called Second Genesis. It was great back then. They were able to bring in some great talent for signing, and the bigger talents would charge $0.25 per autograph which would go to support a local charity. It was great!
Over the years, I'm not sure what happened. The talent wasn't as big of a draw, even though they were able to get several of the local talent... which was good. It became to be known more as a flea market than a reputable comic book show. In more recent years, several of the show's were cancelled due to scheduling conflicts around other events that take place in the same area. If there's a scheduled NBA game, then there couldn't be a comic book show. Even though both events were in separate venues, they are too close together and share parking.
Three times that I can recall, my city actually had a comic book show. A few of the local artists were invited, but they were primarily a flea market show as well. The first of these shows is where I first met Randy Emberlin and decided I wanted to take-up inking. You can read about my experiences as an inker here.
Over the course of the past 10 years, it seems like comic book shows have now given way to conventions and there are more available. Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, Stumptown Comic Fest, Rose City Comic Con and Wizard World in Portland. I'm not trying to imply that I'm unhappy, but where did they all come from? Will Oregon see additional comic book related events in the future?
I for one hope so.
Since the inclusion of a convention center in Salem, I have wondered if it would ever draw something of interest like a comic con or some other pop culture related event. To date... never. If I had the experience, know-how and money, I would endeavor to make this become a reality.