Pryor to Host Creek Comic Convention in January

When you think of comic conventions, Pryor, Oklahoma, may not be the first location that comes to mind. However, it soon could be.
            The inaugural Pryor Creek Comic Convention takes place from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 21, 2017, at the Mayes County Cultural Center and City Hall Galleries, 6 Graham Avenue in Pryor.
            “Yes, soon Pryor will become Capetown,” said Barbara Hawkins, president of the Pryor Area Chamber of Commerce. “You may see people wearing capes, masks and other superhero apparel at the Pryor Creek Comic Convention.” The Convention is co-sponsored by the Pryor Chamber and the Pryor Area Arts & Humanities Club.
            According to Jimmie Tramel, Tulsa World pop culture writer and event organizer, decades ago comic conventions appealed primarily to lovers of comic books and science fiction.
            “Comic conventions now are considered to be pop culture conventions because the focus has expanded to include TV, movies, toys, action figures, gaming and cosplaying (masquerading as a character from pop culture),” he said.
         The evolution of cons is one reason why they have exploded in popularity. San Diego Comic-Con, the most well-known comic con, attracts a crowd of 130,000 every July and tickets sell out immediately after becoming available. Wizard World stages a series of pop culture conventions around the country and held conventions in Tulsa each of the last three years, Tramel explained.
         Another reason comic cons have become embraced by the masses is because comic fare has gone mainstream, thanks to the success of Marvel and DC movies and because of geek chic TV shows like "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Walking Dead." The AMC zombie show is based on a comic book series.
         Area comic book and merchandise dealers will be on site for the Pryor Creek Comic Convention. Those interested in renting vendor booths or sponsoring prizes may contact Tramel at jdtramel@hotmail.com.
         “Like comic cons, cosplaying has boomed in popularity. Prizes will be awarded in cosplay categories at the Pryor convention.”
         Guests at the Pryor Creek Comic Convention will include former KTUL-TV sports personality Jack Bunds, who will make his comic convention debut. “Bunds embraced a passion for painting after leaving the world of television news and is looking forward to sharing his photo-realistic paintings with the comic con crowd,” Tramel said.
         Author guests are Gene DeRosa, who has written horror movie trivia books, R.A. Jones, Michael Vance and John Wooley.

  Michael Vance bio
 
Michael Vance was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
     He was first published in "The Professor’s Story Hour" chapbook at the age of eleven. He has been published in dozens of magazines and as a syndicated columnist and cartoonist in over 500 newspapers. His history book, Forbidden Adventure, The History of the American Comics Group, has been called a "benchmark in comics history". It was reprinted in Alter Ego magazine #’s 61 & 62.
     His magazine work has been published in seven countries, and includes articles for Starlog, Jack & Jill and Star Trek, The Next Generation.
     He briefly ghosted the internationally syndicated comic strip, Alley Oop, and created and wrote his own strip for five years called Holiday Out that was reprinted as a comic book. Vance also wrote comic book titles including Straw Men, Angel of Death, The Adventures of Captain Nemo, Holiday Out and Bloodtide. Artists with whom he has worked include, Wayne Truman, Richard "Grass" Green, and Dave (Alley Oop) Graue.
     His work has appeared in several comic book anthologies, and he is listed in two reference works, the Who’s Who of American Comic Books and Comic Book Superstars.
     His thirty short stories about a fictional town called "Light’s End" have been published in numerous magazines. They have also been recorded by legendary actor William (Murder She Wrote) Windom. One of these stories was nominated for the international 2004 SLF Fountain Award for Best Short Story.
     These short stories were the foundation for a trilogy of novels published by Airship 27: Weird Horror Tales, Weird Horror Tales: The Feasting, and Weird Horror Tales: Light’s End.
     With novelists Mel Odom and R.A. Jones, he co-wrote Global Star, a tabloid in a world where werewolves and babies born with bowling balls in their stomachs are reality.
     He co-wrote The Equation with R. A. Jones, a suspense-thriller about the impending financial collapse of America. His Christian SF novel, The Thief of Two Worlds, was published in 2014. A sequel, All In Color for a Time, was published in 2015, as was Snake: Nest of Vipers. Airship 27 also published Vance’s novel, Young Nemo and the Black Knights about Jules Vern’s Captain Nemo as a young man. Weird Horror Tales was released as an audio book.
     In 2016, the crime novel, Motor City Manhunt, was published. It was written with R. A. Jones.
     Vance’s weekly comics review column, Suspended Animation, was continuously published for more than twenty years in fanzines, newspapers, and on over eighty websites. At its peak, it was read by approximately 4,000,000 readers a year. It was the longest, continuously published, comics review column in the world.
     In his career, he worked in newspapers for twenty-two years as an editor, writer and advertising manager, creating three successful newspaper magazines. He also worked as an advertising copy writer, journalist, novelist, historian, graphic designer, in public relations, as a grant writer, cartoonist and columnist.
         Vance also created the Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection housed in the Toy and Action Figure Museum in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, and was a keynote speaker at the "Uncanny Adventures of Okie Cartoonists" exhibit at the Oklahoma Historical Museum in Oklahoma City. He is a Christian.
  
R.A Jones bio
         R.A. Jones was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he still resides, and has been a professional author, columnist and editor for more than 30 years.
     His first published work was a short story that appeared in Chic magazine in the early 1980s. Shortly thereafter, he became the comic book review columnist for the popular fan magazine Amazing Heroes. It was for that role that he was voted Most Popular Writer About Comics in Comic Buyer’s Guide’s fan poll in 1985.
     He briefly served as Executive Editor for Elite Comics before devoting himself full-time to freelance writing.
     From the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, he worked heavily in the comic book field; primarily for Malibu Comics. Under their various imprints, he wrote such series as Dark Wolf; Fist of God; Scimidar; Sinbad; Merlin; White Devil; The Protectors; Ferret; and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
     His work for other publishers included Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor for Dark Horse; a Golden Age Green Lantern story for DC Comics’ Showcase ‘95; Automaton and Bulletproof Monk for Image; and Wolverine/Captain America for Marvel.
     All told, he has written more than 100 individual issues of various comics titles. In 2006, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Cartoonists’ Collection Hall of Fame.
     He was a movie and television reviewer for the Oklahoma Eagle newspaper; and with Michael Vance wrote the comic book review column Suspended Animation.
     He also assisted Vance in the writing of the non-fiction book Forbidden Adventures, which was a history of early comics publishing company the American Comics Group.
     Bulletproof Monk, which he co-wrote, later served as the basis for a motion picture of the same name. Two short comics stories he wrote, entitled Cold, Hard Fact and Three on a Match, were filmed and presented as episodes of the French television series Metal Hurlant; these episodes later aired on the SyFy Channel in America.
     His focus in recent years has been on prose, and he has written and co-written more than half a dozen novels. Among them are: The Equation (with Michael Vance); Global Star (with Vance and Mel Odom); and Motor City Manhunt (with Vance).
     His solo novels include: Deathwalker; Gun Glory; The Steel Ring; and The Twilight War. A second Western novel, Comanche Blood, should be released later this year; and he has just finished writing a novel employing his original comic book creation, Scimidar.
 John Wooley bio
            John Wooley is a comic-book writer, novelist, and pop-culture historian whose most recent work includes the graphic novels THE TWILIGHT AVENGER and THE MIRACLE SQUAD (Pulp 2.0 Press) and, with James Vance, the introductions for BOB POWELL’S COMPLETE JET POWERS and BOB POWELL’S COMPLETE CAVE GIRL (Kitchen Sink Press/Dark Horse Books). In the past couple of years, two of his story synopses have been expanded into full-length ALLEY OOP comic-strip adventures by Jack and Carole Bender.
            Bold Venture Press’s new HOMICIDE HIGHBALL: THE LOST DAN TURNER SCRIPT contains Wooley’s never-before-seen 1980s-set draft of what became the Wooley-penned made-for-TV movie DAN TURNER: HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE (1990), starring Marc Singer and Tracy Scoggins. His novel OLD FEARS, written with Ron Wolfe, was optioned for the movies by Wes Craven, whom Wooley wrote about in the critically acclaimed biography WES CRAVEN: A MAN AND HIS NIGHTMARES (Wiley & Sons).
            Wooley’s other comic-book credits include his adaptation of Edward D. Wood Jr.’s PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE, followed by a new three-issue miniseries, PLAN NINE: THIRTY YEARS LATER, both for Malibu Graphics. He is also known for working with fellow comic-book scripter and film historian Michael H. Price on THE BIG BOOK OF BIKER FLICKS and the long-running FORGOTTEN HORRORS series of B-movie-history books, for which he and Price also do a regular podcast.
            He is the co-host, co-producer, and co-writer of RSU TV’s FILM NOIR THEATRE, now in its second season.
            Wooley broke into professional writing 45 years ago with a script for Warren Publishing’s EERIE.

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