My Second Trip to Granite State ComiCon (Pictures)

By Dale T. Phillips

Pictures by Dale T. Phillips and Stacey Longo


Once more, I got to travel to another world or a lot of them, by attending Granite State ComiCon, organized by Double Midnight Comics. I was one of two authors at the Books & Boos table. The other author at the table being Stacey Longo. We were signing books for fans, new and old.

Author Stacey Longo at the Books & Boos table.

Author Stacey Longo at the Books & Boos table.

It was an amazing time at a well-run con, with thousands of fun people enjoying themselves and sharing their special likes of comics, TV shows, books, films, graphic novels, games, and cultural icons of all sorts.




You get to see people like The New England Brethren of Pirates.Pirates1

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire Ghostbusters



The New England garrison of the 501st Legion.
All three groups make appearances to help raise money for charities. These people put a lot of time and effort into their outfits and shows, and they deserve a big hand for what they do.501_base





Sam Jones

Sam Jones

You get to see celebrities, like Sam Jones (of Flash Gordon and Ted fame) and tough-guy actor William Forsythe, both of whom were

Author Stacey Longo with William

Author Stacey Longo with William Forsythe.

extremely gracious and kind to the fans. You also see the people behind the voices of your favorite animated characters such as Richard Horvitz, who voices Zim in Invader Zim, .

Richard Horvitz.

Richard Horvitz.

You get to meet writers such as Gordon Bean, Rob Watts, Katherine Silva, and Scott Goudsward, who are all members of the New England Horror Writers.

From left to right: Bean, Watts, Silva, and Goudsward.

From left to right: Gordon Bean, Rob Watts, Katherine Silva, and Scott Goudsward.

Author Matthew Bartlett, another NEHW member, was also signing books at the organization’s table.

Author Matthew Bart

Author Matthew Bartlett.

Besides the NEHW and Longo, Chris Philbrook, another author, had his own table at the convention.

During my time at the convention, I also met author John Murphy, who was recently heard on the Sci-fi Saturday Night podcast. I can’t wait to hear their interviews with the cast members of Game of Thrones.

Me (left) and John Murphy (right).

Me (left) and John Murphy (right).

The Game of Thrones celebrities.

The Game of Thrones celebrities.

Speaking of which, lots of folks were Game of Thrones cosplaying to honor the cast members who were there.


Arya of Game of Thrones.


Arya of Game of Thrones.



Miltos Yeramelou (Syrio on GoT) hosted a Water Dancing class to teach beginning fencers. I watched some of it, and thought it superb– and I’ve been a fencer for over 35 years.

Miltos Yeramelou.

Miltos Yeramelou.





You get to see about every superhero and supervillain you can think of.




Robin and Batgirl.












Harley Quinn, the Joker and the Riddler.

Mr_T_JasonAnd many other costumes. A guy who plays Mr T. emceed the huge costume contest. I sure wouldn’t want to judge that one, because there are so manyCostume_crowd2 cool costumes, it would be too hard to choose a winner!







Two days of fun, and we just saw a small part of it. It’s a total experience, with panels, parties, and participation.


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Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees.


A Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation.




Harley Quinn and the Joker.


HauntedAcres Haunted Acres is New England’s most exciting haunted attraction, with Maniac’s Midway, live bands, a beer garden, and lots of food and ride vendors.




Frozen’s Elsa taking a trip in the Tardis.


Deadpool and Wonder Woman.



Judge Dredd.

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Artist Karen Gosselin.


Mr. T with author Stacey Longo, holding her book Secret Things.




Ralphie from A Christmas Story.




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A Medieval Deadpool.

Me with author Rob Watts.

Me with author Rob Watts.




Star Trek’s Starfleet officer


Wreck-It Ralph.

The Dome and Kriana of Sci-fi Saturday Night.

The Dome and Kriana of Sci-fi Saturday Night.

Disney Princesses.

Disney Princesses.


A Droogie.


Wonder Woman and Batman.


Guardians of the Galaxy.

A Droogie.

A Droogie.

Brave's Princess Merida and Silk.

Brave’s Princess Merida and Silk.

Performers from Fright Kingdom.

Performers from Fright Kingdom.

Convention attendees.

Convention attendees.

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Rikki Simons, the voice of Gir.

Rikki Simons, the voice of Gir on Invader Zim.


Thor and Voltron


Granite State Comic Con, a Glimpse Into Another World

By Dale T. Phillips

WelcomeOnce in awhile you get to do something really interesting, like get a glimpse into another world where people are nice, intelligent, and having fun in a different way. I had that experience this weekend at Granite State Comicon, a convention held in Manchester, NH, for people to meet who enjoy a variety of things: comics, costume play (cosplay), science fact and science fiction, fantasy, horror, anime, manga, and just hanging out with like-minded people.

This particular annual gathering began ten years ago, and Chris Proulx, co-owner of Manchester’s Double Midnight Comics, organizes the event. The show has proven popular, and grown to be a two-day event, with roughly 3000 people attending. It’s such a rush for those attending there were already people trying to register for next year, while the event was going on.

There was a great deal to see: panel discussions on various subjects, Ghostbusters, the only privately-held Delorean from the “Back to the Future” movies, R2-D2 and Imperial stormtroopers, vampires, pirates, superheroes and villains of all stripes, and even a place to play working arcade games from the past.

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire

The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire






Jack Sparrow, the Silence from Dr. Who, and Elvira.

The Justice League

The Justice League


The people who come to the con love the stories and characters they find in graphic novels, movies, television, podcasts, and online. Many of them enjoy dressing up as a particular character they find appealing, and there are contests for best costumes in many different categories. But these are no mere outfits grabbed off the rack at a party store, they are meticulously researched and hand-crafted designs of ingenuity and creativity.Ladies_Cos

You may have seen a television show about people who cosplay and enter these contests, but in true television fashion, it shows many participants in a less-than-attractive light, editing to make them seem as if they are nasty competitors. Those in the costume contest I saw were nothing but supportive of each other, cheering each announced prize and high-fiving each category winner. I spoke with one participant who had a costume that included beautiful, hand-crafted armor. Having made armor myself, I know how difficult and time-consuming the process is, and complimented him on a stunning display. Though he was completely passed over for any prizes (an oversight, to say the least), he had no words of disparagement for his fellow competitors, no whining or complaining like you might see on television. A true hero of cosplay, and one who embodies the completely positive spirit of the whole event.



One costumer (cosplayer) who really goes above and beyond is artist Amy Fletcher, who over the years has become well-known for a series of striking mermaid costumes: steampunk mermaid, goth mermaid, even Ariel (from a well-known animated film). She’s back at cons after a hiatus, and what she does is more performance art than just dressing up. A true mermaid costume restricts ones movements, and she sits for hours at a time on display, where fascinated folk come to take pictures and marvel at the attention to detail on the current incarnation. Amy says she enjoys meeting people and being an inspiration to others, and loves to push creativity. Her attitude is: “Have fun, be yourself, and don’t care what others think!” Check out her website for great art and all things mermaid:

Goth Mermaid

Goth Mermaid

One place that encourages and educates this convention audience (and the world beyond) is Sci-Fi Saturday Night, a wicked cool podcast of all things science fiction. Check out their site and listen in on Thursday nights for news, interviews, and commentary by a talented cast of characters and guests from film, TV, and the writing world. Yeah, when I can tune in and hear classic writers like Spider Robinson and Harlan Ellison, you’ve got me without anything else. Then they’ll bring on someone like actor Lance Henriksen from the Aliens movie, just for good measure!

The Sci-fi Saturday Night crew

The Dome, Zombrarian, and Kriana of Sci-fi Saturday Night

And there are illustrators by the score, vending their artwork in various forms. Many have created graphic novels or other books, such as Susan Saunders, who was at her first convention, selling her children’s book Snowpocalypse, co-written with well-known horror writer Rob Watts. With a background as a schoolteacher, she’s now interested in creating literature for children. She enjoyed the people-watching element of the show, and was getting inspiration from the many other artists on display.

 Susan Saunders and Rob Watts holding their book,  Snowpocalypse.

Susan Saunders and Rob Watts holding their book, Snowpocalypse.

There were other writers as well, most notably a contingent of the New England Horror WritersRob Smales, one of those selling books with the group, said that there were “a metric butt-ton of good writers in the New England area– some seriously creative people.” Earlier in the day, he’d gone around the event with a death mask on to scare up some business.

Authors and members of the New England Horror Writers Tracy L. Carbone and Rob Smales.

Authors and members of the New England Horror Writers Tracy L. Carbone and Rob Smales.

From left to right: authors Tracy L. Carbone, Rob Smales, Scott Goudsward, and Tony Tremblay.

From left to right: authors Carbone, Smales, Scott Goudsward, and Tony Tremblay.

Author Scott Goudsward in front of the New England Horror Writers sign.

Goudsward in front of the New England Horror Writers sign.

You see a lot of good ideas here, such as raising money for charities– for example, the Ghostbusters of New Hampshire, who go to cons as their favorite movie characters, complete with heavy packs and gear for dealing with paranormal occurrences. They pay their own way, and make appearances and accept donations from attendees which all go to a specified charity. At the event, they were raising money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The Delorean Time Machine is doing something similar, and making appearances to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

The Delorean

The Delorean

So it was a great time, talking to filmmakers, photographers, and fans. Artisans creating accessories and vendors selling items from favorite shows and comic lines. Enthusiastic people having a ball, enjoying themselves and learning about many creative venues while meeting people from all over. If this sounds like your thing, there’s a slew of shows throughout the year, and New England hosts a number of them.ObiWan_jabba



Young Justice
Editor’s note: All pictures in this article were taken by Dale T. Phillips