Saturday, thousands of comic book fans will descend upon the Kentucky International Convention Center for the third annual Derby City Comic Con . New Derby City Comic Con owner Chuck Moore spent a few minutes with Louisville.com Tuesday morning after his appearance on WHAS for an episode of the morning program “Great Day Live” to talk about this year’s event.
To start, here is how he came to own the con:
“I took ownership of Derby City Comic Con at the end of [last year’s con]; Eric Bannister did for the first two years. He’s an old friend of mine, and [his life had] taken him in another direction… He reached out to me, and we talked, and ended up purchasing the show from him. So, this is kind of a transition year, and we are working to take it to the future.”
Moore, a veteran who has owned seven comic book shops in the 1980s, as well as founded the website Comic Related  – “the CNN of comics” according to Moore – and traveled the convention circuit over the years, gave Louisville.com a brief history lesson about Derby City Comic Con: For 35 years, there wasn’t a dedicated comic book convention in the city, and Bannister (and now Moore) wanted to give something back to the local independent comic book scene, leading to the con’s founding. While most cons, such as the San Diego Comic-Con International  and the Big Apple Comic Con , focus on the heavy hitters from the comic book world – as well as talent from other related mediums – Derby City Comic Con’s main focus is on Louisville’s and the tri-state area’s content creators.
Regarding the future of DCCC, the con’s organizers have filed a five-year plan with the Kentucky International Convention Center – chosen for its central location, size, name recognition and scalability – where the goal is to grow the con to the point where it would have “an Eastern U.S. representation” so that the organizers can begin drawing in more visitors. Moore said that he would have a major announcement regarding the 2014 iteration of the con during Friday’s launch party at Patrick O’Shea’s  on 123 W. Main St., but couldn’t reveal all during the interview.
What Moore could reveal was this year’s list of guests:
“For this year, our key guest [is] Tony Moore, co-creator of ‘The Walking Dead.’ We have Bob Hall, who did everything that’s credited around Marvel and DC; Jay Lipton, who is a local inker who’s worked for Marvel and DC… people like Uko Smith, Darryl Banks, Dennis Calero, Steve Scott, Janet Lee, Tony Isabella… I think that we represent the comic book universe as it stands now really well.”
When attendees go through the gates Saturday, they’ll see a children’s area to the right of the entrance, a silent auction the rear section of the con – 100 percent of proceeds to benefit Kosair Children’s Hospital  – vendors to the front, creators in the next three sections, podcasters to the left, as well as lots of attendees in their best cosplay. The third iteration of Derby City Comic Con will also boast the most panels in the con’s brief history with six panels in two panel rooms devoted to topics ranging from indie comics to a viewing of “Zach Cooper’s Epic Speed Run,” a short film shot in Louisville. There will also be two costume contests – one for children, one for adults – a children’s art show and competition, scavenger hunts, and more.
In closing, Moore had this to say about Derby City Comic Con’s third year, and the support garnered by the local community:
“I’ve been really excited about the support. Louisville gets really behind the show. I’ve been on FOX; I did ABC just a little bit ago… all the media kinda coming out to support it has been really great, and that’s what we want, because we want a show that’s kind of a partner with the community. It’s something we’re trying to grow for Louisville, and it’s something that we want Louisville to be proud of. It’s kind of what we’re building here.”
Derby City Comic Con  will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside the Kentucky International Convention Center for the general public. Those who pre-order their tickets online  can enter the show at 9 a.m. for no extra cost, with a special line for pre-order ticketholders. Tickets are $10 for adults, while children 12 and under can enter for free. There will also be a launch party Friday evening sponsored by Comic Related at Patrick O’Shea’s  beginning at 7 p.m., which is free to all aside from the cash bar, as well as an after-party sponsored by Tonic Tours  Saturday evening at 7 p.m., also at Patrick O’Shea’s and free to all aside from the cash bar.
Photos: Facebook/Derby City Comic Con .