Comic Con planning

Numerous Southern Illinois mayors and some SIU administrators/faculty gathered recently at the Student Center to check out some of the plans for the Comic Con. 

September 27, 2018

Saluki Comic Con virtually exploding with new events, guests, tournaments and demonstrations

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — New special guests, new competitions, E-Gaming tournaments and dozens of workshops and presentations have been added to the Saluki Comic Con 2018 roster. The event will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sept. 29-30 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Last year’s inaugural comic con was a rousing success and this year, the event is being held at the SIU Student Center during Saluki Family Weekend.

E-gaming tournaments, live demonstrations, workshops and more

Organizers say there are now nearly 80 different activities that attendees can enjoy. They include:

  • All-new E-Gaming tournaments featuring SIU’s brand-new E-Sports equipment and a Rampage Tournament in honor SIU alumnus and Saluki Comic Con special guest Brian Colin, who along with Game Refuge co-founder Jeff Nauman, has been designing hit video games since 1981.Their titles include Rampage, Xenophobe, General Chaos and Star Trek Voyager.
  • More than 25 different tabletop gaming activities.
  • Intriguing live demonstrations courtesy of campus registered student organizations, including the College of Engineering’s award-winning Moonbuggy Team, the Quidditch Team, the Medieval Combat Club and the Aikido Club.
  • Flight simulators from the aviation technologies department and virtual reality simulators from the College of Liberal Arts/School of Art and Design.
  • Nearly 40 different workshops, presentations and discussion panels, including some workshops especially for children.

Guest star list keeps growing

New special guests continue to be added to the already-exciting lineup. Notable additions include:

  • The 2018 Saluki Comic Con grand marshal Peter Poplaski – American cartoonist, painter, editor and author. His career began as a staff artist for Kitchen Sink Press in 1971 and he later became art director. He edited and designed all but one of the 26 “Steve Canyon” magazines and books published. He also designed covers and books for notable artists including Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner and Milton Caniff. He’s designed dozens of classic newspaper strip collection covers featuring the likes of Li’l Abner, Flash Gordon, Batman and Superman.
  • Les Lannom – SIU alumnus and veteran stage, television and screen actor, who has worked with such celebrities as Henry Fonda, Sidney Poitier and Lee Marvin. He’s also a musician, playing the accordion, trumpet, guitar, harmonica, whistle and bagpipes and was recently cast as Kenric in the new TV series “Knight’s End,” currently in production.
  • Camron Johnson – accomplished illustrator for comics, novels and children’s books, with credits including the cover for the acclaimed horror series “Rabbit in Red,” by Joe Chianakas.

Children and teens can win tickets with their artwork

Children and teens from kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to enter the inaugural Saluki Comic Con Art Contest. Entries will be accepted up until the day of the event.

To enter, print the online form and create a 2D piece of art with pencil, crayon, ink, markers or combination thereof and mail to Comic Con Art Competition Coordinator Attn: Sarah Junk, 1255 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901 or bring it in person to the Student Center Conference and Scheduling office.  

All who enter automatically get a free two-day entry pass to the Comic Con. There are three age groups for the contest: elementary school (grades K-5), middle school (grades 6-8) and high school.  All entries are eligible for prizes in these categories, with separate judging for each age group:

  • Original character.
  • Existing super hero.
  • Fantasy/sci-fi.

Numerous other special guests and vendors will be on hand as well

More than 80 vendors of all kinds will be participating in Saluki Comic Con as well. You’ll find comic book dealers, authors, toy and game vendors, specialty collector item dealers and more in attendance. There will be a Cosplay Contest on Sunday afternoon, too.

The star-studded special guest list also includes:

  • Samantha Newark, the voice of Jem and Jerica on the classic Jem and the Holograms cartoon and part of the Transformers guest-star cast.
  • Trevor Von Eeden, co-creator of the first original black superhero to have his own title and the first black artist and the youngest DC hire.
  • Zac Atkinson, the comic creator, cartoonist and designer who has colored such productions as “Teen Titans Go” and “GI Joe” and who is now designing his own comic.

Find ticket information, the complete schedule of events, guest list and everything else you need to know on the Saluki Comic Con website. Or, contact Vamsi Manne, Student Center associate director, at 618/453-1315 or