We spoke with Tom Fiore - one of our correspondents in the East coast to tell us more about his upcoming show this Sunday called the New Haven Spectacular. Check out a little bit of history and the highlights on the show!
When it all began
The New Haven Spectacular was actually conceived way back in 2006 more or less out of folly and not very good planning, if you could believe that. My initial intention was to bring back the old local monthly comic book shows that were around the area back in the mid to late 80’s when I first got into comic collecting, like many kids my age were at that time (and great many other people were too!). I had a blast during that time of my life with all the now classic toy tie-in cartoon shows such as GI Joe, Transformers, Thundercats amongst many others, and discovering that comics were in fact things that were to be collected and not just tossed under my bed.
I also had a great time going to these shows at places like Knights of Columbus and VFW halls where a lot of people would come to buy and look for stuff, namely comics. My idea, however was to step it a notch beyond from what had I remembered in those times so I approached a guy who was running a store at that time that I knew and we discussed getting a local show going again to attract another steady avenue of business. He would be the financial end and I would promote the show.
To make a long story short, things did not work out and the show unfortunately had to be ‘cancelled’, but promotional flyers had already gone to a few local shops and an advertisement also made in into the now defunct publication, Lee’s Toy Review. We had no website, or form of communication to indicate to anyone that the show had been cancelled, except to post notices on the doors of the hall the day of that the show indicating the show was cancelled for now but would be back possibly. I was just leaving it off as a big ‘if’ for the time being, but people did in fact show up and word does travel through the community. So there was the big question, "Is this thing going on"? Not that I had been trashed by anyone but I felt this great need to get this one show under way since I really wanted to do this as a regular running show, but I wanted to save some face as well at that point if I in fact decided to do another.
So I did in fact continue on by myself and I got another show going in the fall of that year, which actually turned out to be a small success. People enjoyed themselves, and of course dealers asked me when the next one would be, but life takes it grandest turns sometimes and my daughter was born several months later in 2007 and the show was put on indefinite hold for a while so I could take some time off with my new joy.
Fast forward five years, and believe it or not the occasional person was actually still asking, “Hey, when are you doing another one of those? That was a pretty good show.” I guess I made an impression and enough fans had spoken after all, so in 2011 I was able to run it again with small success. Then in 2013 I ran two more and here we are in 2015 with just week away from the next on June 7th!
I do this kind of thing out of the love of mostly. I grew up in the 80’s so it’s hard not to be influenced with a lot that was going on during that time period as far as movies and TV, but also with toys, cartoons, comics, and video games that sprouted up along alongside, too. I also have a passion for collecting, as well that started when I was quite young. So part of this experience for me, as well is ‘The Hunt’ as collectors like to say, so it’s an opportunity to meet new folks and find new stuff! Another big reason I started doing this is because there are not many consistent running small toy & comic shows around that people don’t have to break the bank to attend or vend at.
There are plenty of people out there who want to sell their stuff but are unfamiliar with online selling for one reason or another, or they simply just don’t have the time. Unfortunately, it’s been tough getting it going consistently because the location where we are at now gets booked quite fast with other functions, let alone trying to schedule an event on the day of another event is quite hard now due to the glut of larger cons springing up everywhere. I hope to get this finally running consistently this year with another fall event or at least keep it going yearly.
The show will be back at our present home base in New Haven on June 7, 2015 at the YMA Annex Hall, 554 Woodward Ave. BE THERE!
We will have a nice room with over 50 tables of comics and toys in addition to several artists selling prints and doing sketches all day. We also have a DJ/ live music provided by adventure rock team High Adventure all day We’ll have an “Art Fight” hosted by Free Lunch Studios artist and creator Matt Ryan where contestants will actually compete in a small timed sketch contest where several people at a time will draw a specific thing that Matt indicates (kind of Pictionary I would say), and the fan audience will vote on who the best of the round is.
Of course, the contest will narrow down to a couple of people and the winner will take home a prize. We will have Kevin Liell of Norse Legion on hand with original art sketch cards and selling his own original Star Wars shirts. He’ll also be selling some Star Wars licensed jewelry that he designed himself.
We have TC Ford who’s worked for Charlton Comics in his past and now has his own independent label, United Comics. We also have a great talented fan artist Nick Palazzo who sells originals and prints of everyone’s favorite characters.
We have "Play With This Too", owned by Rik Alvarez who is a giant Transformers fan/collector and seller, and has written four comprehensive collector’s books on the hobby of Transformers collecting. Rik has been into the hobby for a long time and has worked for Hasbro as a creative director and is credited in the films as well. He’s worked with some major names in the hobby and industry, and he even started a Kickstarter recently for his company to create a 6” line of fan toys to be utilized in combination with notable manufactured licensed toy lines.
We also have Legends of Superheros which is a very long time run comic shop here in CT, with everything from Golden Age to modern books. Also, we have Jim Main of Main Enterprises (dealer and artist/ creator of independent comics and fanzines) amongst many other dealers of comics and toys from all major publishers, manufacturers and brands from the 60’s era to Modern era.
This show will be our best yet!
If you're in the area, be sure to check out the New Haven Spectacular this Sunday, June 7th!
For more information, visit the facebook event page -
Be on the look out for upcoming shows from New Haven Spectacular and other events on the east coast in our geek calendar here at www.geeksagogo.com