A few years ago, comic books were going the way of vinyl records. In the era of the internet, computer animation, and 128-bit video games, the concept of telling stories with static pictures and words on paper seemed positively archaic. Then Hollywood stepped up. "We've seen a huge growth in our attendance since Spider-Man came out," says Jeff Harper, organizer of the tri-annual Cleveland Comic Book and Sci-Fi Convention. Dealers from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are on board, hawking graphic novels, trading cards, action figures, and sci-fi books. Local artists Matt McKendrick and Robert Brewer will sign and discuss their work, prizes will be handed out, and the first 25 people through the door get a free comic. Harper says the hot book of 2004 will be The Punisher, thanks to the upcoming movie. So be sure to snag several back issues at the convention, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Knights Party Center, 29101 Euclid Avenue. Admission is $2; visit www.harpercomics.com/conventions for more info. -- Andrew McMillan
It's 2004, and already Lewis and Clark's historic journey is 200 years old. The Metroparks are re-creating the expedition Saturday in On the Trail With Lewis & Clark -- Charting the Uncharted West. Photographer Karen Beck retraced the pair's trek -- sans partner -- armed only with a trail guide and a camera. Her three-week trip began at Wood River in Wintercamp, Illinois, and continued to Cannon Beach, Oregon, and on to the Pacific coast. "I read an article about what's left of the trail, and much of it's no longer there," she explains. "The most drastic changes are the Missouri and Columbia Rivers, virtually dammed from end to end. The only part that hasn't changed is near Glasgow, Montana." Beck presents pics and stories from her adventure from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at North Chagrin Nature Center, Buttermilk Falls Parkway, off Sunset Lane in Mayfield Village. Admission is free; call 440-473-3370. -- Lucy McKernan
Pumped yet for David Bowie's Wednesday concert at the Convocation Center? If not, Saturday's Bowieokie at the Lime Spider oughta do the trick. A bunch of local bands -- including Atom 12, Human Caveman, and CD Truth -- will tear through the Thin White Duke's songbook, which spans more than 30 years, and you too can take the stage to sing one of his tunes. Dress like Bowie (or one of his many, many aliases), and get a buck off the $6 admission. It all starts at 9:30 p.m. at the Lime Spider, 207 South Main Street in Akron. Call 330-762-2350 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci
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