Sunday's Cleveland Comic and Sci-Fi Convention will have its share of comic book nerds -- though not as many as in years past, says organizer Jeff Harper. Young people who are into comics these days tend to be savvier and more socially adept than their comics-wielding progenitors, he claims.
Credit Hollywood for part of the change. Titles that were previously illuminated by a basement-bedroom lamp are seeing a brand new light. "[Hollywood], especially with X-Men and Spider-Man, has made you feel like a kid again," says Harper. "It's brought a lot of new people. The last two and a half years [have] grown dramatically."
Newbies, however, should know a few simple rules, Harper says. No. 1: Never forfeit lots of cash for recent comics. "People are willing to pay real high dollar for a comic book that's only a few months old," he says. "It's like buying an internet stock [that's] not proven." Harper advises staying with classic characters, like Superman and Spider-Man. "These books hold their value, because they've got staying power." The Cleveland Comic and Sci-Fi Convention happens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Knights Party Center, 29101 Euclid Avenue in Wickliffe. Admission is $2; call 330-499-6056. -- Allen Miller
Six Flags gets spooky.
There are few games more fun to play than those described as "reality terror-tag." That's how Six Flags explains Fearanoia, the brand-new game that greets you at the park's Fright Fest Halloween celebration. The rules go something like this: Walk into the park, hang a "toe tag" from your body, and wear it until a body-tagger asks for it. If you're still wearing the tag at the end of the day, you'll be entered in a drawing to win fabulous prizes. You can also test your fortitude amid the illusions and effects of the Brutal Planet, in addition to all of Six Flags' usual coasters and rides. Costumed characters will troll the park, conducting screaming contests. Fright Fest is from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, 1060 North Aurora Road in Aurora. Tickets are $24.95 for kids and $39.99 for adults; call 330-562-8303. -- Cris Glaser
Lady Lives the Blues
Miki Howard's Wishes come true.
By the mid-'80s, Miki Howard was riding high on her first R&B solo effort, Come Share My Love. It spawned five top-5 hits, and she was nominated for an American Music Award. But Howard's road to stardom buckled four years later. Atlantic Records dumped her. She didn't get along with the higher-ups at her new label. And she got divorced. But Howard's luck changed in 2001 when her album Three Wishes was up for a Grammy. Today, she's back on the road, singing Chicago blues grounded in gospel. She performs at 10 p.m. and midnight Friday, September 26, and Saturday, September 27, at the Robin's Nest Jazz & Comedy Club, 4059 St. Clair Avenue. Tickets are $10. Call 216-881-5299. -- Cris Glaser
Sci-fi author Frank Herbert's last novel was a collaboration with son Brian. Since Dad's death in 1986, Brian has picked up his Dune series and had quite a time with it. His latest, with Kevin J. Anderson, is Dune: The Machine Crusade, the continuing saga of warrior robots and space-tripping. Herbert and Anderson will sign their book at 7 p.m. Saturday at Borders Books & Music (3466 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights). Admission is free; call 216-291-8605. -- Michael Gallucci