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Comic book convention celebrates creative fun
by Noreen Cochran
August 12, 2014 02:06 PM | 2800 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye. From left, OnyxCon organizers Iyabo Shabazz and Joseph Wheeler III at the Southwest Arts Center.
Staff / Katherine Frye. From left, OnyxCon organizers Iyabo Shabazz and Joseph Wheeler III at the Southwest Arts Center.
The sixth annual OnyxCon, a comic book convention featuring more than 30 black professional artists who create graphic novels, comic books and science fiction, runs Thursday through Saturday at various south Fulton locations.

Thursday events include a lecture at the Southwest branch library and a sci-fi author discussion at the Hammonds House Museum in the West End.

Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. is the opening reception at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta 30331.

Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. at the arts center is the main convention, with comic book, graphic novel and animation displays, costumed characters, video games, art exhibits, music and a Web chat with sci-fi movie cast and crew members.

The husband-wife team of College Park residents and artists Joseph R. Wheeler III and Iyabo Shabazz said they founded the convention to celebrate the impact, contributions and presence of the African diaspora via the popular arts.

“It’s about the foundation of new ideas and a cultural pride in all of the art presented, coupled with our fans’ common interest in the fantastic,” Wheeler said.

He said he chose August as its date in 2009 for practical and “sentimental” reasons.

“Being in August does not conflict with any other conventions in the world of popular arts shows and it’s a last big fun before summer ends and kids go back to school,” Wheeler said. “So OnyxCon is a moment of bliss for many.”

His art prints and 3D creations, including masquerade suits, will be on display, while Shabazz will present large-scale pastel paintings.

A visual and performing artist, Shabazz said her activities in drawing, painting, singing and dancing – she performed with Manga African Dance and the Atlanta Chinese Dance Co. – honed not only her creativity but also her sense of community.

“What I love about dance is that it is collaborative. You are raised in an environment of collaboration and acceptance,” she said. “These are great skills to have which works well with helping to organize an event such as OnyxCon.”

Shabazz said her favorite aspect of the convention is its interactive component.

“It reinforces the idea that whether you are an aspiring artist, art enthusiast or seasoned professional, you are welcome to come, learn and enjoy the vibe that is OnyxCon,” she said.

Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for children 12 and under.

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