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Show Organizer
Eric Burris

Bill Wormstedt
David Smith
Richard Finn

Bellingham ComiCon was launched by Eric Burris in 2009 with the support of many Northwest Retailers and Vendors. Eric had been a Vendor and Convention Volunteer going back to the mid 1980’s. Longtime friends and colleagues Bill Wormstedt (Center Con) and Richard Finn (Portland Comic Book Show) both lent their expertise during the inception of the show. From the beginning it was our goal to be a show that was affordable to Vendors and Fans alike. We were able to offer low admission prices and free parking, something that had become hard find at any comic convention.

Our first show was at the Fox Hall at what used to be the Hampton Inn. Every comic convention needs a few guests so I called my friend Randy Emberlin (artist on Spider-Man and more) and said "Hey Randy, I wanna put on a Comicon in Bellingham. Would you be my guest?" His response was "Absolutely!". Coincidentally, Bill Wormstedt's old high school and college buddy, Bob Smith, had just moved back to the Northwest. Although Bob’s earlier work was for DC Comics, he was currently inking the "Archie Gets Married" storyline over Stan Goldberg's pencils. They were addressing the age-old question; would Archie marry Betty or Veronica? That question caught everyone’s curiosity! Concrete creator, Paul Chadwick joined us too, taking the ferry from the San Juan Islands for a rare public appearance. Two young comic writers appearing at our first show were getting attention at the time. They were Brandon Jerwa and Eric Trautman. There was an amazing vibe in the room and everyone knew the show would grow when word got out.

In 2010 we moved to the newly remodeled Ferndale Event Center. Since then Bellingham Comicon has the honor to welcome many more guests including, Erik Larsen, Rick Hoberg, Mick Gray, Michael T. Gilbert, Janet Gilbert, Ron Randall, Gary Martin, Michael Oeming, Shannon Wheeler, Stephen Sadowski, Ian Boothby, Pia Guerra, James Lloyd, Nina Matsumoto, Stefano Gaudiano, Doug Wheatley, Aaron Lopresti, Matt Clark, Michel Gagne, Michael Oeming, Keith Tucker, Georgia Ball, David Hahn, Matthew Southworth, Moritat, Andy Owens, Jeremy Colwell, John Gallagher as well as legendary Mattel toy designer, Roger Sweet. We’ve also hosted prose writers, Kat Richardson, Annie Bellet, Kendare Blake and Patricia Briggs. I hope I didn’t forget anybody!

In 2014 Batman artist, Norm Breyfogle appeared at the Bellingham Comicon. Sadly, weeks after our show Norm suffered a stroke and later passed. Ours was the last show he ever appeared at and on the way to the airport he had nothing but great things to say about the show, the fans and the opportunity to have an intimate dinner with the other guests. Norm has certainly made his mark in comic history penciling both the Batman and Detective titles during one of their most popular runs.

The conversation I had with Norm is not an isolated incident. Many guests have mentioned how welcomed the fans in Northwest Washington have made them feel. Fans are allowed to have the Comicon experience without traveling great distances and incurring unreasonable expenses. We have been a show that gives new fans a taste of the bigger shows, is affordable to families, and given independent artists/writers a platform to get their work seen.

Another eventful show was in 2013 with the first appearance of Doug Wheatley. The 501st Legion was there supporting the non-profit charity but little did we know they planned a surprise for Doug and made him an honorary member of the 501st!

Every year BCC donates the concessions to local non-profits consisting of area animal rescue groups, Old Dog Haven, S.P.O.T. (Saving Pets One at a Time) and the Alternative Humane Society of Whatcom County. Fans of the show have been very generous supporting the concessions and when the 501st Legion was appearing, donated to the charities through photo ops. Over the years they have donated thousands of dollars to feed and shelter homeless animals.

Bellingham Comicon continues to be a special event bringing a diverse community together to celebrate comics and pop culture. We look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. Join us in October of 2023 for another celebration!

Eric Burris,
Organizer of the Bellingham Comicon

Graphic Design
James Taylor

Bill Wormstedt

Costume Contest
Aja Wildbird-Blackmore

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