King Kon Strikes Again!

My wife purchased a nice bronze/copper comic collection early this morning. After I got home from work I started flipping through the boxes and noticed there was an old show program for a 1986 convention in the Detroit area called “King Kon.”

It’s billed as “Michigan’s largest comic convention,” which really surprised me, as I thought by the late 80’s Motor City Con was the only large show in the metro Detroit area. The convention coordinators were Gary and Jennifer Reed. Curiously, there is no actual date printed anywhere in the program book, just the year 1986. I felt a twinge of nostaglia when I saw the ad for Comic Kingdom, one of my favorite comic shops back in the day. It was located at Gratiot and Six Mile Road, which if you’re a Michigan resident, you probably know that part of town isn’t exactly safe anymore.

I was just wondering if anyone had any additional information about this convention or maybe attended it back in the 80’s and had some stories to share.


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3 Responses to King Kon Strikes Again!

  1. Brent Frankenhoff says:

    While I don’t have information on that particular show, I can remind readers that Gary Reed was also the publisher of Caliber Comics. In more recent years, as projects from that company have been reprinted by Image, Reed is a fixture on the Midwest convention scene promoting those projects as well as other work.

    I had a great visit with him during the 2007 Motor City Comic-Con and saw him briefly during this year’s Wizard World Chicago.

  2. galvancomic says:

    Thanks for the info, Brent. I thought Gary’s name seemed familiar, but couldn’t remember where I had heard it before.

    I think the best part of the program book is the photos of some very young (at the time) creators like Ron Frenz, Al Milgrom, Bill Loebs and Max Collins.

  3. galvancomic says:

    I just became aware that Gary will be attending the upcoming Cherry Capital Con next weekend in Traverse City, Michigan, so I’m hoping to meet him there. I also came across his website and it looks like King Kon was held for 3 years (1984-1986) before Motor City Con took its place as the largest comic convention in the Metro Detroit area.

    On a side note, I took another look at the program book and noticed the Friendly Frank’s Distribution ad on the second page. It’s hard to believe that at one time we had Capital City, Friendly Frank’s and Diamond, not to mention that FF had its small warehouse right here in the area.

    I wonder how much of a difference it would make for some of the smaller comic shops in this area if they could still have a resource like FF’s, in which they could totally eliminate shipping costs and be able to pick up books at their warehouse when needed, reducing the time involved in getting reorders.

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