“Phantom” artist Terry Beatty is the guest of honor for this weekend's Oafcon, a comics and collectibles convention in Oklahoma City.
The 2012 Classic Comic Book and Nostalgia Convention, hosted by the Oklahoma Alliance of Fans, will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Biltmore Hotel, 401 S Meridian Ave. The show, called Oafcon for short, focuses on products and collectibles from 1900-1999.
Beatty draws the Sunday episodes of the adventure strip “The Phantom.” The long-running adventure strip began in 1936, and focuses on a mysterious crime-fighter in a fictional African country. Originally created by Lee Falk, the strip is now written by Tony DePaul.
Oafcon organizer Bart Bush said he was eager for Oklahoma City fans to get to meet the accomplished artist.
“We are most excited to have Terry Beatty, the current artist on the Sunday comic strip ‘The Phantom,'” organizer Bart Bush said. “Terry has been a mainstay in the comics industry since the 1970s ... one very busy guy we are thrilled to have at our show this weekend.”
With Max Allan Collins, Beatty co-created “Ms. Tree,” the successful independent comic book series about a female private eye.
Other collaborations with Collins include “Mike Mist,” “Mickey Spillane's Mike Danger,” “Johnny Dynamite” and “Return to Perdition,” a sequel to “Road to Perdition.”
“Terry Beatty and I are going to do a new ‘Ms. Tree' graphic novel when we can find the time,” Collins told The Oklahoman earlier this year. “ ... Also, First Comics plans to do the complete ‘Ms. Tree' in reprint collections.”
In addition to those properties, Beatty is also the artist of an upcoming comic from IDW Publishing, teaming up two comic concepts that have never before crossed paths: Popeye and Mars Attacks.
“Yes, it sounds crazy — and perhaps it is,” Beatty wrote at his blog, terrybeatty.blogspot.com. “Maybe that's the whole point. Martin Powell has written, and I am drawing, a ‘Popeye/Mars Attacks' crossover one-shot comic book for IDW.”
Popeye was created by E.C. Segar in the comic strip Thimble Theater, first appearing in January 1929. The muscle-bound sailor gets a boost of energy from eating spinach. Mars Attacks, meanwhile, began as a card series in 1962 with art by Wally Wood depicting a Martian invasion of Earth.
“We're both huge Segar Popeye fans, so are going into this with much love and respect for the original comic strip — and will attempt to stay as close to the classic version as possible,” Beatty wrote. “We're also both crazy for '50s sci-fi, Wally Wood aliens and the original Mars Attacks trading cards. Martin's script shows that affection — and I hope my art (now in progress) will do the same.”
Beatty, who lives in the Kansas City, Mo., area, was also the primary inker of the DC Comics “animated-style” Batman comics for more than a decade. Those titles included “Batman: Gotham Adventures,” “Batman Beyond,” “The Batman Strikes,” “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” and more.
Oafcon will feature a comic book creators' area to highlight local and regional comic creators, in addition to nationally known names.
This year's guests will include Jack and Carole Bender (“Alley Oop”), Kenneth Smith (“Creepy”), TV host Count Gregore, author Michelle Nolan, Larry Latham (“Lovecraft Is Missing”), Dustin Evans (“Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Hooligan”), John Wooley (“Shot in Oklahoma,” “The Miracle Squad”), Don Rosencrans (“Welcome to Ralton”), Mike Kennedy (“Celtic Knights”), Jackson Compton and Jerry Bennett (“Nadir's Zenith”) and more.
Go to www.oafcon2012.blogspot.com for the complete list of guests.