OAFCon returns to Norman in ’22

From the Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 edition of The Oklahoman

by MATTHEW PRICE

Nostalgia show OAFCon returns to Norman

The nostalgia-styled OAFCon, one of the oldest comic conventions in the United States, makes its 2022 return to Norman with a focus on Tarzan, The Shadow, and more. 

The show will be held at the Embassy Suites in Norman this Saturday and Sunday: Sept. 17-18, 2022.

OAFCon features comic books, fantasy art, toys, movie posters, old-time radio memorabilia and more. The show is known for its focus on vintage collectibles, and is often a place comic fans can see rare and expensive comics and related items in person. Tickets are $5 at the door, and fans 12 and under are free. 

OAFCon began as a meeting of the Oklahoma Alliance of Fans. OAF had its earliest meetings in March 1967, and by 1970, it was hosting Multicon in Oklahoma City and many conventions thereafter. Longtime comic retailer Bart Bush revived OAFCon in 2007. 

Bush grew up in Ponca City and was one of the founders of the Oklahoma Alliance of Fans (OAF), the first fandom group in Oklahoma, in 1967. Bush died in Sept. 2020 at age 70. 

Peter Purin, organizer of Uncanny Comic Expo, took over running the show in 2021 with the blessing of Bush’s family and in communication with other original OAF members.

According to Purin, this year’s attendees can view and purchase works by regional comic artists, experience an original art presentation, hear readings of upcoming books on comic fandoms, witness the presentation of an upcoming OAF Legends statue to celebrate longtime members, and take part in a live collectibles auction.

The featured guest this year is Mike Chapman, the author of 32 books and who has

interviewed celebrities including Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Lou (the

Incredible Hulk) Ferrigno, Edd “Kookie” Byrnes, and four movie Tarzans. His 2001 book “Please Don’t Call Me Tarzan” focused on Herman Brix, later known as Bruce Bennett, the Olympic shot-put medalist who starred in “The New Adventures of Tarzan” in 1935.

Also appearing will be special guests Anthony Tollin and J. David Spurlock. 

Anthony Tollin is a professional comic colorist whose work includes hit DC stories like “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and many more. Tollin, noted for his work as “The Shadow” reprint publisher with Sanctum Press, coauthored 1979’s “The Shadow Scrapbook” with Walter Gibson (creator of The Shadow).

Spurlock is an award-winning author, historian, educator, creator rights advocate, documentary filmmaker and associate to star comic-book talents. Spurlock is the director of the Wally Wood estate. 

Set to appear at the show are also Buddy Saunders, founder of MyComicShop.com (the largest comic store in the world), and Steve Borock, noted for his work in comic book grading, who is currently Senior Consignment Director for MyComicShop.com.

For more information on the show, visit oafcon.net. 

Matthew Price, matthew@matthewLprice.com, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.

Comics on display at a previous OAFCon. Photo by Matthew Price

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