Bing Con to present wide array of pop culture

Aug. 22, 2013
More than two dozen artists, writers, artisans, podcasters and dealers will be at Bing Con 2013 on Aug. 25.
Reminder Publications submitted photos
By G. Michael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD – Springfield has not had a pop culture convention for years and artist Mark Masztal thought it was about time.

Masztal, whose comic book illustrations were recently featured in an exhibit at the Bing Arts Center, is one of the people who have created “Bing Con,” a one-day celebration of popular culture in the Pioneer Valley.

The one-day show is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Bing Arts Center, 716 Sumner Ave. The admission is $5, which includes a movie program at 7 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Bing’s renovation fund. Reminder Publications is the media sponsor for the show.

“I think it’s something Springfield really needs,” Masztal told Reminder Publications. “It fills a spot that has been lacking for years.”

Masztal noted there hasn’t been any sort of show such as this one for years, the last one being in 2007.

Unlike comic book shows that concentrate on one element of popular culture, Bing Con will feature a number of local people representing a wide assortment of interests, he explained.

The guests include artist and writer Philip Owen creator of “Keepers;” artist Aaron Wood; writer Steve Murphy of “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Puma Blues” and “Umbra;” artist Michael Valade of “Into Darkness,” Jonathan Podolsky, founder of the Dr. Who Club Western Massachusetts; artist and art historian David Barsalou of “Deconstructing Roy Lichenstein;” Andi Boulanger of Village Designs; artist Casey Coller of the IDW series of “Transformers” comic books; novelist Estevan Vega of the “Arson” trilogy; “Superfogeys” artist Marc Lapierre; Lisa Cavalear Project Poppets artist and crafter; illustrator and muralist Jason Casey; Hector E Rodriguez and KJ Murphy, artists of “Hell’s Blood;” artist Elle de Valois; artist and custom toy maker Marshall Calmplex Couture; Katherine Chartier who makes chain mail jewelry; comic book dealer Michael Murray; podcaster Modern Myths; dealer Chuck Mayo of new and old comics; and alternative crafts groups The Good, the Bad and the Crafty, among others.

“I always looked at this show as one featuring comic books, fantasy and science fiction, a multi-media show,” Masztal said.

For Masztal, Bing Con is not just about bringing a group of people together to sell items, but also creating a network between local creators.

There will be a door prize drawing as well as a raffle table in order to help the Bing’s building efforts.

An added feature will be the 7 p.m. film presentation that is open to anyone who has paid admission to the show. Local filmmaker Marty Langford will discuss his new documentary, “Doomed,” about the unreleased 1994 Roger Corman adaptation of “The Fantastic Four” comic book and show clips of his production.

Bing Arts Center Executive Director Brian Hale said he appreciates the new audience who will be coming to the show. “We’re trying to be a focus for imagination and creativity and arts and culture in all of its varieties,” he said.

For more information on the show go to

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