Oni's The Long Con Explores Post-Apocalyptic Comic Con Culture

Given the exponential growth in popularity of comic conventions in the past decade of so, it may seem like there's nothing that can stop them -- and Oni Press' new title The Long Con looks to put that to an extreme test. CBR has the first details of the July-debuting series.

The Long Con combines convention culture with post-apocalyptic fiction, and is written by Dylan Meconis (writer and artist of Bite Me! A Vampire Farce and Family Man) and Portland Mercury film critic Ben Coleman, illustrated by EA Denich and colored by Victoria Robado. It's about what happens when everything in a 50-mile radius of a major con is destroyed, but the convention just keeps going, five years and counting. Here's Oni's official description of what's dubbed a "humorous action/adventure" series, aimed at both teen and adult readers:

Five years ago, a cataclysmic event obliterated everything within a 50-mile radius of the Los Spinoza Convention Center -- including the attendees of Long Con, the world's biggest (and longest) comic convention. But unknown to the outside world, the con-goers not only survived, they kept the convention going. When proof of their survival surfaces, reporter Victor Lai is sent to investigate -- after all, he was covering the con that fateful day and escaped mere minutes before everything went kablooie... abandoning his nerdy pal Dez in the process. So clearly he's the perfect person for the job, and he won't get trapped inside like some kinda idiot. Right?

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For both Meconis and Coleman, it was an opportunity to show a truer side of the convention experience that isn't usually seen in pop culture -- and, of course, have far-out fun with a unique post-apocalyptic setting.

“Pop culture has an image of your average convention-goer, and that image is usually an awkward white dude in a superhero t-shirt, or a ‘sexy’ female cosplayer,” Meconis said in a statement. “That doesn't correspond to the actual diversity of attendees we've met, or the passions that drive them to show up. We wanted to tell a story that reflects and celebrates that diversity while also asking: ​which media guests would we eat first​?”

"There's something really compelling about being trapped in a place you love," Coleman added. "At first it's great, but an hour in, it occurs to you that the long term nutritional value of convention center popcorn is limited and some of the goth teens are starting to craft improvised weapons. A pre-apocalyptic comic con already has dozens of factions, feuds, schisms and coups. We're just making them a little less metaphorical."

For as integral of a part of comics fandom conventions have become, there have been relatively few comics series before The Long Con that have used the con scene as artistic inspiration. Sam Humphries and Jerry Gaylord used a comic con as a springboard for 2012 BOOM! Studios series Fanboys vs. Zombies, and Steven Grant and Stephen Mooney got rather meta with 2006's CSI: Dying in the Gutters for IDW Publishing, which revolved around the (fictional) apparent murder of real-life comics columnist Rich Johnston at a comic convention.

“This book absolutely is a love letter to all the pop culture we hold near and dear in our dorky little hearts --it’s a book about nerds, by nerds, for nerds,” Denich​ said. “It’s a pleasure to work with an awesome writing team like Dylan and Ben, and been a blast to help construct our crazy little con world!”

The Long Con #1 is scheduled for release on July 11. Keep reading for a four-page preview of the first issue.

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