"That's another thing that's great about the comic book world, or a convention," Anderson says. "Not only can you meet the artists, but you can walk out with something they created just for you. It's as though you go to an Elvis Costello concert, and he writes a song just for you."

Eight other artists will be on hand, including Dan Nokes, a Lusby artist who publishes his own lines of comics, and Chris Flick, the Virginia-based creator of the webcomic "Capes and Babes" ("A Strip Mall, A Comic Book Shop and One Crazy Werewolf").

So will dealers from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia and Maryland, including Anderson, who will sell hard-to-find books from the newest DC Comics line, "The New 52," wherein the comic book corporate giant recently restarted every one of its 52 continuing series from scratch.

The show will be small enough that visitors can see everything it has to offer in a day, yet varied enough, Penrod says, to interest fans of all stripes, including those who enjoy comics-related collectibles, Japanese anime, even dressing up as their favorite characters or bidding at a live auction.

They're hoping to pack the Elks Lodge, of course, and if all goes well, to expand attendance from one year to the next, ultimately drawing as many as 5,000.

For now, both are content to provide something like what Anderson used to love each Wednesday years ago — and what his customers enjoy now when they come to Third Eye for new-comics day, which still falls on Wednesdays at shops across America.

"Ideally, we'll bring out people from all over the state, give them a venue for socializing, maybe even a good place to bring their families," he says. "Maybe it will be their first time at a comic books convention. If so, I think they'll go home happy. We're all geeks about something."


If you go

What: The Annapolis Comic-Con

When: Sun., Sept. 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Elks Lodge 622, 2517 Solomons Island Road, Annapolis

Admission: $5 for adults, $1 for active military or in costume; children under 10 free

Costume contest will be held at 1 p.m., live auction at 2 p.m.. For more information, visit annapoliscomic.con com or email ben@ninjapirategear.com

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