Johnathon Schaech, an Edgewood High School alum and actor who plays comic book character Jonah Hex in The CW’s “Arrowverse,” is looking forward to his first appearance at the Baltimore Comic Con this weekend.
"I'm going to have everyone come to the convention. It'll be a lot of fun for the family and everyone involved," said Schaech, who now lives in Nashville with his wife and their 5-year-old son, but considers Baltimore his home.
“A lot of people know me out there, and it’s a great opportunity to just sit around and talk and sign some autographs for everybody.”
The three-day event at the Baltimore Convention Center, which begins Friday and runs through Sunday, will feature a number of comic creators, writers and artists, as well as media guests like Schaech and Tara Strong, a voice actress for popular animated series like “Teen Titans” and “Rugrats,” and, of course, hundreds of thousands of comic books.
“Comic books are bigger than ever. You’re going to see a lot of people from the shows and from the movies, and all the writers and the artists, you’ll see incredible art there,” Schaech said.
Last month, Entertainment Weekly broke the news that Schaech would be reprising his role as Jonah Hex, a character who has made guest appearances in three seasons of The CW television series “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event on The CW later this year.
“Crisis” will be a five-episode crossover on “Legends,” as well as “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Supergirl” and the new show “Batwoman,” which debuted Oct. 6. Three episodes will air in December with two others in February.
Schaech describes Jonah Hex as a cowboy who is kind of “like Clint Eastwood and Josey Wales in comic book form. He’s an antihero who doesn’t really care about anything but taking care of the bad guys, getting rid of them, unless he’s paid well.
“He comes in and out of the varying universes that are now on The CW.”
While Schaech has been to other comic conventions in places like New York, he said he's looking forward to the Baltimore event and seeing friends and other people he knows from his hometown.
"Jonah's not The Flash, he's not Superman. You know? So he's always kind of secondary," he said. "Now that I'm the Baltimore guy, I'd like to make it something really special there, a little different than the bigger comic cons."
Schaech has appeared in more than 160 Hollywood productions, including recent appearances in Showtime’s “Ray Donovan,” “Chicago PD” and “Blue Bloods.”
He said he’s currently working on a movie called “Triumph” with Terrence Howard about a teen with cerebral palsy trying to make the high school wrestling team, according to IMDB.
He has a number of other projects as well, though “Crisis” is his biggest at the moment.
On Sunday, he’ll have a question-and-answer session from 11 a.m. to noon at Comic Con, where fans can talk to him about his role as Hex, working with other Hollywood stars and more serious topics.
Schaeak said he welcome questions or discussions about some of the organizations he works with, including RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
In January 2018, Schaeck told People magazine he was sexually abused by director Franco Zeffirelli, who had cast Schaeck in the lead role of his movie “Sparrow” in 1992, when the actor was 22 years old. Zeffirelli’s son, Pippo, has denied the allegations, calling them “not credible.”
“I didn’t expect to be in the forefront of the #MeToo movement,” Schaeck said. “Everyone had spoken out about Harvey Weinstein ... around those times the very same thing happened to me; a power figure who thought it was OK to take advantage of an individual who was a dreamer.
“Me Too means a lot to a lot of different people, but really, what it is, it’s equality of standing up against power,” he said. “People who don’t have power don’t have a voice until they unify and that’s what Me Too is all about.”
Schaeck was recently inducted into the Edgewood High School Hall of Fame, but said high school wasn’t always the best time for him.
“My story is that I had a really hard time in high school,” said Schaeck, who graduated in 1987. “I was one of the littlest guys in high school ... my dyslexia wasn’t diagnosed so I had no idea why I couldn’t do certain things. I struggled, I had a hard time, but I found my way in the entertainment industry, oddly enough, after I took one acting class at UMBC. And from that experience, I learned creative side of my brain was just as important as the analytical — the side that was struggling in school.
“Being in high school was a hard thing and I think it’s hard for a lot of people; a lot of kids have a hard time and they just need to identify some of the things they are struggling with and know they are not alone with that.”
If you go
What: Baltimore Comic Con
When: Friday, 1 to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Baltimore Convention Center
More information: baltimorecomiccon.com