COMMUNITY

The 2024 Mid-Valley Comic Art Expo 

Members of the group Star Wars Oregon dressed as various
characters including Chewbacca (center)

With thousands of attendees, the 2024 Mid-Valley Comic Art Expo brought together artists, cosplayers, vendors and families to enjoy the family-friendly event. 

Held on April 20 and 21 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds and Exposition Center, the event featured around 70 upcoming local artists from the Pacific Northwest as well as renowned artists such as longtime Spider-Man artist Randy Emberlin and over 40 different local vendors. 

The event, one that has happened now for the third year in a row, is an attempt to bring an environment that welcomes all while also being family-friendly, according to the event’s production manager, Jared Durham. 

Durham noted that while they may not yet have big names showing up, the event allows Salem- Keizer residents and beyond the chance to introduce the things they love to younger generations. 

“My daughter’s here and working the event. She’s running around with a My Hero Academia shirt that she made that says T-shirt in Japanese on it,” Durham said. 

Durham described how the event was made possible with help from Salem-based nonprofits suhc as Punx with Purpose, Radness Ensues and even West Salem High School, whose Comic Book art club had a table at the event. 

Other sponsors included Valley Credit Union, Radar Toys, Planet F Studios, Country Financial and Keizer-local Tony’s Kingdom of Comics. 

The expo’s volunteer coordinator, Sandy Sandoval, described how this year had the highest turnout yet in terms of attendance, with around 1200 people coming on Saturday alone. 

Willing to take critique, Durham discussed how the event has evolved with the help of those who go, describing changes such as widening the aisles of vendors, putting in a better ramp for the cosplay contest stage and providing free entry to caregivers for differently-abled attendees. 

“We embrace all the parts of our community,” Durham finished. 

An event attendee dressed as Monkey D. Luffy from the anime, One Piece
Representatives from the Cherry City Roller Derby at their booth 
Attendees posing with local favorite, Caesar the No Drama Llama 
The UniPiper, a Portland staple had a booth at the event 
Longtime Spider-Man artist Randy Emberlin 
An event attendee in a full Star Wars Mandalorian outfit 
The original muscle car, a Dodge Charger, from the Marvel movie series: Blade
The Portland ghost busting crew in front of the Sandy Ecto-1S
The Sandy Ecto-1S, a converted 1962 Cadillac Superior Hearse
A remote-controlled R2D2
Attendees to the event dressed as Aladdin, Jasmine and Raja from the Disney movie, Aladdin.

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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