HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Last year's Big River Comic Con began a six-month journey that resulted in Hannibal's first ever female superhero in a comic book -- Miss Big River -- who sprang from the imagination of the event organizer, Darin Logue.
He recalled the scale of the first-ever event for Hannibal, as artists, cosplay actors, vendors and other visitors filled Tabernacle of Praise last April. Next year the event will grow to be a three-day event in April.
Logue discussed his idea of a superhero with Bob Hall, who was one of the first people to color and sketch Captain America and has seen a strong grasp of how the comic book industry operates.
"After that encounter, I thought ‘how cool would it be to create our own kind of mascot to represent this comic book convention?'" Logue said. "And comic book conventions are nothing new, but I wanted to give ours a face."
After the first renderings were complete, people began to ask questions such as "What are her powers?" and "Where is she from?" The next step was opening up the story process to community members, and an origin story was selected for the balance it contained between facts and fictional elements that were respectful to the community and venerable fellow characters Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla.
Miss Big River's golden star holds great significance and ties her to real-life friends Tesla and Clemens in the story. The first of three stories have been completed, exploring different stages of discovering how her superpowers relate to Tesla and Twain, the battle between a benevolent organization and an evil group bent on destroying their efforts and how these occurrences intertwine with events from history.
Logue said after the story was selected, the goal was for a story with longevity to produce future adventures, including a look at her life before she became Miss Big River.
"The one that we picked wasn't so much a story, it was an origin that was going to allow us to actually leave a legacy on this character," Logue said.
He commended artist David Faught, who was given freedom to interpret the story with his personal style. So far, the Adventures of Miss Big River has resonated with several people who have seen the book.
"The writer was able to really make everybody who has seen this thus far get super excited, because we feel that they're really honoring a lot of facts -- both with Hannibal and Samuel Clemens and the history -- and putting a really cool new spin on it that I think not only young people, but everybody can get excited about," Logue said, stressing he felt a strong responsibility to be respectful to the community's history and legendary figures like Clemens while blending fact with fiction.
As the first issue nears publication in mid-December, Logue said he plans yearly releases of "The Adventures of Miss Big River" to be a signal that Big River Comic Con is coming soon. He said several people plan to dress up as Hannibal's new superhero when Big River Comic Con returns in April, and several artists have drawn the character, posting it to the event's website. Logue said two retailers will carry the book in town, and he welcomed the chance to have the book at several other local businesses.
"She's really made a mark," Logue said.
More information about "The Adventures of Miss Big River" and the 2020 Big River Comic Con are available by visiting brcchannibal.com, the Big River Comic Convention Facebook Page or by sending an email to email@example.com.