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Superheroes in Saratoga

When Chuck Brouillette was a kid in Albany, he went down to a local store and gave the comic book rack a spin.

Something he saw changed his life.

Brouillette, who had read a few Disney and Archie comics to that point, was transfixed by the cover of a comic depicting "The Flash." The superhero's red outfit with a yellow flash stood in stark contrast to the white paper it was printed on, and Brouilette had to have it.

"I just fell in love," he said.

In the roughly 30 years since, comics have played a huge role in Brouillette's life. Their influence will be on display Saturday, June 21, at the Saratoga Springs City Center, Brouillette and his brother, Ed, will host their second comics and art convention.

Brouillette is quick to point out, though, that people need not be comic book aficionados like him to enjoy the show. There will be art of all kinds on display, along with a vintage Batmobile and Star Wars characters, including a fully functional R2-D2.

"If you want to be surprised or delighted by any kind of art form, you should come," Brouillette said.

For years, Chuck and Ed had dreamed of having this kind of convention locally that they could attend (Brouillette, 46, used to pass his comic books down to his brother, who is five years younger and became an avid collector in his own right). Albany used to host conventions at the Egg, but it's been more than a decade since the Capital District really had a big comic show, Chuck said.

So he and his brother decided last year to stage their own. Their credentials extend beyond just collecting comics; Chuck is an artist and used to manage the Warner Brothers store in Colonie Center, where he oversaw a gallery featuring original comic book drawings (or cels).

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