The stereotype of a comic book collector is "a guy who lives in his parents' basement," Brouillette said. In truth, comics are a sophisticated art whose stories are almost like America's own breed of mythology, he said.
Given his reverence for comics, he and Ed didn't want to take a traditional approach to their convention, stocking it with just comic book vendors and artists.
"I wanted it to be an art expo," Brouillette said.
So alongside the people selling comics were people drawing calligraphy and showing off other kinds of artistic talent.
Brouillette, who lives in Saratoga, figured it was a good location for the convention because it's close to Montreal, New England and New York City. Even so, he and Ed were surprised at just how many people turned out for the inaugural convention.
"It was a great success," Brouillette said. "We had at least 800 people there."
This year's show, he said, will be even bigger and better. There will be a slew of guest artists, such as Rob Granito, an artist/illustrator who has worked for Warner Brothers, DC comics, Disney, MTV and VH1 and designed the one-day special-issue Batman postage stamp for the United States Postal Service. Sid Couchey, who worked on the Harvey Comics characters Richie Rich, Little Lotta and Little Dot, will be on hand, along with Fred Hemback, whose work has been published by both DC and Marvel Comics.
Several local comic book stores will have booths at the convention. The Brouillettes regularly shop at Spa City comics on Phila Street in Saratoga Springs, and owner Shaun Belisto will bring books, toys and other merchandise to the show. Darren Carrara, who owns The Comic Depot in Greenfield Center, returns, and this year will host a Magic the Gathering card gaming event.
Carrara, who's heard customers reminisce about the big comic conventions Albany used to hold that inspired the Brouillette brothers, said the lure of the convention is about more than selling merchandise.
"It's fun to chit-chat all day with people who are into that stuff," he said.
The convention runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the city center. Admission is $5, or $3 for those under 10. For information, visit http://sscomiccon.blogspot.com.""