Cincinnati's William Grapes Wins Wizard World Ohio Comic Con Amateur Art Contest

A hybrid digital/drawing entitled “Sam” by Cincinnati aspiring artist William Grapes has been selected as the winning entry in the Wizard World Ohio Comic Con Amateur Art Contest. Grapes will Appear in Artist Alley at Greater Columbus Convention Center, Friday through Sunday.

Columbus, OH, September 26, 2012 --( William Grapes of Cincinnati wasn't trying to make a political statement with “Sam,” a hybrid digital/drawing depicting two “fat cat” types with full plates flanking a destitute Uncle Sam on a bread line. Instead, he was inspired by Norman Rockwell and early 20th-century art – and a musical album cover. Grapes' work is the winning entry in the 2012 Wizard World Ohio Comic Con Amateur Art Contest, announced today.

Grapes' piece was the unanimous choice of the blue-ribbon panel of artists who judged the contest, Greg Horn, Tyler Kirkham and Alan Davis. For his efforts, Grapes will be among those superstars and the dozens of other creators in Artist Alley at the event, Friday through Sunday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

“A friend's band's last disk had a picture of Uncle Sam sitting on a mound of cash as a cover illustration,” said Grapes, a typesetter for a pharmaceutical journal. “Someone joked that if they did another release it would have to be Uncle Sam in a bread line. The picture popped in my head and I knew I had to do this piece because it was too good of an idea to let go.”

Grapes will display “Sam” as well as examples of other work he has done, including a comic book he has been working on.

“I was impressed with the skill level of this piece,” said Horn.

“'Sam' is by far the best and most accomplished of the entries,” added Davis.

To qualify, amateur artists were asked to submit original works, in virtually any medium, consistent with the pop culture/comic con theme and three additional finalists were selected, with those artists receiving two tickets each to the event. They included William Black of Columbus, Ohio; Travis Scott John Campbell of Louisville, Ohio; and Blake Wheeler of Sumerco, W. Va. The work of all four can be seen at

Legendary actor Patrick Stewart, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Eliza Dushku, WWE® Superstar CM Punk®, Batman Forever star Val Kilmer and Dean Cain of “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” headline the celebrity roster at Wizard World Ohio Comic Con. They will be joined by many of the world's greatest comics creators, exhibitors and thousands of fans in a celebration of all things pop culture in an expanded format, which now includes a preview on Friday evening and two full weekend days.

Horn (“X-Force,” “Blackest Night”), Kirkham (“Green Lantern Corps,” “Amazing Spider-Man”), Davis (“Captain America,” “Thor”), Neal Adams (“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Humberto Ramos (“Amazing Spider-Man,” “Impulse”) and Paul Jenkins (“Spider-Man,” “Hulk”) are among the top creators scheduled to populate Artist Alley.

Wizard World Ohio Comic Con, produced by Wizard World, Inc. (WIZD.PK), will bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Show hours are Friday, Sept. 28, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

For more on the 2012 Wizard World Ohio Comic Con, visit

About Wizard World:
Wizard World produces Comic Cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate graphic novels, comic books, movies, TV shows, gaming, technology, toys and social networking. The events often feature celebrities from movies and TV, artists and writers, and events such as premieres, gaming tournaments, panels, and costume contests.

The full event schedule can be found at
Wizard World, Inc.
Jerry Milani