By GUY D’ASTOLFO
Lawn-Con, the annual, free comic-book show on the front lawn of Chris Yambar’s house, will return for the third year Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
It’s a grass-roots-style event designed to introduce people to the artists and writers who produce both independent and mainstream comics books. Yambar, creator of his own line of characters and a long-time writer/artist for brands such as The Simpsons, is one of them. Several others will be on hand, including Pat and Shelly Block (“Donald Duck Adventures”).
Attendees will find a variety of vendors selling comic books and memorabilia; a costume contest; sideshow demonstrations; and live music by Shisho, Royal Remedy, and other acts.
It will be a day of low-brow fun with some surprises, including a visit by a punk-accordion-playing man in a chicken outfit. Last year, about 350 fans showed up, and more are expected this year.
In fact, Yambar suspects this might be the last year on his front lawn, as attendance is outpacing his space. If that projection holds true, next year’s event might take place downtown.
First Book of Mahoning Valley will be on hand to give away books to children.
Yambar is a lifelong Youngstowner known for both his pop-art paintings and his comic creations (including “Mr. Beat”). He’s been waging a battle to preserve the integrity of the art form and restore it to its former prominence.
Yambar has been part of the creative team of “The Simpsons” comics for 12 years and recently had his contract extended.
“They never learn their lesson,” he wisecracked.
A story he wrote titled “One Bart and Stormy Night” appears in the Halloween annual “The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror,” now on newsstands.
It’s a parody of the Batman “Arkham Asylum” tale, with Bart as the hero.
He’s also under contract with “Spongebob Squarepants” comics, a gig he landed though his connections with Bongo Comics.
“When you work in the comics business, one thing leads to another,” he said.
Although he made his name with his own comic creations and still churns them out, Yambar loves working on the mainstream books.
“They need no introduction,” he said. “Everyone already knows what they are about.”