Wow fans, it’s October already! Only two months left in the 2010s! While the year is not quite yet over, I am already looking ahead to what the next decade in 2020 has to offer. So far, I have five shows lined up for the first Carter Comics Convention Circuit of the 2020s. Of those five shows, there is one that goes beyond the sales, exposure, business contacts, on-the-spot interviews, and artist camaraderie: Amazing Comic Con Aloha in Honolulu, Hawaii. Why is this upcoming artist appearance so special to me?
Because it takes place in my hometown.
Yes, for those of you who may not know (or haven’t read the “About Me” page on this website), I was born-and-raised on the island of O’ahu in the state of Hawai’i from June 1980 to June 2005. Alot of my laid-back personality comes from my surroundings here, as well as from my late father, Allen Carter Sr. He, along with my mother and older sister, moved to the islands in July 1977 from Maryland in pursuit of teaching positions. My late paternal uncle, Wayman Carter, was working in construction on the windward (or northeastern) side of O’ahu at the time, and had informed them of a need for teachers on the island. After living with my uncle initially to get settled and land employment as educators, my parents and sister (who was 2 years old at the time) moved to various apartments on the central and southern portions of the island until I was born three years later on June 11th, 1980. In my twenty five years growing up in the islands, I made some great childhood friends, great family experiences at the park, the beach, riding the bus, going to the mall, hiking with high school friends, and of course, beginning my love affair with drawing. I started this activity seriously at age six, and by age eight, began creating my own comics out of construction paper and legal paper just for fun. I came up with the name for my sci-fi comic series “Cosmic Force” at age 12, and “Damn Tourists” at age 19. Unfortunately, there were no proper comic book conventions, comic shop signing opportunities, online-print-on-demand, or social media in early-2000s Hawaii to help emerging independent creators get noticed, so on June 15th, 2005 I said “Aloha” to the islands and headed for Los Angeles, where I’ve been ever since.
Since my move to the continental U.S. 14 years ago, I have been able to make at least three trips back to my home island, with the last one being seven years ago back in September 2012. Alot has changed in the Aloha State since that time, one of them being the rise of comic book conventions (that have sprung up across North America and abroad) finally reaching several of the Hawaiian Islands: Kauai Comic Con in June, HawaiiCon on The Big Island of Hawai’i in September, Maui Comic Con in October, and both Comic Con Honolulu and KawaiiCon (a local Anime convention) taking place on O’ahu in May. The biggest of them all, however, is Amazing Comic Con Aloha, operated by the Sherman Oaks, Cailfornia-based Amazing Comic Conventions company, who also runs an annual comic con in Las Vegas during the month of June. Originally scheduled in August, Amazing Aloha was recently moved to February (specifically Feb 21-23 of 2020) due to a Hurricane scare last year that caused the show to be cancelled. As this is a con created off-island, alot of big names in both comics and Hollywood are brought over to a tropical state that rarely gets to see them. As a result, the show is able to draw some large crowds of Oahu (and even some neighbor island) residents. I recently purchased both an artist table at the show, along with a plane ticket, hotel, and rental car reservation for those February dates to promote and sell my work, plus an extra full day after the show to drive to my specific island hometown of Wai’anae to see my old stomping grounds, meet up with childhood friends, family, etc. Even with using google street view and keeping up with local news back there, it will still be a surreal feeling when I step out of Daniel K Innouye (formerly Honolulu International Airport, re-named after a late Hawaii Senator) on a late Thursday afternoon on February 20th. But for four days at least, I can utter two words as I’m waiting for my rental car shuttle at the arrivals pick-up area: