When Chuck Lindsey was packing his bag for Boston in March of 2020, he did not expect to receive a text saying his flights had been canceled because of a worldwide pandemic. When COVID hit, the world suddenly stopped on a whim’s notice. “We were gaining momentum in a world that I was extremely passionate about and believed in, and then everything just completely shut down.”
Comic book based movies have been rapidly taking over the world, with some of the highest grossing box office revenue sales of all time. Fans love to see their favorite characters on screen, but it doesn’t stop there. For the past 50 years, comic conventions have been taking place all around the world, creating an immersive experience for the fan who wants to take their passions to the next level.
Chuck grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons, which led to his discovery of an array of comic book super villains and heroes, such as Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men. It wasn’t until he moved to Chicago, that he started frequenting a comic book shop. “I walked into Chicago Comics to just check it out and it quickly turned into weekly visits, with a bigger pull list of select comics each week,” he explained. “From there I was fully immersed and could not get enough. I wanted to share my thoughts with like minded people, so I started my YouTube channel, ‘Chuck Load of Comics.’”
While ‘Chuck Load of Comics’ started as a comic book review channel, it quickly grew into an inclusive show covering movies, televisions shows, media reviews and of course, the fandom. “YouTube opened a whole world of opportunities to us. We started getting invitations to press film screenings and offers for comic conventions around Chicago. I was actually on my way to work a convention in Boston when COVID struck,” said Lindsey.
Although COVID put a halt on everyone’s lives, it was also the birth of MainFrame Comic Con, the first online comic convention in existence. “The idea of doing a virtual comic convention came out of a conversation I had with fellow YouTuber, Chad Ramsden. Chad ran a network of live YouTube shows, known as The Comic Corps. We combined his knowledge of live streaming and my knowledge of producing a comic convention show.” MainFrame’s purpose was to raise money for comic book shops and creators that were hit hard by the pandemic.
The convention had huge success, including a high profile celebrity guest list. Kevin Smith (Clerks), David Harbour (Black Widow, Stranger Things), David Dastmalchian (Suicide Squad, Dune) and David Arquette (Scream) are just some of the talented speakers that attended the virtual event. MainFrame raised thousands of dollars for comic book shops and creators, and spawned six more live events over the next year, including an event for DC Comics and an online Horror Convention.
The truth is no one knows when life will return to what it used to be, but that isn’t stopping Chuck from having a positive outlook on 2022. “As the world starts opening back up and physical conventions start coming back, we have plans to take everything we’ve done up to this point and make it even bigger. Earlier this year we put on a big show at the last ever Wizard World Convention and have plans to grow our convention presence with FanExpo shows all around the world,” says Lindsey.
Comic conventions have become a safe space for fans to experience their favorite characters and stories, as well as an environment that is inclusive for all. It is by no means limited to comic book based characters; Star Wars, Game of Thrones and many more fictional worlds are represented throughout. “Even if you’ve never read a comic in your life, just try it out. It’s scary at first but the people there will welcome you right away,” Chuck said with a smile on his face.
Interested in learning more about comic conventions or confused on where to begin? Check out Chuck’s links below!