If you need any reassurance that comic books are bigger now than they've ever been, look no further than University of Minnesota professor Jim Kakalios's seminar class on the physics of superheroes. What began as an attempt to get more students interested in physics blossomed into a popular book and appearances in People magazine and on NPR. Then there's the Midwest Comic Book Association's FallCon, where Kakalios will be in attendance; it's the Cities' annual celebration of that peculiar mix of the visual and verbal, from the slickest superhero glossy to the smallest notebook-scrawled indie comic. In its 20th year, the convention is bigger than ever, with 85,000 square feet of comics dealers, discussion sessions, art shows, and comic fans of every age and level of dedication. The biggest draw for many is the opportunity to meet the 225 comic artists and writers who'll be showing up to speak about their art, sign autographs, and dish out advice to newbie comic creators on how to break into the trade. As per FallCon tradition, the proceeds from the gathering (as well as from a big charity art auction on Sunday) will benefit the Minnesota Lupus Foundation, the Minnesota Food Shelf, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Oct. 4-5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2008