I attended last weekend’s Wizard World Cleveland Comicon not knowing what to expect.

Little did I know, it would be the last entertainment convention in the U.S. for a little while as we ride out COVID 19.

I’d never been to a convention before, so I had a mixture of trepadation and excitement going in.

What I found in my time there, is that independent creators are reshaping the comics industry at an exponential rate.

The real treasure amongst the various vendors, celebrities, and cosplayers were the authors, writers, artists, and pencilers.

Legendary comic artist Jim Steranko gave me a wink and a smile, and said, “Comic books now aren’t the ones you remember, kid.”

He’s absolutely right. As I made my way around the floor over the weekend, this was the prevailing theme.

Whether it’s members of the 501st, the world renowned Star Wars cosplayers, or fans walking the floor, the consensus is that entertainment has lost touch.

The 501st member I spoke to told me, “Star Wars will come back once Kathleen Kennedy is gone, and Disney honors the spirit of what Star Wars is.”

I met an independent 3D animator named Shawn, who goes by the name “Shawnime.” He created his own franchise called Cybertech to fill that animated science fiction vacuum that is currently present.

His Cybertech series is currently available on Amazon Prime Video. He created this as a “labor of love and good stortytelling” as he described it to me.

Longtime DC inker and now independent creator Barbara Kaalberg said, “The success of so many independent campaigns have really given everyone an opportunity.”

She continued, “Women and men are getting an opportunity they might not otherwise have had to get their creative vision across.”

Successful Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects such as Ethan Van Sciver’s Cyberfrog series and the resurgence of Lady Death by Brian Pulido support this.

The biggest takeaway I had from the weekend was that the independent creative spirit is alive more than ever.

Spurred on by an entertainment industry that seems to have bypassed storytelling to pursue a social justice and political narrative, creators are taking a stand.

They want traditional fans to know they haven’t been forgotten.

As always, keep your eye on Bounding Into Comics for future content, and share your thoughts below.