THE SEATTLE TIMES-November 12, 1988

Attire at this convention is most likely faded jeans and T-shirts.  T-shirts sporting characters such as Spider-Man, The Punisher, Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles or Archie.

Center Con 13, a comic-book convention, runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. tomorrow in the Northwest Rooms at Seattle Center. Admission is $2, and children younger than 5 get in free.

Comics from the '40s and '50s are caressed.  Comics from the '60s and '70s are debated.  Comics from the '80s are stockpiled.  The basic function of the convention is to sell back issues.  But the 70 collectors and shopkeepers operating 100 sales tables supply a sociological study of comic merchandising - with limited-series comics, hardcover and softcover graphic novels, reprints, calendars, cloisonne pins, decals, buttons and lunchboxes.

``This should be the state's biggest `con,' '' predicted Bill Wormstedt, who organized this 13th annual comic-book convention with Carl Waluconis.

Mike Grell, who draws the nationally recognized superhero ``Green Arrow'' at his Green Lake studio, is scheduled as a special guest (unless he gets behind schedule illustrating a James Bond 007 project), along with The Brothers Hernandez (Gilbert and Jaime), who draw and write an adult comic, ``Love and Rockets.''

Autographs and advice on how to break into the business are big draws, Wormstedt said.  At noon, a panel will discuss ``up-and-coming women artists and writers.''  Dealers will have thousands of 25- and 50-cent comics, but Wormstedt said there will also be comics worth hundreds of dollars.  ``If there are any exchanges worth thousands, they'll probably be pretty private transactions.''

Wormstedt said the comics business is thriving. There are now more comic-book titles being published each month than ever were produced in the '60s.

Sought-after comics this year include ``X-Men,'' an action group that has spawned four additional titles, and ``Batman, The Cult,'' an enclosed-storyline series.

Wormstedt said it is not uncommon for a drop-in visitor to recognize the cover of a comic he or she read as a child and buy it just for the nostalgic value.

Dealers from as far away as Detroit have signed up for space.

Steve Sibra, owner of Rocket Comics on North 85th Street in Greenwood, is one of the local dealers who will have a sales table.  ``I don't take new comics to conventions,'' Sibra said. ``I stick with older stuff, older `Batman,' DC superheroes, `The Avengers,' `Silver Surfer.' ''  Sibra said he also uses conventions to add to his own collection of '50s horror comics such as ``Tales From the Crypt.''