On November 18th, I stepped behind the table as a dealer for the first time in over 4 years. The site of my return was the Daytona Beach Comic and Toy Show.
The show took place at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Daytona Beach, Florida. The dealers were all located in one small ballroom with a second room set aside for creators from AC Comics, a local publisher known for their Femforce title, who were celebrating their 30th Anniversary in comics.
It was a very comic-centric show with plenty of collectibles as well. According to a post to their Facebook page, attendance was a scant 160 people, down from 250 for a previous show. They suggest the weather may have been a factor and that is definitely a possibility (it was a cold and windy day), but it is worth noting that a celebration at Coliseum of Comics featuring George Perez in Sanford the day before might have supplied some people with their comic fix for the weekend, plus a new convention, Geek Fest Florida, was also taking place in Boca Raton the same day.
It was an enjoyable show for me and my family who attended with me. Another dealer bought the entire box of action figures I brought with me within the first 5 minutes of the show, and another guy purchased a bunch of trading card sets as well. After that, it was a slow climb the rest of the day with $1 to $3 comics. I made my last sale around 2:20, however, and the show was dead after that. We packed up and left around 4:30.
I did not take any photos at the show; instead, I focused on putting together my first ever Convention Scene video. Check it out below; at least watch the first 10 seconds to catch the snazzy video intro.
It’s tempting to buy it, certainly, as it features a number of characters I am a fan of including The Runaways and the cast of Avengers Academy. But here’s the thing…the series has promised the deaths of characters as they are pitted against each other by Arcade. Therefore, the longer the series runs the more deaths are going to happen. So if you are a fan of a character like, say, Darkhawk, your best bet for the character’s survival is for the series to be cancelled before they get around to killing him.
So I have decided not to purchase the series, and if you have favorites in the cast of the book, you might think about doing the same.
Am I wrong? Responses are welcome.
On November 3-4, 2012, the 4th annual Long Beach Comic and Horror Con took place at the Long Beach Convention Center. In the 3 shows prior to this one, fans usually had a star studded line up or Halloween to coincide with the show. However, with the show taking place the weekend after Halloween, and with the guest list nearly identical to last year sans two of its biggest stars in David Finch and Brandon Peterson, this year’s show lacked the flair of the previous 3. In spite of this, the attendees of the show did have a good time, with a lot of families showing up to partake in the festivities, as well a lot of cosplayers recycling their Halloween costumes. While it may not have been as strong as in years past, I’m confident the show will rebound next year, and will finish the comic convention season strong. But for now, here was my view of this year’s show.
And now, onto the cosplayers:
The Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas was home to the inaugural MorrisonCon on September 29-30, 2012. Going in, I had no idea what to expect from this show. I knew that 10 of the biggest names were special guests, including Grant Morrison, frequent collaborators Frank Quitely, Darick Robertson, and Chris Burnham, along with comic superstars Robert Kirkman, Jim Lee, Jason Aaron, Jonathan Hickman, and Gerard Way. Also invited were Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Chronicle writer Max Landis, and musical guests Jimmy Urine and Akira the Don.
The energy of the crowd was palpable the minute I set foot in the main room. James Sime, the founder of Isotope Comics, stirred up the crowd with frenetic energy, setting up an introduction to Grant Morrison, who immediately proceeded to introduce Chris Burnham and Frank Quitely, and went straight into talking about upcoming artwork with their respective projects. It was fascinating to see the thought processes of the artists, and how they each interpreted Grant’s scripts and how it translated on to a page. Shortly after, Darick Robertson also joined the trio, and gave his take on working with Grant.
The next panel involved Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four), JH Williams (Batwoman), Jason Aaron (Wolverine and the X-Men, Avengers vs. X-Men), Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead, Invincible), and Grant Morrison talking about the comic book writing process. From talking about approach to plotting out storylines, to being aware of page turns for reader shock value, to working with different artists and how they might interact with different story tellers, it was a fantastic panel to gain insight from 5 of the biggest writers in comics today.
And since you can’t have comics without art, the following panel featured Chris Burnham, Frank Quitely, JH Williams III, Darick Robertson, and Jim Lee. The artists talked about influences, how they go about laying out pages, to new artists in comics that they personally enjoy. And of course, you can’t have an artist panel without art. Each artist chose a random guest’s sketchbook to draw in, and it was awesome to see them sketch away.
After an hour lunch break, the show continued with a musical based panel, featuring Akira the Don, Gerard Way, Darick Robertson, Grant Morrison, JH Williams III, and Jimmy Urine. It was awesome to see the panelists talk about how music was so intertwined in to their comics, from Gerard Way talking about listening to Tarantula by the Smashing Pumpkins while scripting an entire issue of Umbrella Academy, to the first concerts they’ve all attended, to an improptu performance of I Wanna Hold Your Hand by Darick, Grant and Akira which brought the crowd to their feet.
The last panel of the show for me was the movie panel, featuring Max Landis, James Gunn, Darick Robertson, and Grant Morrison. Although the panel did get sidetracked at times, it was awesome to see James Gunn and Max Landis debating whether Chronicle was a superhero film and what defines a super hero, as well as Landis arguing with Darick Robertson on what he felt was a huge flaw of The Boys.
On top of these amazing panels, there was also creator signings, where you actually had a reserved spot for a specific writer or artist, and you actually got to talk with them for more than the 10 seconds you’re usually alotted at usual cons. That to me was one THE highlight of the show, and I felt it was completely awesome that the artists and writers would embrace the idea, and enjoyed interacting with fans in a more intimate setting.
This show was definitely a one of a kind experience, and I believe is something all comic fans should definitely try attending once in their lifetime. If you ever wanted an comics show that was purely comics based, this is it. With rumors that this show could come back in the future, I’d definitely keep my eye out when tickets go on sale.
On September 15-16, 2012, Los Angeles was home to Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo, the joint venture between the successful Comikaze Expo from the previous year, and the legendary Marvel creator. Following an unexpected but successful show in 2011, I had a feeling that Stan’s involvement would only heighten publicity and draw more fans, and I was happy to see the massive crowds that surrounded the Convention Center on that Saturday morning.
I’m not sure how to attribute Comikaze’s success in a LA market that has seen repeated attempts at a comic convention in downtown met with constant failure, but co-founder Regina Carpinelli utilized social media to its fullest in spreading the word about the show. From Livingsocial deals to advertisements in the paper, to spreading the words in schools to attract kids and twitter, Carpinelli’s efforts were met with a record number crowds in their sophomore show.
The show itself was a lot bigger than its inaugural year. Moving from the underground parking lot to the main floor, the show was definitely more spacious. With artist alley scattered throughout the floor, plenty of space for vendors, along with a huge stage for Q and A’s from special guests and even a huge space towards the back for a zombie obstacle course, Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo had something for everyone. With the amazing progress from year 1 to year 2, I can only see a bright future ahead for Comikaze. In time, I can see it perhaps becoming one of the premiere comic cons in the US. And now, here are some pics from this year’s show!
And what good is a comic convention without some great cosplay? Here’s some of my favorites from the show.
San Diego was home to the biggest pop culture event of the year on July 11-15, 2012, with the 43rd annual Comic Con taking place. In my 8 years of attending the show, I’ve never seen the convention halls that packed! With lines for everything, from the infamous Hall H, to the new autograph line system, as well as Ballrooms with various panels, including a 10 year reunion panel for Firefly, Comic Con definitely made me feel as if it finally hit capacity and rumors rumbled around that perhaps Comic Con might have outgrown San Diego.
There were definite ways to improve comic con, including controlling the flow of people going in and out of the show floor, but over all, it was yet another very fun con, with amazing guests, and tons of things to do or buy at the show. With the final Twilight panel in San Diego, Henry Cavill’s surprise appearance for Man of Steel, along with fan favorite shows such as Big Bang Theory and Dr. Who, as well as the Walking Dead Zombie Run at Petco Park across the street, Comic Con had something for everyone! While I wasn’t on the show floor as much as I’d like to have been, here are the things I saw and experienced at this year’s show. And a hello to all the readers I met at the show who loved our site!
After hitting up artist alley and signing up for some commissions, I had a meeting with the Disney Store booth, showing me the latest in vinylmation figures for sale at the show and online!
To win a limited edition So Tasty hat, please comment below or RT the con report with the hashtag, #DisneySDCC.
The following morning, Gentle Giant showed me the latest in their product line, including the amazing Darth Maul figure announced the night before!
After the awesome meeting with Gentle Giant, I had press conferences all day (audio will be posted later this week). Here are some pictures!
After roundtables and press conferences, it was party time!
Partying all night was not conducive to an early morning, but I managed to wake up to my alarm, and make the autograph ticket lines, scoring a Game of Thrones sign pass.
On the agenda for Friday was the Resident Evil 5 press roundtables, Firefly press conference, as well as the Game of Thrones signing!
In between all that, I got to check out the awesome Batmobiles on the lawn outside the convention center! (All pictures of Batmobiles taken by Gary Deocampo)
AFter the excitement from the past 3 days, what else could Comic Con possibly have up their sleeves?
How about Breaking Bad, Robert Downey Jr., Walking Dead Zombie Run at Petco Park, and an awesome exclusive print by Mondo?
With my con luck kicking into overdrive, I managed to get in line for the cast of Breaking Bad at the 10 AM signing at the Sony booth! The whole cast was very generous with their time, signing, taking pictures, and was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had at Comic Con!
After thrilling kids and fans alike, I went across the street to Petco Park, where I participated in the Walking Dead Zombie Run! Here’s some pics from my run.
After all that, I managed to stick around to see Nathan Fillion signing at the Marvel booth!
On June 29-July 2, 2012, Los Angeles was home to the 21st annual Anime Expo. The lobby seemed packed with more guests than ever before, and artist alley was expanded by almost double the size as the previous year. With any Anime Expo, the emphasis as usual was on Cosplay. With Comic Con only a week away, it was a perfect convention to check out, enjoy the anime genre, and take in the amazing costumes! While I won’t pretend to know the characters, here’s the pictures I took at the show of the costumes, along with the other sights that Anime Expo offered. Which was your favorite costume?
When I first heard that WonderCon was going to be in Anaheim this year, I was partially thrilled, only because I’d save money on airfare and hotel stays. However, I completely forgot that SF has one thing over LA, which is less traffic.
Due to horrible weather over the weekend, in conjunction with two other events going on in the same venue (a cheerleading competition and a volleyball tournament), Anaheim was definitely overcrowded. To be honest, I can’t wait for this show to move back to San Francisco where I feel it truly belongs.
The show itself didn’t seem like the normal WonderCon. Perhaps because it was in the same venue as Wizard World Anaheim, it felt like a bigger version of it. Hollywood’s presence was definitely felt at the show, with big showings of Prometheus with Sir Ridley Scott in attendance, to Spider-Man’s Emma Stone, along with the casts of popular TV shows Community, Fringe, and Alcatraz, WonderCon’s star power was bright.
Artist’s Alley was in full swing, with many transactions occurring over the weekend. And while it didn’t seem too crowded, there was definitely a lot of hustle and bustle, and the show seemed to always be busy.
Again, while this weekend may have been a success, I definitely miss the atmosphere of San Francisco, and while it’s cheaper, it’s definitely worth the money to visit the Bay Area and enjoy the sights and sounds that Northern California has to offer.
I couldn’t take too many pictures as my battery was extremely low over the weekend, but here’s a look at some of the things WonderCon had to offer!
On November 18-21, 2011, Creative Talent had it’s third annual CTN Animation Expo. Every year, this con seems to grow more and more. With big companies, artists, and big names in the animation industry, this is THE show to go to if you are involved with the animation industry and want to break in. From portfolio reviews, to insightful panels, and even just soaking in the ambience and drawing with other artists in the lobby, CTN is full of creative talent that is waiting to be the next big name in animation. I highly recommend anyone interested going into the field to come out and experience this awesome show. And one big tip I heard throughout the weekend: No one will hire you if you don’t show your stuff. Post it on blogs, get your portfolio out there, make yourself seen. All it takes is one chance. And now, onto some pictures from this weekend:
On Halloween weekend, 2011, Long Beach Comic Con held it’s 3rd annual show. With the first year being a rousing success, and the 2nd year drawing in weaker crowds, I didn’t know what to expect. Would the drop in attendance continue, or would the show find its niche and thrive once more?
When I first arrived to the show, I noticed the sparse crowds and feared the worst. Luckily, my fears were assuaged, as the once small line suddenly grew massive closer to the opening of the show. Saturday was packed, with the show floor showcasing lots of merchandise, great artists ready to draw for fans at Artist Alley, and some celebrities scattered throughout the show floor.
With the show embracing the Halloween spirit, LBCC encouraged fans to dress up as their favorite comic heroes, and I saw a lot of people in costume. It was great to see young children coming with their parents and picking up some books. Sunday wasn’t as bad of a decrease as I expected either, and my hopes for the show grew exponentially especially given the lack of people from last year’s show.
LBCC has found a niche targeting fans and families and encouraging some great cosplay during the Halloween weekend.
Martha, Phil, and Mike have put together a great show, and I look forward to seeing this show grow even more in the following years to come. And now, onto the photos!