Amazing Con, September 4th-6th, 2015

Scott Robertson went to Amazing Con and this is what he had to say …

Amazing Houston Comic Con returns Labor Day Weekend 2015 on September 4-5-6, with the best and brightest in comic book and pop entertainment. The Comic Con takes place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in the heart of Downtown Houston.

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Were there pre-sale tickets (online/in-store), and could you get in early?

There were pre-sale tickets available online via the con's website. There were VIP packages available that would get you on the floor early. I purchased a 1 day pass on line for $25.00. I arrived at the con around 2:15pm and the con was open to the public at 3:00pm. I was able to get on the floor at 2:30pm due to seeing a vendor that I knew. He got me in early.

How many retailers were there?

Amazing Con is a very small con when compared to other Houston cons, There were almost 200 tables and booths. The number of retailers selling books was on the lower end, closer to about 20 book retailers, but the Artist alley was much larger.

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How was the floor layout?

I am not a big fan of the G R Brown Convention center, it's under construction right now so getting in and out of the con can be a real pain. However, Once you get into the convention itself, it flows pretty well. Upon entering the A hall, ticket purchases, exclusives, and registration are located on the first floor. The registration process was pretty quick and painless and at 2:15pm on Friday, most kids were still in school, so the crowd was small.

There is only one entrance into the convention. When you enter through the doors you are first greeted by Comcast, they provide you a pen to get things signed. There is an “enter contest for a free movie tickets” booth that harasses you as you walk by.

There are then 7 columns of exhibitors with booths and they go back three rows with each row creating a rectangular shape as they are back to back and side to side with plenty of walking space between them.

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What was the most ridiculously over-priced book you saw?

I was walking the show and I came across some crazy prices on several items, an Edge of the Spider Verse #2 that was selling at one booth for 100 bucks. This would not be a bad deal if it was a 1st print, but it was the third print. I also saw a Hulk 182 Signed by Stan Lee for 500 that was a GCG Yellow label 7.5 and the guy was firm on his price.

What was the highest priced book you saw?

The highest book that I noticed at the con was $3,000 Walking dead number 1, this too was an overpriced book, but it was autographed (no, not by Stan Lee)

What was your best bargain purchase? Why?

I do not purchase too many books these days as my collection is pretty complete and most of the time, I go to Conventions to pick up artist sketches and original art, I did pick up a blank Spider-Man cover for 5 bucks and I had Karl Alstaetter draw a bust of Spider-Gwen on the blank cover for 20 bucks. To me this is a bargain.

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What was your favorite item purchased? Why?

I carry a sketchbook with me to most conventions, so that I can get my favorite artists to sketch in it, I have Neal Adams, Joe Rubinstein, and Bob Layton in my current one to name a few. Today, I had Chad Hardin draw a Joker for me in the sketch book. The sketch is awesome, he drew it in red pencil and he has a great signature.

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A close second was sketch of DeadPool that Marat Mychaels did for me in the same sketch book.

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What was your favorite comic purchased? Why?

Would have to be the Sketch Cover Spider-Man with Spider-Gwen drawn on the cover as that was the only book that I purchased today and well worth the 25 bucks that I invested in it.

What was the rarest book you saw?

I did see an Avengers #1 and Tales of Suspense #39.

What were some books you were surprised the dealers had priced so high? (that you saw multiple dealers had at a high price, not just a single as above)

Star Wars Darth Vader Action Figure Covers for $20.00. I know that David Prowse was at the Convention and I think that was bait to get him to sign something. I think that vendors got together before the show and decided that they needed to push this book.

Were any artists present? What were your experiences with them?

I am a big fan of the artists' alley, I started out hitting up John Romita Jr, he was super cool guy, but he was not doing commissions, however he did sign my book and drew a quick doodle of a Superman “S”.

I then hit up Chad Hardin, he's a great DC artist and was very reasonable on sketches, he was only 60 bucks and his turnaround time was incredible.

Mark Bagley was also doing sketches for 80 bucks. He was happy to see and talk to people.

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Rob Liefeld, he had a line the entire time I was at the con. Last year when I visited him, he was hung over, so this year I had no desire to sit in that line.

Brian Buccellato was doing water colors sketches of character's Bust for 70 bucks.

Howard Chaykin was also there and pretty nice to talk to.

Marat Mychaels was also a super cool guy and was doing commissions for $120.

The normal players and local artists were also present and there are way too many of them to write about each one and how cool they all were!

If you were the promoter, what would you have done to make this show better?

More cosplay events, on Friday the amount of cosplay was very low. There is also an annoying guy that announces when events are about to start. He sounds like “the price is right announcer” and I kept waiting for him to call my name and tell me “to come on down.” They need to get rid of him.

If you were selling comics, what would you have done differently?

The comic booths are always setup in similar ways at all the conventions, a bunch of boxes that are tightly packed comics. I would like to see a computer or tablet somewhere loaded with their inventory, so that I can search real fast to find out if they have any books that I want.

My vision is instead of tables with boxes on them, I would prefer several dumb terminals. This would save me time when going through boxes and save my fingers from aching at the end of the day.

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Did you see a dealer try to swindle a rookie? If so, explain.

Only rookie mistakes that I saw were the people picking up the Darth Vader book for 20 bucks, as you can get them all day at the LCS for 10 bucks.

How much was this con about just the comics?

This con seems to be a lot more about comics than about media. There were a lot less “actors / celebrities” at this convention than at other conventions.

In my mind this show was more a comic book convention than say Comicpalooza, which had a ton of “actors and media” present. There were no cars parked on the floor, no long line for celebrities blocking the retailers, and most everyone there seemed to be into comics.

How much was this con about the cosplay?

There were very few cosplayers at this convention. I was actually disappointed in this as I feel that the cosplay players really make the cons fun, plus I like seeing Harley walking around in her skimpy outfits.

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How pumped up was the crowd?

Friday is always a slow day, which is why I try to go to the cons on Fridays, I feel that I can navigate the floor without bumping into people and I get more time to talk to vendors. I can not say that the crowd was pumped up as there was not a huge crowd there. Saturday will be different.

How strong was the haggleability?

Everyone I talked to was willing to haggle with me. Some more than others but everyone was flexible on higher dollar items but firm on the Darth Vader comics.

FINAL GRADE: 7 / 10

7 due to the size of the con, parking, and construction happening around the con.

8 comments

  • Avatar

    Amazing con was a lot of fun, I am definitely going to attend next year.

  • Yroc

    Great report Scott. Thanks for the indepthness.

  • Avatar

    I’m just going to say this, because I’ve noticed it a lot on this website. Please stop with the casual sexism. A comic cover cannot be hot, it’s a drawing. You should not comment on how much you like to perv over skimpily clad women. It’s gross. I use this site a lot, but this is the only time I have posted. I call absolute BS on the disgusting sexist comments that permeate throughout this otherwise good website. That cow player would not have posed for your pic if she knew what you would be posting near it.

    • Avatar

      Different strokes my friend, you are fully with in your right to be disgusted. No one discriminated against any Cos-players, none were hurt in the writing of this review. I hear what your saying, I don’t agree with it, but I understand your point of view.

    • Santos

      When someone says “hot” it doesn’t always mean sexually hot. Sometimes when a book is on fire I’ll say “is hot” doesn’t mean I want to make out with it.

      You got issues if when people say “this cover is hot” the first thing you think about is having sex with a magazine, some messed up fantasy of yours.

      Sexist comments? Where? I’ve never seen them before, care to bring one up to my attention?

      Did you just call that cos player a cow? WTF.

    • Yroc

      ohdearme, I agree that we do need to curb the overt sexism (which there are some instances of) and have discussed this with Inigo and we are working on it – thank you for pointing this out. Having said that, I am struggling to say this website is oozing casual sexism. This website is about comics, which I can definitely state we do ooze with. Do comics exude casual sexism? Yes (for both sexes), so not sure how you would like to go about changing the comics industry.

      Additionally, I am not editing Scott’s con report. I do not believe that Scott wrote his con recon with the intention of making anyone uncomfortable or trying to be sexist. The fact is that there are skimpily clad cosplayers, female and male, and that people will enjoy looking at them. Cosplayers will be photographed – it is part of the public cosplaying experience, no different than if a street performer or parade marcher were to be photographed. And it is certainly not up to any of us to assume what their thoughts are. Would you have been upset if he stated he liked skimpily clad male characters? I don’t know. To be quite honest, I find your calling the cosplayer a cow more offensive then anything written by Scott. By the way, have you not read the Femme Fatales article by Kitty Pop – no comment on it?

      In any case, I will not make any conjectures on what your agenda is. Just suffice it to say we have taken into consideration your comments and will keep an eye out.

    • Kittie Pop

      Hi OhDearMe, my name is Kittie, and I write the Femmes Fatales column on the site. I am also one of very few females, if not the ONLY female on the site. I am also a feminist and an advocate for destroying sexism in modern society, as well as nerd/comic book society. So I’m not here to lecture you or anything, but I must touch on some stuff you said.

      Firstly, nobody wants to get romantic with a book, save for a select few I’m sure, but they have nothing to do with this. The word “hot” can be a sexual term, but it can be a term to describe something popular as well. I don’t think there’s any disagreeing with that, and Scott obviously didn’t mean it in that way. If he had said that book was “hot as a half naked Psylocke variant”, then maybe that would justify it, but he didn’t.

      Also, the Harley thing. That one was a bit more obviously, and I do agree with you there. The thing is, this is an interview, so you pretty much have to write word for word what the person you’re interviewing is saying. If they come out looking like a disgusting pig, that’s on them, not the website or anyone else. Yes the website did publish it, but if the interview had been riddled with sexism, they wouldn’t have, and those are facts. Scott mentioned how he wanted to see more cosplay, and then making the comment about seeing Harleys eluded to the notion that the only reason he wanted to see cosplay was for “skimpy” outfits. Which isn’t cool, and I most definitely rolled the hell out of my eyes at that one. So yes, I agree with you there, it’s annoying to read. But again, it’s an interview. This person obviously didn’t understand or think about the difference between saying it out loud knowing it will be published, and thinking it. We all think sexual thoughts, but commenting on them out loud at certain times is the key in being respectful. It doesn’t mean this guy is a bad guy, he just probably didn’t think about it and obviously didn’t mean it to be rude. Also, objectifying is often times sexism in the fact that you’re making that person into less than a person, and unequal to you based on their gender.

      Also with the cosplaying, I’m pretty sure that Spider-Gwen was posing all throughout the day, and she’s obviously in no sexual pose. Shame she couldn’t be credited, but we can’t get every cosplayers name we snap pictures of all the time. Cosplayers can be ogled, but they need to be respected. We can find someone attractive while being kind to them. Also you don’t know if would have even cared having her picture up, so try not to speak for people.

      Also the casual sexism throughtout the site? Yeah, you betcha, there is a good amount. Is it the website’s intention? No, not at all. If it was, I wouldn’t be writing for them. I had an extremely sexist and uncalled for incident happen to me at the beginning of joining the group, and the guys were all extremely nice to me and totally fixed the situation. They could have just as easily kicked me out for causing “trouble”, but they didn’t. To take it out on the whole site isn’t right, take it out on the assholes who ARE sexists. You should see what one guy wrote on my article before, and I had to call him out. Sometimes people just don’t know or understand because society has trained them to look over it, and to just plain not care. If you see something sexist, stand up for yourself, tell someone, do something. Don’t ever think something is “too small” or “too big” or be scared, but just make sure it’s something worth changing. Because there are things that need changing, and the more we educate people on what they are, the more waves we’ll make.

  • ScottRobertson

    First and foremost, I think that we need to define what we are actually discussing, Sexism is the discrimination of someone for what sex that they are. I think that the word that OhDearMe is meaning to use is “objectifying” as saying that you like someone’s “skimpy costume” is not sexist in any way as it does not discriminate against that person.

    Now that we have that straight, OhDearMe has injected his politically correct view into my review of the con, out of the entire review, he found offense with one sentence. This is his right. However, I never said anything perverted and I made no lude references to any one person in particular and simply stated that I enjoy the typical Harley Quinn outfit, that by design is skimpy. Maybe, I could have used a better adjective to describe Harley’s typical costume, for that I apologize.

    There was no malice or ill intent in my sentence, just stating that I personally enjoy cosplayers as they make the cons fun. I expanded on that subject by stating that I also enjoy seeing Harley Quinn as she is one of my favorite Batman Characters, specifically her costume. Her costume is one of the things that I like about her character. Is this objectifying her? Not in my opinion as its part of her character, which I personally love. (so much that my Daughter is named Quinn.)

    If there was a picture of a cosplayer dressed like Harley Quinn, then maybe my sentence might be considered offensive, but there was not even a Harley at the conn, which is why I made the comment. Had I said something about Spider Gwen, then possibly the cosplayer in the picture might have been offended, doubtful, but possible.

    OhDearMe, I appreciate your opinion of my review and respectively ask that you take a look at yourself and ask, why did this sentence offend you so much that you had to make a comment? Was it really perverted to say I enjoy Harely Quinn’s costume? Are you being a little too politically correct and trying to make a mountain out of a molehill?

    I truly appreciate everyone taking the time to read my review and if other find it offensive please let me know as I am always interested in other people’s opinion, and if my comment was out of line, I would like to know, it was not meant to be offensive in the least!

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