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