It’s summer in Houston, Texas and that means it’s time for ComicPalooza! ComicPalooza is one of the biggest comic cons in Texas. It’s an annual event that packs Houston with tons of artists, creators, and celebrities and this year was no exception.
Tickets for the con were available via the con’s website at http://www.comicpalooza.com. Both 1 day and 3 day passes were available for purchase.
This convention is held every year in downtown Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center and this year the con fell on Father’s Day weekend.
For those that are not familiar with it, the George R. Brown Convention Center is one of the larger convention centers in the state. It’s centrally located in downtown Houston by the Minute Maid Park. There is only one issue with this location and it’s the parking.
Downtown Houston is always under construction and this year is no different. While there is ample parking for the convention center, navigating to the parking can be difficult and at times frustrating.
The best parking is located adjacent to the convention center directly in front of the con or at the Hilton Hotel that is located directly beside the convention center. The Hilton also has a skywalk that allows you to enter the convention center without having to cross the busy street (the Hilton is in my opinion the best place to park). Parking can cost anywhere from 10 to 20 dollars depending on where you park.
Once you enter the actual convention, all your parking frustrations are forgotten. The convention is organized in a way that makes getting in and out a breeze. The ticket lines move fast and once inside the convention floor, you are greeted by several vendors located by the entrance.
The floor layout of this con is very well thought out: on one side of the floor are the celebrities and on the other side there are vendors. Located between the two sides is the “Kid Zone” and Food Court.
The Kid Zone and the Food Court are both set up with ample room for the attendees. The Food Court has a variety of options from hamburgers to hot dogs and has plenty of seating. The highlight of the Food Court this year was the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream truck that was giving out free ice cream!
KIDS ZONE / GAMING
The Kids Zone section makes this con a very family friendly environment. There are amusement rides, jumpys, and plenty of other activities for kids of all ages. This made this con a great way to spend Father’s Day. Dads can browse the comics and the kids can play in the Kids Zone. The concept is not a new one, and at ComicPalooza it is executed very well.
There is also a Gaming Area where kids can play video games and other games. The Games were located in the “Game Hall” or “Game Alley” This area was separate from the rest of the floor area but made for great entertainment.
ComicPalooza is famous for the celebrities that it brings and this year was no exception. Headliners included: Kate Beckinsale, Camren Bicondova, Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser, and Sigourney Weaver. Most of the lines for the celebrities moved fast and since it was separated from the comic vendors, there was little to no overcrowding. This is the best setup for a con as it keeps the “fans” from the collectors in a way that allows both to enjoy the show.
One of the main attractions to Comicpalooza is the Artist Alley. This year the organizers had a great lineup that included Franchesco , Greg Horn, Mike Zeck and Adam Kubert.
There were plenty of other Texas artists in the artist alley. This included Sam de la Rosa and one of my favorite Austin artists, Vo Nguyen. Vo is a great guy that is at most of the Houston cons; he’s a really nice guy that likes to talk to fans and is a great up and coming artist.
Michael Zeck was signing items for reasonable prices: $5.00 without a witness and $3.00 for a COA. If you wanted your books signed and witnessed, it was $10.00. He was also doing commissions for as low as $80.00.
On Saturday night there was an art auction where attendees could bid on artwork from different artists from the show. The auction was open to all attendees and had some great pieces and many of the pieces sold for very reasonable prices.
Cosplayers really make cons fun and exciting for the kids and adults. There is something about seeing Darth Vader and Spider-Man walking around together or Captain Jack Sparrow and Kylo Ren sharing a stage together.
This show had plenty of cosplayers from Batman and Harley Quinn to Storm Troopers and Cylons, they were all there.
Compared to other cons in Houston, this dealer room was packed. There were plenty of comics, pops, and other merchandise to buy. There were about 15 -20 comic book only dealers and plenty of other vendors selling all kinds of different merchandise. The main vendors were Bedrock Comics and Pop Culture, which are two of my favorite Houston stores.
BOOKS FOR SALE:
There were plenty of $1.00 bins and lots of great stuff on the “walls”. Here is a list of some of the books and the prices that they were going for.
|Batman Adventures 12||NM Raw||$775|
|Batman Adventures 12||9.6 Raw||$900|
|Batman Adventures 12||CGC 9.8||$2,000|
|Fantastic Four 52||9.0 – 9.6 Raw||$900 – $1,600|
|Secret Wars 8||CGC 9.8||$350|
|Amazing Fantasy 15||CGC 1.5||$10,000|
|Hulk 181||CGC 9.0||$3,500|
|Hulk 181||9.0 Raw||$3,000|
|Avenging Spider-Man 9||NM||$40 – $60|
The dealers seem to watch media and price accordingly. Most books were right at market or 20% above (wall books). One of the things that was noticed is that most dealers were pushing raw books at GPA prices and eBay. Some were willing to make a deal and a few asked if I had any trades.
All and all, this was a great con and a great way to spend Father’s Day. If you missed this year's ComicPalooza, I suggest that you go to next year's con.