Con Recon : Keystone Comic Con
I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m not a big Convention guy. I’ve never actually been to a big Convention before. I’m more comfortable in the small local show setting. Even then, I’m not a big fan of crowds. I don’t even like it when someone is flipping through the box next to me that I just finished with. I like my space.
That said, I figured why not check out this new Convention starting in Philly. So I made myself a homemade CBSI t-shirt with my press, packed a back pack with supplies, prepared a small drop off for CGC, and headed off to the Keystone Comic Con.
STAFFING & ORGANIZATION:
Everyone I engaged from the staff for the show was great. Helpful, smiling faces that provided invaluable directions and they answered every question I had from where is the bathroom to where did I park my car? As I said before, I’ve never been to a big show before, so I have no frame of reference as to whether this is the norm or just a happy bonus.
Everything seemed laid out pretty well. Easy to find the food and refreshments. Large Center Entertainment area at the entrance with a stage and a Wrestling Ring. Some side displays including the classic TV Show Batmobile.
I went on the first day, Friday and again on Sunday, the last day. One common theme I heard from the dealers I spoke with was that foot traffic was pretty slow. It could have been because this was a new show; or maybe it’s too close to Baltimore and NYCC. Whatever the case, the crowd was sparse from what I could tell. Selfishly, I consider this a personal win considering my aversion to crowds. Be that as it may, next year’s show is already scheduled for about a month earlier in August which is a good idea in my book.
GUESTS – CELEBS & ARTISTS
Hosting a list of celebrities that reminded me of all the old Wizard World shows that used to take place here. They had a full cast reunion from True Blood including Rogue (Anna Paquin), Jimmy Olsen (Mechad Brooks), and Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello). Kevin Conroy and Ray Park were also there, along with cosplayer Leanna Vamp. Most of the Office cast was present including Stanley, Kevin, Creed, Angela, and Oscar. And if I were a Signature and Photo Op kinda guy I would’ve probably shelled out the cash for Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) and Captain Jack (John Barrowman). Unfortunately Andy Serkis cancelled.
Artist Alley featured a nice collection of Writers and Artists. Writer’s included Fabien Nicieza, Nick Spencer and Chris Claremont there to sign books. CGC was present, so CGC Signature Series was an option for those so inclined.
Also at the Con doing special panels were Greg Capullo and Frank Miller. I considered going to one of these, but I figured for my first experience I would focus on just the nitty gritty and walked around taking it all in. It was cool walking past and checking out Ken Lashley doing a commission piece.
Jonboy Meyers was also there doing sketches. I didn’t want to bother asking how much for a sketch since I didn’t bring that much extra loot with me intentionally. I like to tell myself that even if the low fund mandate actually came from the wife. But I did notice he had the original art for sale for the most recent Titans B Cover among others, which was pretty cool.
Dealers in the hall had a wide variety of stock with them. There were some Funko Pop dealers, apparel, cosplay wig stands, tattoo artists, custom Lego Mini Figure makers, novelties, and lot of comic dealers. They had everything from dollar bin books to some big time key books. I literally saw at least 4 AF 15’s within 20 feet of each other.
I even chatted with the Graham Cracker booth. They came all the way out from Chicago for this show and they came loaded for bear. They had two AF 15’s, two ASM #1’s, two X-men #1’s, and a FF #1. Great books all over the place. Of course these were all well out of my modest budget range (thanks honey), but I managed to score a few things for myself. Please check out the CBSI New Pick Ups page for my haul as well as a few others’ pickups from the community.
Of course they happened to have a Cosplay competition on Saturday, the one day of the con I did not attend due to my son’s first day of fall soccer. Familial obligations, am I right? But I digress. There were still plenty of folks all decked out for the occasion. Below are just a few I managed to catch for pics without feeling like a creeper.
Gotta Love Barf.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES:
There was a lot of stuff going on that I didn’t even see. There was a Video Game tournament of some kind going on in a side room. There were a few scheduled Wrestling Demonstrations that happened but I must’ve had my head buried in a long box on the other side of the Convention Hall because I missed them. I did manage to run into the King, Jerry Lawler, which was pretty cool.
But there was a whole bunch of stuff I missed. There was a phone app for the Con that kept sending me notifications of stuff going on from something to do with the official beer of the convention, to something about the tattoo artists onsite, to panels starting, to Amy Acker going on stage for something, etc.
That’s a Wrap:
To sum up, I had an awesome time and scored a couple books I had been on the lookout for recently. Take that last week’s article, I found my Ms. Marvel #1.
Understanding that it was the first year of this con, I imagine next year will only be bigger. However, I’ll manage the future crowd and I’ll be more prepared with what to expect, as it won’t be my inaugural big con. I’m looking forward to going back next year and possibly bringing that extra loot for some sketches. And with that, I’ll leave you with…
“That guy’s a crummy Wyatt Earp. He’s wearing jogging shoes.” – Rusty Griswald