CON RECON : Colorado Springs Comic Con 2019
The fourth iteration of Colorado Springs Comic Con (CSCC) was at the Chapel Hills mall again, but moved locations for the fourth straight year. This time, an abandoned Sears store was used for the convention and it was the best layout so far. I could see the con being at this location for awhile, as places to hold large shows or conventions in Colorado Springs are far and few between. The worst part about last year's con was that you had to leave the con (or take these dimly lit over crowded stairs) to the lower level which was extremely inconvenient. This year the escalators were working and made for a much better experience.
New to the con this year was the outdoor smoking/food truck area. It was nice to be able to go outside the con without actually having to leave, and there were a ton of food options compared to last year. I also liked the layout having both merchants and some celebrities on the top floor, while having all the artists, some merchants, and some celebrities on the bottom floor.
The main draw celebrities were William Shatner, Robert Englund, and one of my all time favorites Kevin Eastman. To my surprise, the voice actors from My Hero Academia were extremely popular, drawing big crowds all day at their tables as well as at their panel. Other comic book guests were Howard Chaykin, Graham Nolan, Kevin Nowland and Mike Zeck.
As a TMNT fan, I was obligated to get in Eastman’s line early on Saturday morning and ended up second in line! As always, he was gracious with his time, talking to the fans while he did quick head sketches. I wanted to get the scoop on Jennika, and he told me that her story line was in development for 2 years, so a lot of thought went into this character. He was very appreciative of the positive fan reaction, unlike the time they tried to introduce Kirby, the fifth turtle, that eventually ended the partnership between Eastman and Laird and put an end to Mirage studios. In a panel he did later in the day, Eastman talked about the new diversity in comics and how he thought Jennika fit right into this movement. I believe that she isn’t a flash in the pan and will have some staying power into the future. What I don’t know is if TMNT 51 (first appearance of Jennika) or TMNT #95 (first appearance as a Turtle) will be more valuable down the line, but they are both great books to hold onto.
A pleasant surprise at CSCC was the amount of comic book vendors, which was roughly double of last years shows. There were a couple of out of state vendors, and it’s always nice to look at new-to-me stock. But sometimes more isn’t always better, as prices were typical con prices. A friend of mine brought a stack of high grade silver/bronze non-key books, and was able to make a really nice trade of lower grade big boy books. I spoke with the dealer later, and he told me that it was easier to sell those $50-100 high grade books than $500 low grade books. I never think of bringing books to trade (or maybe I’m just too lazy), but I think it’s a strategy I will utilize in the future.
Overall I really enjoyed Colorado Springs Comic Con. No matter how big they try and make it, it will always be one of those smaller sized cons, which isn’t a bad thing. Lines are shorter to meet celebrities and they typically engage with the fans for a longer time, the panel room is smaller and more intimate, and it’s a lot easier to navigate with smaller crowds (especially on Friday and Sunday, not so much on Saturday). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find too many books I was interested in, but sometimes that’s how it goes.