There And Back Again: A Noob’s Impression Of Their Inaugural Comic Con

As our website’s resident Noob I thought it would be interesting to write about my first experience at Comic Con. It was something I had never really thought about doing but I’m glad I did. I went to zero panels, I strictly spent my time just wandering around and marveling at everything like a child being let into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The costumes of course were amazing; you could have spent the entire time just looking at them. I couldn’t believe how nice every single person was that I stopped to ask for a picture of or with. Not one person gave me a hard time, which when you think about is almost unbelievable given the sheer amount of pictures taken and posted on the site. In fact, everybody I dealt with there was incredibly nice and polite. I bet if you asked the other members of the evil geekdom you would get the exact same response.

If you have claustrophobia or dislike large crowds, comic con might not be your thing. There are A LOT of people. You are almost never not in the middle of a massive crowd where you’re constantly stopping for someone to take a picture, or someone hitting you with their book bag as they try to get around you or just being unexpectedly pushed. This really took some getting used to and I think I’d prefer (as would many others I’m sure) the comic cons of yore with significantly fewer people and some breathing room.

One of the other things that really knocked me out was seeing all the golden and silver age comics for sale. It’s really astounding to be walking by Amazing Fantasy # 15 next to Fantastic Four #1 hanging on the wall so nonchalantly as you make your way through rows and rows of t-shirts, toys, dvds, zombie make up and art. Despite all these things I was a little disappointed to not find more memorabilia dedicated to G1 Transformers, Voltron and Alien but that’s a very minor complaint and chances are I could have just not seen it.

It wasn’t all just aimless walking around though; I did have one quest to complete. Get my Back To The Future save the date signed by Christopher Lloyd himself. I am proud to say that I did in fact accomplish the goal. It was a little disheartening that it cost me $50 to do so, but that is definitely a once in a lifetime chance. No pictures were allowed at that time either; apparently you had to go back and wait in a different line at a different time to get your pictures taken with him and pay more money. Being pleased with what I got, I decided to skip out on that.

If you’re a regular reader of our website you’ll know that old Biff has a soft spot for Legos, well I sure as hell came to the right place. There were not one, but two different Lego stations set up. The one downstairs contained depictions of a few different elaborate scenes. Including Star Wars, the X-Men dismantling some sentinels, the clock tower and the DeLorean from Back To The Future and an insanely impressive Lord Of The Rings battle.

The upstairs Lego center contained a human sized Dearth Maul, Gandalf and Bilbo and the Hulk all made out of Legos. Not to mention a huge store that contained an abnormal amount of LOTR, Marvel comics and Star Wars Legos for sale. I was in sweet sweet, nerd heaven. They even had a huge R2-D2 and Death Star for sale. If I had a spare $400 I totally would have been going home lugging a Lego Death Star. No luck locating the elusive Jabba’s Sail Barge but they did have the next best thing…Jabba’s Palace Throne Room.

Being the Back To The Future fan that I am, I almost hyperventilated when I saw the DeLorean there. Not just a DeLorean, the DeLorean complete with “outtatime” California license plate, flux capacitor, time circuits, Mr. Fusion, Sports Almanac on the dashboard and Hoverboard. The best part is that you can take a picture in it or near it with Marty McFly impersonator Matt Bell . It’s uncanny how much he resembles McFly, depending on which point in the day you visit he will be dressed either as 1985 Marty or 2015 Marty. Oh yea, the Adam West Batman era Batmobile and the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo were also there which somehow were reduced to merely a footnote next to a time machine.

One life goal can now be checked off of my list, thank you Comic Con. Well maybe 2…in a true “only at comic con moment” I witnessed Deadpool playing thrash riffs on a guitar and Bane’s unique brand of hardcore anti-Batman singing/screaming.

As I had expected Artist Alley was a problem for me. There was SO much nerd art to choose from that spending hours walking through, just wasn’t enough. (Helpful Nerd Tip #1: Artist Alley have a better bathroom situation, many more than other corridors and much quicker. The men’s rooms aren’t usually an issue anywhere at the con but there are almost always lines for the women’s room except in Artist Alley). I did end up meeting a new favorite artist of mine, Tom Kelly. He uses strong two colored approach on a lot of his work involving an outline or a silhouette. I ended up walking away with this excellent Kingpin and Daredevil print.

You can visit Tom’s Deviant Art page here or his web store.

It wasn’t all roses though; there are few minor issues with the con but for housing that many people it’s to be expected. As I had mentioned before the amount of people there can be a little disconcerting and rough. Because of this, cell phone service is really delayed. In some places you do have enough service to send a text message but the intended party might not receive it for another 30 minutes, so don’t depend on that for meeting up with people. There is only reentry through the main entrance and exit, which is fine, but they need better signage on the inside of the other exits. I went outside once to see if I could get better cell phone service and as soon as I walked out I realized I couldn’t get back in and had to circle around to the main entrance and wait another 20 minutes to get back in. The pamphlets should also be located in a very central easy to access location. I didn’t even see them until a few hours before I left on my last day. It would have been great to have a map with me while I was there.

All in all it was a truly amazing once in a life time experience (although it will certainly become an annual adventure for me). My girlfriend enjoyed herself so much we are considering going to Boston Comic Con in April to hold us over till the New York one next year.

Till next time fellow nerds!

About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on October 17, 2012, in Con Tips, Conventions, Nerd Art, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Good times. On a second note, that Tom Kelly should be doing covers somewhere, either for the Big 2 or someone. I love stylized art like that.

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