Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2013 Baltimore Comic-Con Review

Baltimore Comic-Con is the East Coast place to be. It’s a happening show.

The show is on the smaller side but don’t let that fool you. Baltimore Comic-Con is packed with things to do, people to meet, purchases to make and panels to see.

This was my first year attending Baltimore Comic-Con and it was also my first time stepping foot in Baltimore. The very first thing I felt walking into BCC was the feeling of stepping back in time 5 years when comic book conventions were more about comics and less about celebrity guests, movie media and video games. This show is tailored around comic books, the love of a well written story and the art that tells it. To say the least, I loved Baltimore Comic-Con.

If you follow my Facebook page you already know how much I loved Baltimore Comic-Con. I even filmed a video when I got home Sunday night after a 6 hour drive to capture my happy exhaustion.

There is no denying that there has been a surge in popularity among comic book conventions with that surge has been changes to the conventions that (in my opinion) seek to lure even more people into the shows. There has been a massive rise in entertainment guests across the board. It seems to me shows are carving niches in a growing market. However, being at BCC was for me a well needed return to why comic book conventions exist. This was the first time I was thoroughly excited to attend a convention in years. Not to say that I haven’t been excited to be at other conventions but my excitement was more about seeing my friends then the actual show itself. This excitement was about both and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to be excited about a show again. I thought long gone were my days of flipping through my comic book boxes for trades and single issues to be signed. I was wrong. I truly think BCC has put fuel in my geeky behaviors and gotten me hyped up for shows next year. It was that good of a show.

The most noticeable thing about BCC is the absence of large publisher booths. This should not deter anyone from making the trip out because the talent is there and in my opinion much more accessible then when at publisher booths. I have always found it frustrating to follow the signing schedules at publisher booths and often the talent that will be appearing is not preannounced by the publisher (not all though).

I had a few personal highlights at the show.

While meeting and greeting friends and taking photos for convention attendees in the lobby, my friends and I had the opportunity to meet Ming Chen from Comic Book Men as he was headed off to a panel. For me, it was one of those odd occurrences where a friendly guy came up and said hi and complemented us on costumes and took pictures with us before it even dawned on me who he was. I recognized him, but I recognize a lot of people and I have met a lot of people. He was really cool though. I do wish I had been dressed as a tougher character then Dorothy at that moment but it’s all good.

With Ming Chen

Of course I got to meet Scott Christian Sava! I love meeting writers and artists whose work I enjoy regardless of how long ago I read the piece. I know I finished book 3 of The Dreamland Chronicles around 2009. So it’s been awhile and I am a little rusty on the story outside of being another piece I read very quickly. That’s the sign for me. If I read a book (any book) fast I am definitely enjoying it. I enjoyed The Dreamland Chronicles very much. I am very excited to read the next three books, but I started rereading book 1 to refresh myself. Anyway, meeting Scott was wonderful. Apparently, he had seen my blog and was looking forward to meeting me but was not aware it was me when we met. That’s pretty cool. I got your message Scott. It’s just been a wild week. The pint sized Nastajia cosplayer has possibly inspired me to create a Nastajia cosplay in the future. I am not sure when yet but it’s definitely a possibility.

With Scott Christian Sava

Seeing David Finch on Sunday was definitely the top highlight for me. While walking near his booth dressed as Cirque White Rabbit I said to my friend I should try to jump in there and wave hello but I didn’t. I didn’t because I remember my days of being a regular convention attendee and standing on those long lines and being frustrated with line disruptions. In fact, the first time I met David Finch was at the 2009 NYCC and I waited on a two hour line spending most of the time sitting on the convention floor and chatting with the other people on the line. So I have been in the shoes of the people on the line. I am more than okay to swing by at a later time when the line is shorter. However, David saw me and left his line to take a photo with me! I never ever expected that to happen. Not ever. I was shell shocked when I realized David was tapping me for a picture. Originally I had planned on wearing the regular White Rabbit because David was at the show, but my cirque group got together. I think he must have seen the costume from the WWNYCE show because I wasn’t with my group when he saw me at BCC and to most people I just look like a random rabbit costume. For those that don’t know, David Finch created the design for White Rabbit. I was cosplaying his character and as far as I know no one else has drawn her yet. Another character on my “cosplay to do list” is Aphrodite IX. Maybe one day. Anyway, we took pictures and I apologized to his line of waiting fans who shouted back that they weren’t upset but a little jealous.

Myself with David Finch in 2009
2013 with David Finch.

The cosplay at the show was amazing, but being a cosplayer I am biased because pretty much all the copsplayers I know from the East Coast were there and I love their work. Am I not a ball of happiness? What I find interesting is the amount of people I knew there and did not bump into regardless of the small venue. I found out once I got home from BCC.

I can't get enough of Mini Fire Star!

Alas, this was Baltimore for me. It’s a great show. The staffing was excellent as well. My only real suggestion to the show is to maybe have the aisle signs hanging from the ceiling rather than on the floor. I had a hard time navigating and never thought to look at my feet until I randomly noticed the labels on the floor.

For 2014, the Baltimore Comic-Con is expanding to a 3 day convention and it will be utilizing the entire convention center from what I hear. I am curious to see how this changes the format of the convention. I felt that the size of the show room floor was perfect for the amount of attendees. Saturday was busier then Sunday, but at no time did I feel it was over crowded. I like the idea of the additional day, but I am curious what the added space will bring.

I don’t think I will be able to return to Baltimore Comic-Con next year (I have another engagement), but I will be interested to hear how the show is with the new space. I will be looking forward to hearing about it.

With Ivy Doomkitty!
Dorothy, General Zod, and the Wicked Witch.
Cirque du Gotham with artist Griffin Ess.