I was looking forward to going to Akron Comicon this year. I really enjoyed myself there last year and this time around i was bringing my daughter Maddie. She wanted a Star Sapphire costume and had been bugging me to make her one for probably six months, certainly ever since Free Comic Book Day. She noticed a statue of the character at York Comics. I had my Spider-Ham costume all ready.
They were holding it at Quaker Square this year, and I really love that venue. i used to slip over there during Star Trek Conventions at The John S Knight center next door. Akron Comicon outgrew it’s venue before the first show had even finished last year so this made sense.
I arrived a little later than I had expected, but figured we’d rush in and maybe still make the costume contest. After all, one of the vendors had mentioned to the promoter that he should really only expect about maybe 200 more people in a second year.
He was wrong. The line stretched out the door, and according to one of the workers, it stayed that long until around 3:00. I’m not sure how to feel about this. I like this con, but I don’t like big…
Room was proving a problem again as well, I was unable to make the Siegle and Schuster Society panel and that was a big bummer. I’m still hoping to get video of that panel and maybe Chris Yambar’s as well.
Still, we had a nice time, and saw a lot of friends there. We did some shopping and Maddie got a My Little Pony book straight from the artist who drew it (Thomas Zahler who was nice enough to sign it for her). I got most of my books signed myself. One of the highlights of the day was talking with Ron Frenz as he signed my Thunderstrike and Superman books. He loved the Spider-Ham costume and after he finished signing, he said “Okay, now I need to get a photo for Tom DeFalco!” yeah, that made my day.
My Spider-Ham costume was a really big hit by the way. I think I took more photos for people and with people than I ever have in any other costume. It’s not that I put an extraordinary amount of work into it…it’s just that not a lot of other people have ever decided to cosplay this character before. The costume was given to me but let’s face it; at my age and more importantly, at my girth, I can’t really pull off Spider-Man. A plump Spider-Pig on the other hand, is cute. About half of the people got it. A lot thought i was being the Spider-Pig from the Simpson’s movie. Every ten minuets I’d hear someone singing Homer’s Spider-Pig song at me and I’d start dancing….
I felt a little bad actually. I got a lot more attention than Maddie, but the people who looked at her and recognized her were the ones in the know and they loved it. Those were the people who really appreciated her costume. One of the best photos I took that day was of Maddie and one other cosplayer who had done herself up as an Indigo tribe, complete with glowing staff. She mentioned that she had heard about a Star Sapphire walking around the con and she had been looking for my Maddie. I made sure to get a picture of the two of them together.
Maddie got to participate in the comic book making workshop with the Elyria Comic Book Initive this year, but it wasn’t exactly what she had been expecting. She came up with some interesting drawings though and we still had fun there.
My single biggest disappointment this year was with Jon Bodgnov. One of the iconic Superman artists of the 90’s he was probably my most wanted autographs. However I was also on a little bit of a time table as I had to have Maddie at a birthday party at 5:00 (and keeping my promise to my daughter was important). I didn’t make it over to Jon’s tale untill after the Superman panel, a little after 3.:00. he was busy with a sketch and his line was around the corner. I waited until 2:45 and never got any closer. I was a little heartbroken. However I was in line next to one of the members from the POP comic club I attend so with great embarrassment and regret I passed him my two books and asked if he could get them signed (and I’ll pick them up in a week at the next Pop meeting). He was nice enough to say yes.
We had a lot of fun, despite the roadbumps, and to be fair, most of my problems at the con this year were of my own making (being chronically late and having my seven year old along caused most of it). It’s a growing con and one of the better ones in the area. It’s a remarkable con in that it seems to be growing very quickly yet has NO media guests, just comic book people. No TV or movie or anything like that…and I actually really like that. I hope it stays that way. It’s proven that it can be a success without them. I’ll be back next year, but I think I better get there a lot earlier and with more of a plan. I’ll also miss Quaker Square if it moves again (which I expect it will, due to size). I loved the brick look, but really wish the panel room and the EICB workshop room had been swapped.
TONS of photos follow (most were taken by seven-year-old Maddie, but I’ll admit I swiped a few from people on Facebook too).