I have to hand it to Jeff Harper for keeping the con scene alive and continuing to run shows during the panic. Looking at the line on Sunday, which wrapped around the hotel, you can see that Cleveland is starved for comic con interaction.
Not sure if the long line was because there was more people, or because of the capacity limits. Probably a little of each. you know what you’re getting with the Harper show. It’s a flea market. Some deals, and some rare stuff that you’re going to have to pay for. The first thing I found was an adorable Godzilla plushie for five dollars. I hit the 50 Cent bins over at Hazel’s heroes pretty hard, not only filling a hole in my Batman Destroyer arc, but completing the Batman and the Shadow series (I swear, I never even saw these hit the shelves!) as well as finding a first issue of Deadpool the Duck. There were some good selections of art and interesting odds and ends. My buddy Mayday scored a Frank Robbins autograph for five dollars, and I grabbed a couple interesting figures from the dollar shelves (“I don’t usually do business with the Joker,” the dealer told me. “But since you’re paying cash…”). I topped off the day with a beat up Tales of the Unexpected from a quarter box – a real deal.
Even though this is not really a cosplay kind of show, I’m really glad I dressed up for this. There were maybe a dozen other people in costume, and there were a lot of kids in attendance. The Joker really brightened some peoples days (“There’s your change, Happy murdering!” another dealer told me as he completed our transaction).
The real highlight for me though was seeing con friends again. This particular show was nearby, about one exit off the freeway from my office and there were far more familiar faces her than at the Toyhio show last month. I ended up sticking around twice as long as I normally would at one of these events, just to hang out with friends.
I had wondered just how the convention scene would fare after the last year, but I learned anything, it’s that there’s still an audience for it out there, and cabin fever has firmly set in.