The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

State of the Con 2022

I’ve been prepping for Toyhio this weekend, getting a want list ready and checking my comic database. Along with this, I have also been checking out the state of the comic con in general, trying to plan my schedule for the year.

It’s a new landscape on the convention circuit right now. It’s still ever shifting, but definitely not the same thing I am used to. Zipcon has canceled this year. Cleveland ConCoction has canceled for the third time, and I just heard from the show runner that Youngstown Comicon is also sitting things out again this year. There’s no word on Hall of Fame, Cleveland Comic Con  or the Lorain Comic and Toy Expo. But it’s possible those still might go on. There’s even some rumblings that dark Xmas might return, but all are iffy.

Lake Effect Comicon is gone. So are Dark X-fest, Geekfest and Woo-con. Retro Invasion looks like it might be dead as well. Akron Canton is changing both its name and it’s venue, and dropping the costume contest. That’s a shame, because it was the main thing keeping me driving out that far for a Harper show.

Of the ones that remain, there’s still challenges to navigate. Both Great Lakes Comic Con and RathaCon are requiring guests to be masked at all times. Quite frankly, I don’t want to drive several hours for a show that I’m just going to have to mask up for, so those are off the schedule this year. So are a number of the anime conventions in the area. A lot of these shows are requiring proof of vaccination. I have my card, and I AM fully Vaxxed, but I am not willing to “show my papers“ just to go into a convention or concert. That’s not a move I support.

So what’s left? Below is my tentative convention schedule. Where I’m going, and whether or not I’ll have Maddie accompanying me. There’s several new shows that we’re going to try out for the first time this year and I’m hoping it’ll be good. The big autograph shows, Horrorhound, Day of the Dead, and Steel City, look like they’re all still going, but none have posted any guests I’m interested in. We will be hitting the road with my buddy Mike for Horror Realm though. There’s a Halloween/Escape From New York alum showing up there, and I still need to get Tiffany Shepis on my Victor Crowley poster. Besides, I generally have fun
out, and the drive isn’t too brutal. Wasteland is still on the schedule as well, autograph prices have traditionally been more reasonable there, and it feels like one of my last strong holds… The last bastion of hope in the horror convention world LOL!

I only did about a dozen shows last year, and about a third of them were just marketplaces. I’m trying to include more genuine conventions this year, because I really do miss those gatherings and those kind of people. Still, this year’s list is not much longer than last years, and I’m not sure how that bodes for the future of the convention scene. In a marketplace that was already too crowded, the plague really just hastened the death of a lot of small start ups… That damnable Wizard World survived, but in a smaller format and with re-branding. I still worry that they’ll choke out the remainder of the small, intimate and friendly conventions I prefer. Still, it’s my hope that the ones that have survived the plague have proven themselves resilient enough to go on.

Here’s my current con schedule for this year.

(BTW, the three Westlake shows are all Harper shows – basically marketplaces rather than cons, but they’re so close to home that it’s still worth hitting if I have nothing better to do.)

Date Show City State Who
Mar-5 Horror Realm Pittsburg PA Matthew and Mike
Mar-13 Fantasticon Toledo OH Maddie and Matt
Mar-20 Cle Comic & Nostalgia Westlake OH Matthew
April 8-10 Cinema Wasteland Stronsville OH Matthew
May-15 Hazard Con Erie PA Maddie and Matt
May-28 Fanboy Expo Columbus OH Maddie and Matt
Jun-12 Pulp Fiction Westlake OH Matthew
Jun-25 Monster Bash ? Pittsburg PA Matthew
Jul-9 Mahoning Comic Con Youngstow OH Maddie and Matt
Jul-31 NEO Comicon N. Olmsted OH Maddie and Matt
Sep-17 Erie Comicon ? Erie PA Check covid regs
Sep-30 Cinema Wasteland Strongsville OH Matthew
Oct-2 Cle Comic & Nostalgia Westlake OH Matthew
 
Time to hit the road.

 

 

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