Capital City Comic Con
It’s a little pet peeve of mine. I never got Rico Ross on my Wishmaster poster. I’m pretty sure I didn’t know he was even in the movie when I met him in Chicago all those years ago, but moreover, I probably didn’t even have the poster started that. Still, he plays such a fun character in it… The cop role really works for him. So it’s always buged me that his autograph is not on my poster. When I saw Capital City Comicon advertising him along with an Aliens reunion… I started to waiver. I mean, Lansing is a much tougher drive than Detroit. It’s over three hours and gas is still 4.50 or more. However, it was my birthday and I had a little extra cash… so I took the day off from work, and headed out Friday night.
I chose Friday night specifically because it’s a good deal cheaper than Saturday. And that kind of cost is what had me thinking I was rolling into one of those big souless mega cons, and I was really just on a mercenary mission to sneak in, get my autographs and sneak out. It be good to have Spunkmeyer on my Aliens poster, and I also had a stack of Hope comics with me. This is a sort of superhero title that my acquaintance Dirk Manning wrote. I see Dirk probably half a dozen times a year, but I’ve never met his collaborator, artist K Lynn Smith. I figured I’d grab her autographs on these books while the getting was good.
Lansing is a smaller town than I had expected. The convention center is plenty big, but the city itself is kind of small, like Akron… I didn’t have to drive too far to find free street parking. Still, the prospect of walking 2 1/2 blocks in unfamiliar territory was definitely enough to get me to leave my Shadow costume behind. Walking into the convention center, you get the impression that shows been around for a while. The whole operation is running smoothly, like a well oiled machine. A Big dealers room in the main hall, two tables set up, one for pre-registration and one for tickets at the door. I did notice however, down the other hall, just passed the restrooms, were two smaller conference rooms being used for panels. Capital City does set up a main stage in the main hall, a place for the celebrities to give their panels as well as events like the costume contests or the odd wedding. But these smaller conference rooms are also holding panels. Smaller stuff, exploring fandom, or writers workshops. That’s exactly the sort of panel that you expect to see at a smaller show… Exactly the sort of thing I love. I was both surprised and pleased to see it here, because It’s also usually the first thing that gets dropped when the convention grows.
One thing that hasn’t dropped though, is the autograph prices. In fact it’s going up. You’re gonna see me doing fewer and fewer autographs these days, mostly just filling holes in my collection like I was on this trip. They’re charging too much for D-List celebrities (Supporting players who were never leads) who are signing their name and then personalizing it to you… that isn’t a collectible, but they’re certainly charging collectible prices, and it makes me feel bad paying it. Still, it was nice to catch up with Rico and chat a little bit about his time on Doctor Who. Ms. Smith was delightful as well, choosing different colored markers design different colored covers… I pulled out the comics and she grinned holding up her markers in the light. “I’m ready!“ It was a fun encounter.
One of the things that really struck me at this convention where the number of environments set up for photo ops. The Mandalorian crew had brought up a whole Star Wars set, and a local maker had set up a monsters Inc. environment. The lost in space robot was out here as well, and so we’re several celebrity cars… Parked on the far side of the main hall. I mystery machine, a weird Gothic Hot rod, and my delight, the car from knight rider. I grabbed a random passerby and finally fulfilled a lifelong dream of getting a photo with K.I.T.T. Literally, I had this car right after college, but it was white… And even today the Imid heads up display in my car features the K.I.T.T. interface. This was an absolute delight for me. Also nice that the cars were set up simply as exhibits… No charge, no donation, just come and see them. I really didn’t complain too much dropping a five dollar bill to see the DeLorean from back to the future last month at Fanboy Expo Columbus, and I was OK paying a similar amount to sit in the back to one way back in 2014 when they featured it at Horrorhound Cincinnati… But I gotta admit, I’m much more appreciative when they just have the cars out for you to ogle and photograph. Speaking as the owner a Batmobile, that’s what I do. I’ve never charged anybody for a photo with my Bat car!
The extra photo op areas does seem to be a trend that I’m seeing more and more of, and I really dig it. There was also an FX artist on the other side of the room featuring gigantic towering replicas of Groot and the Demogorgon from stranger things. All of these environments actually made me kind of glad I wasn’t wearing a costume! It all really adds value to the convention… And I have to say, Capital city really went out of his way to do just that. There’s a lot more heart here than I expected, and a lot more to explore and do. This one’s actually a big recommend to anybody in the area, and quite frankly, let’s just see what gas does next year. Because if I can swing it, I think I might just be back to do a full day there next time.