I went and upgraded my Voltron costume a while back adding lights and details and even the sword to it, and it was enough to make fall back in love with the suit!
I went and upgraded my Voltron costume a while back adding lights and details and even the sword to it, and it was enough to make fall back in love with the suit!
Steel City Comic Con was this weekend, but that’s a bit big for me, especially with celebs charging an extra $20 for a photo at thier table on top of autograph charges. That didn’t stop me from sending my Victor Crowley poster with a friend to get signed, but I digress….
While we were taking a con break this weekend, Maddie finally got around to doing her own video reviews of the last couple shows she attended! I’m always interested to get her perspective on the conventions we attend. Below you’ll find her reviews of both Hazard Con and NEO Comiccon!
“Hey! Can I be your leg?”
A blue blur raced towards me. It was a cosplayer in a plushie blue outfit that reminded me of Sonic the Hedgehog. My little con buddy Maddie giggled as she whipped out the camera – after all, Voltron haven’t even made it into NEO Comiccon yet!
Sometimes when a convention changes hands, an anxious feeling of uncertainty can arise – that certainly seems to be the case with the uncertainty surrounding Akron Comic Con right now. With NEO though, there was never any doubt. After founding anr running the show for the past four years, Shawn Belles had decided to hand it off to Eric Anderson, the proprietor of Comic are Go. Anderson is a regular vendor on the con circuit and is well known and respected… and it doesn’t hurt that his store happens to be my favorite comic shop. He pulled the show off and kept it the same con that we know and love. If nothing else, the event maintained enough continuity that you probably wouldn’t even know there was a new promoter unless somebody told you. That’s good because I love this show, especially since it’s so close to home. The Soccer Sportsplex where it’s held is about a ten minuet drive from where we go to Church. Maddie and I hit the early service and then headed down the street to the con.
We knew from previous years that you couldn’t show up too late and still expect to get parking on site. We pulled in a little after eleven to find that the lot was full. I swung around and backed my little black car against a fence, creating my own parking space. While Maddie was high fiving me in the front seat, four other cars pulled in next to me, the five of us creating the last half a row of parking possible in the grass.
“I feel weird going into a convention without a costume!” Maddie complained to me. The thing is I don’t disagree with her. It reminds me of that first time out to the late and lamented Shinbokucon. I arrived in jeans and an Excel Saga shirt and felt woefully out of place among all the other cosplayers. Nevertheless I assured Maddie that in this 90° heat, she wasn’t going to want to be suited up all day – we’d do our shopping, say hello to friends, get autographs and armor up after lunch.
I brought a collection of interlocking Green Lantern covers for Paul Pelletier to sign. I had actually met him the previous day at a signing held by Comics Are Go. He and Matt Horak had popped into the shop for a couple of hours to sign comics and talk about the industry.It was a great time, almost like having my own personal panel with them. Pelletier described his early days breaking into the industry;
“I actually got into the Kubert school but then discovered I couldn’t afford to attend, so I went to work at the shoe place by day, doing comic books pencils practically for free on the side. I was drawing Ex-Mutants for Malibu and the guy who was inking the book also did work for DC. Some of his bosses there started to notice my pencils and asked ‘who is this guy that’s drawing for you?’ He gave them my information and they called me, I didn’t even have to send samples”
It’s a fascinating story, because his breakthrough into the industry wasn’t just about luck, there’s obviously a lot of hard work involved as well as being in the right place at the right time. He’s done amazing work on Aquaman and Justice League for the new 52 (I ALMOST pulled the trigger on one of his Superman prints – but it’s that new 52 outfit and I just can’t bring myself to spend money on Superman unless he has red shorts….) and I was stoked to have my books signed. We noted it was funny that while he’d always been more of a Marvel fan, most of his work had been done at DC.
While Tony Isabella was technically the guest of honor this year, the real draw for me was Tom Mandrake. Mandrake is probably best known for his legendary run with John Ostrander on the Spectre. I remember my buddy Mike Roop having a bunch of those glow in the dark covers, but I never really started reading books until very recently.I’m not sure why. They’re totally down my alley, and what’s interesting is we even see some crossover with us Ostrander’s Suicide Squad.
I didn’t just have just a stack of Spectre though, I had a curiosity with me. Mandrake did a single issue of Shadowman – something I found odd. I pointed out to him that I wasn’t aware of much work that he done with Valiant and asked if he was a regular there.
“Actually, that’s the thing, I didn’t do much work with them”, he said in slight bewilderment. “I don’t even remember how I got this job – they probably called me up because they needed an issue done quick. Back in those days we were all a lot closer in the industry…”
I grabbed some resin landscapes from a miniature dealer who was creating a variety of interesting things – since the rise of 3-D printing and the popularity of Perler beads, I don’t really see too much resin and looking at these figures you can realize exactly what a shame that is. I’m really excited to paint these and use them for photography with action figures and HeroClix. Maddie scored a Simpsons comic from Chris Yambar. He is a regular stop for her when ever we are at a convention.
I grabbed a Green Hornet poster at the local TV station’s booth and we moved on to Rubber City Cosplay to sign up for the costume contest. I noted that on the line above my entry there was another set of names with the series “Voltron”. I looked up at Cody and asked “Is there another Voltron costume here today?”
He nodded. “They’re playing a couple of the characters – Keith and Link.”
Maddie and I looked at each other.
“We’ve got to find these guys to get a picture!”
Indeed, we’d already spend much of the day chasing down cosplayers for pictures. Coming in to the show, Maddie had spied a girl dressed as Pokemon’s Serena. It’s Maddie’s favorite character, and she’d actually had her Serena custom on the previous weekend. She was totally excited to see another one. We also ran into my wife’s friend Crystal in her Miss Piggy outfit. She had nailed the character. it wasn’t just the ig nose or the blonde wig, what really sold it was the eye makeup. Big black lashes and heavy eyeliner, topped with purple eye shadow, I had never realized until that moment how essential all that is to the look.
We followed a trail of feathers on the ground to find Cruella Deville, but my favorite costume of the day was Chubby Bunny Cosplay, dressed as the Evil Queen from Snow White. Not only was the costume perfect, she had brought props that just made the look. A goblet that frothed (with cotton) and glowed (with LEDs), a magic mirror and a large spell book (which was hollow and served to carry her hone and wallet!). Maddie and I both cheered when she won the Adult division in the costume contest.
It was after 12:30 and Maddie was getting hungry so we headed out front and caught the shuttle bus. The viehicle was brimming with hustle and bustle, cosplayers all around us. It took us down the road a bit to the local college where there was overflow parking for the convention. The welcoming sight of a McDonald’s loomed across the street. Maddie and I nipped across the intersection to grab lunch and cool down under the air-conditioned golden arches. By the time we had eaten and got back to the show, it was just after one and we are ready to suit up.
About 17 hours before the convention, Maddie had come to me asking if we could pull her Iron Sapphire, – she hadn’t worn it in two or three years, and I knew it would have to be altered. We dug through the attic and found most of the pieces, I cancelled my plans to see Troll 2 at the Cedar Lee, and get to work adding inserts and extensions in the armor to make it fit a 13-year-old girl instead of an 11-year-old. (and here I had thought that since I finished my upgrades on Voltron Friday morning, I wasn’t going to have to deal with any con crunch this weekend!) While we’re at it, we added extra lights, rebuilt the mask and tiara and completely revamped the mid-section for my daughter who is now taller and – well, shaped differently then she had been a few years ago. By 1 o’clock in the morning I had painted pieces drying on the porch and was ready for bed. It’s a little nerve wracking though, we were breaking one of my general rules – always try on the whole thing together before bringing it out to a show. It turned out to be okay – the midplate didn’t go up quite high enough, but it was forgivable and Maddie darkened up the Star Sapphire logos on her shoulders with a sharpie while we were in the car, giving it that final touch. I suited up as Voltron and never even made it into the convention center before getting stopped three times for photos. The addition of the sword to the costume is something that had often been requested of me, this time around I decided to not only create it but to do so in the anime tradition – that is, oversized and detailed. I had taken care to make sure that it was removable – the hilt had no paint on it since it would probably just rub off from being inserted into the lion heads that form to my hands. One of my favorite things during this show was to hand the sword over to people who wanted pictures with me and show them holding it in the photo. By the end of the convention we got the hang of pulling the sword out of the lion head using two hands with a sharp upward motion and then lining up to the holes and steadily inserting it back in.
As we passed Archie Cunningham‘s booth, he waved us over, delighted and wanting a picture.
“Hang on, and I’ve got something for you!”
He reached under his table and produced one of his prints of Voltron : Legendary Defender and presented it to me.
“I was so upset with how the series ended, and I think it’s last time I’m ever going to draw him this way. I’m gonna go back to the classic – the way you look!”
We wandered around, taking pictures with Pennywise, a space marine, even a xenomorph from Aliens! Maddie got in on the act as well taking photos in her Iron Sapphire outfit and had a generally good time despite the uncomfortable armor (I had been right, even the three hours we were suited up was tough. We never would have made it through five hours). One of the vendor’s was nice enough to handle water bottles “I know how hot those things can get!” He suggested hooking up a old computer fan in the helmet perhaps to help cool me down.
When it was time to lineup for the costume contest, I was fortunate enough to be right behind the other Voltron cosplayers, and Maddie was right in front of another young woman in hand made Iron Man armor – the synchronicity was beautiful. My friend Rhonda was in the line next to us so we were surrounded by familiar faces.
We made one last pass at the dealers room, but shopping is always hard when you’re in a cumbersome outfit. Still, you never know what you might find. During that last pass, in an old toy booth, I spied it – a vintage 1979 Twiki action figure. It was in fact, the exact figure I’d been looking for at the Neotacc swap meet a couple weeks prior. I reached into the hidden pocket by my hip armor and grabbed my cash. I ended up paying about 25% more than I was really comfortable with on the toy, but I shouldn’t complain – it’s easily worth double what I paid, and routinely goes for much more on eBay. I definitely got a deal.
Finally it was time to pack things up and head home. The crest in my breast plate fell out as I was shuffling out of my armor – I had managed to perspire right through the foam. We cranked up the AC and left our makeshift spot in the now mostly empty parking lot. NEO Comiccon was still the great convention that it always has been and I’m glad to see it in good hands. We can’t wait to come back next year.
A man in a billowing black cloak approached me.
“Where were you yesterday? You would’ve been a shoe in at the masquerade!”
By my robotic side, my diminutive companion, resplendent in her Pokémon gear giggled. It was Sunday morning at Hazard Con.
In all fairness, I’m really not much more than a tourist when it comes to anime. However, my daughter just turned 13 and is slowly finding herself more and more ensconced n the genre – and she anticipates Anime conventions now with equal or greater interest than comic book conventions. While I had previously been content to include one every year, I get the impression we’re going to be hitting more of these as time goes on.
I had recently become aware of Hazard Con, though I never attended it before. It’s been about a decade since I need to drive into Erie Pennsylvania (is Erie Horror Fest even still a thing anymore?). It’s about two hours from Cleveland, but it’s not a hard drive – you basically drive in a straight line on a single freeway for the entire trip, the convention center being attached to a hotel that sits right by the exit.
We had chosen to come on Sunday for a couple of reasons. Hazard con does not offer single day passes for Friday or Saturday, you either by the weekend pass for $40 or simply go on Sunday when the admission is reduced to $15. Because it’s Sunday, hours are little shorter as well, with things closing up around 5 o’clock. That’s fine, I wasn’t even certain that Maddie would make it all the way to 5 o’clock. Besides, this seemed like a nice low key opprutunity to try out the newly repaired Voltron costume and see how the changes held up. Maddie for her part, was looking forward to bringing out her Serena outfit again.
In addition to a vendor‘s room, Hazard Con also sports a flea market – held for half a day in one of the panel rooms. If you think the dealers room is eclectic, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Movies and toys in bits and bobs littered the tables, and we resolved to come back and check it out a little bit later – that ended up being a mistake since we misjudged how long the market would last and by the time we returned, they were all packing up.
As we pressed further into the convention center, we passed the movie room, then rounded the corner and found ourselves face-to-face with a giant robot. I don’t just mean someone in a costume like a Voltron outfit I was wearing. No, there was an actual eight or 9 foot replica of one of the giant robots from Pacific Rim. Next to it was a small one person land speeder and they were both gorgeous! We took photos by the props before hassling into Kyle Herbert’s panel. Kyle is a voice actor – and an incredibly prolific one. He was a regular at the late and lamented Shinbokou Con. It was good to hear his casual and self-deprecating humor as he hosted a very informal panel – more of a talk with those of us in the crowd and the sort of easy back-and-forth that Herbert excels at.
Once his panel concluded, we proceeded to explore further – the vendor‘s room was in an adjacent wing. It seemed bigger than the ones I’ve seen at Woo-Con or Zipcon, but perhaps it was just the floor plan. Being set up in the atrium, the bright mid-day sun poured down on the room creating a warm and positive atmosphere – it was a remarkable effect. Inside, Maddie spotted a No-Face – one of the characters from Spirited Away. I prodded her and encouraged her to go and ask for a photo. The cosplayer happily greeted her. The No-Face’s arms slowly emerged from the inky blackness of it’s costume, and you could see a gold coin offered up in the black hand. No-Face had come bearing gold, just as it had in it’s movie. They were chocolate coins, and Maddie happily accepted them.
“Come pet our table!” One vendor shouted out. We wandered over to her table and noted half of it was covered in color changing spangles, and the other half was covered in soft fur. Among the curious wares were little stuffed dumpings. Each came with an adoption certificate and back story. Maddie had already dumped her con allowance into a pokeball with a small Pokemon and candy inside. I decided to grab a dumpling to take home to Lydia. It was by far the cutest thing I found in that dealer’s room. I grabbed a “Bag of Cheap” for myself and was excited to discover the blind bag contained Tenchi and Cyber City Odeo DVDs! I was hoping for Japanese candy – some of the more interesting Kit Kats or something, but didn’t find anything that really interested me. Nevertheless, I grabbed some more deals on a Cap figure and some Cash movies, topped off with a couple of buttons for my con bag.
We briefly checked out the tabletop room but they were between Pokémon tournament, and gaming is never really been a big thing for either of us. Around the corner and down in a separate hall we discovered the arcade. This game room flat-out puts to shame every convention video game room I’ve ever seen.Sure there were the tables with old systems set up for retrogaming just as you would expect, but what really drew your eyes as you entered was the room packed full of Japanese arcade machines – over a dozen games the US has never seen. There are familiar games like Dance Dance Revolution and some 2D fighters, but they were outnumbered by rhythm games and flashing light and spectacle. Maddie’s favorite was a rhythm game that involves two gigantic drums. Two players standing side-by-side would try and keep the rhythm with the graphics on the screen. I enjoyed seeing the Genesis set up again and the other retro games, in fact I probably could’ve spent all day in this room alone, but anime was calling our names!
We broke for lunch briefly and then hit the Anime room for three episodes of Seven Seeds. The second episode is really scary with some monsters on board and I wondered how Maddie was going to react – this stuff is more serious then a lot of the light-hearted magical girl things she watches, but she was entranced – and when they finally ended this run to break for the next panel, she was already insisting that we need to find more of this. It’s on Netflix by the way, it’s some good post apocalyptic stuff which probably appeals to Maddie‘s Hunger Games and Walking Dead sensibilities. Next up was the Studio Ghibli panel. Even I’m familiar with Miyazaki, indeed Spirited Away was the first film out of his studio that I ever saw (coincidently that was at Lake Effect Comic Con). It was interesting to hear a little more about the history of the studio and the idiosyncrasies of its creators. We headed back to the Anime room, but somebody had turned the air-conditioning way up to uncomfortable levels. Perhaps they were just trying to save us from having to watch the terrible Godzilla animation. We made one last pass at the game room and decided to call it a day. I was correct, Maddie didn’t last all the way until five, though she may have if that Anime room had frozen us out. We made our way out to the car around 4:15 to start the long trip home. This is one of those cons that is the exact right size for me, not too big not too small – I just wish it was closer to home. Nevertheless it looks like this might be one we come back to next year,and I’ll be interested in seeing what the guest list looks like then.
The Voltron suit is special to me because it was the first time I tried to do something recognizable and detailed. To this day, the nostalga it inspires is very gratifying.
This really says it all.
Straight off the bat, I’ve got to tell you… I love zip con. It really has taken the place of shinboku con for me as the convention for me to get my anime fix… they do such a great job at the University of Akron, managing to take what is a fairly massive show, and maintains the relatively intimate feeling that you get from smaller shows like cinema wasteland or NEO comicon. I had the great pleasure of being a part of this convention this year – I spoke in two different panels – one on cosplaying for charity and another on cosplaying on a budget (that being the panel that Bat-Mite crashed and also took part in….) I had already prepared remarks in advance and each went very smoothly. It was interesting to talk about sourcing materials at thrift stores or rescuing interesting looking wires and sticks from the trash, then combining them into something amazing you could wear out to visit the sick, the shut-ins, the forgotten.
It was a great deal colder this year than when we went last year… This really cast a bit of a cloud for Maddie, my little Jigglypuff. Still, she managed to find her very favourite Pokémon in the dealers room and perked right up. The dealers room hasn’t grown, although I did see some different faces there this year – I don’t know, I Kinda wish they’d open up the wall between the dealers room in the masquerade room and make that whole area one bigger dealers room, and then move the masquerade next door and move the Pokémon tournament to another space – I think this still has a potential for more vendors and better shopping, it’s really the only complaint that I have! We spent the day carrying around Maddies plush Poké Ball and inviting people to try and catch her – just watch!
On a personal note, this may be the last time Voltron comes out – I did some major repair work to components including legs and touch ups, but the wings are just a little bit to beat up and I misjudged where to reattach the shoulder lions, and as a result the chest piece doesn’t close correctly… I’m cringing at a lot of the photos I see and I’m not sure if it’s worth the effort to continue repairs on this one. We’ll see. The character is in the middle of a renaissance, and I saw three or four people around with Voltron shirts on, and I still get people coming up to me just SO excited to get a photo with him. Like I said, we’ll see.
The rest of the cosplay out there however, were spot on. From the shockingly brutal Wonder Woman to the functional WALL-E that was being rolled around by remote control, there was plenty to see. I love cosplay at an anime con…you never know what you are goung to see. I still try to stick with anime, but Voltron and Mazanger z are about all i’ve got…but I also saw Harleys and Jokers, Superman and Belle, Pokemon, five nights at freddys, even a dinoasur…(Voltron fighting the T-Rex may be my new favorite thing). The next day I discovered this marvelous video that shows some of the highlights.
I was a little surprised at the video game room. It seemed fuller last year, with more variety. I wonder if someone got delayed…I did see a bunch of TV that were set up, with nothing attached to them. Maddie decided she was mre interested in the board game room anyhow. We picked up the Pokemon Sorry game.
“I just need your name and some collateral.”
“Most people are leaving a driver license or phone.”
“Will a Voltron Lion head do?”
One of the monitors looked at the other.
“Exactly how am I supposed to describe this in the log?”
Pokemon tournaments were going on in the room next to the masquerade – complete with the cartoon playing on the big screen. The judge was going around inviting people in by giving them a card and Maddie was delighted to receive a Squritle for her collection. We hung out for a bit, watching cartoons and play but didn’t really get involved ourselves. Maybe next year…
One thing I love the best about the convention scene these days, is running into people that I know. In addition to the folks I did panels with like Nick, and Taylor, Ali, Amanda, or Jerry and Eric,it was cool to see Vito there in his Batman suit, or to run into Keith from one bad day cosplay, Ryan and Mason and the guys at rubber city cosplay, Knightmage, as well as my old friend Riley – the first time I ever did a convention with her was I was wearing this exact same suit, and that she was wearing the same rogue outfit as well. The other great thing about having friends there is I can swipe their photos for blog posts and video reviews – and you better believe Maddie has something to say about this show!
I think I’ve learned another lesson about doing conventions this time. If I’m going to bring the kids – I probably shouldn’t be doing panels or getting involved in the show… It sucks up so much of the time, that we end up not getting to do as much as we normally would like to – and that’s just not fair to the kids. Maddie felt that she spent too much of the day just kind of, sitting around. She’s not wrong, considering two hours of the day we spent with me talking in panel and her watching, and considering that the remainder of the day was us trying to plan our activities around those two panels. I’ll do better next time girls, I promise.
I’m deafinately coming back next year, I may try and bring both girls with me… I may even go without a costume – whatever I do though, I wanna take better advantage of the show. It’s such a great and fun convention, and I feel like I missed too much of it. We’ll be back.
And now…pictures. SO many pictures…
The focus on this con was comic creators, especially young and indy creators. Fred Van Lente was great to meet. I’ve been a real fan of Valiant both past and present, but the modern relaunched Valiant really has been knocking my socks off. Fred’s a veteran of Marvel, and I’ve got a number of things he’s written (which he happily signed) but what I’ve really been digging lately is his Archer and Armstrong. Seriously, this stuff is honestly better than the original run back in the 90’s and I told him so, which he considered high praise. I bought a stack of his Timewalker comics before moving on and really can wait to dig into these. Indeed, all around Valiant was well represented, but a lot of the creators at the show were ones I’ve already seen several times this year. Daryl Banks, Sean Forney, heck, just last week I saw them at NEO Con. Focusing on creators is a great idea, but it doesn’t take a lot of research to discover you have the same guests as everyone else in Ohio. Bringing in some different writers and artists would have helped. Still Daryl Banks is always a delight and was happy to sign a couple of Green Lanterns for me.
It’s odd, I didn’t even know about this show until about five days before it occurred. That’s a much bigger problem. I realize this is the first year, but it was the first year for NEOcon as well, and yet those guys got the word out, creating a huge buzz online and in person which resulted in HUGE crowds, and a packed house in Strongsville. In fact, NEO had been on my calendar since February. Cleveland Comic Con has been on my calendar since April and I’ve run into that promoter out and schmoozing at least three times this year. Look, not to sound boastful, but I’m plugged into the scene (See? no boasting. Seriously, who would brag about that???). I know what’s going on and I still almost missed this one. I can’t imagine how many other people simply didn’t know this show was going on, but I’ll tell you this; at 11, 12, 1 O’Clock on Saturday that big convention center was a ghost town.
Speaking of that huge venue, the Ohio Convention center was absolutely the wrong space for this show. It’s just so much bigger than they needed (I could have sworn their website said tables were sold out, yet I saw several empty tables), but not only is it too much space, it’s also hard to get into. Not only for guests, but vendors as well. I spoke with one who tried several diffrent entrances and got attitude from the venue workers. There was some expectation that locals at least might be familiar from attending the Ohio State Fair. I, standing in my Voltron outfit exclaimed “Do I LOOK like the kind of person who attends the Ohio State Fair???”. After a number of complaints, they parked a car with a sign out at the proper entrance, backing it into place around the time I was making my thrid pass trying to find the entrance (only the second pass for the guy in front of me – I know. I saw him miss it the first time). The $5 parking fee that the lot charges stacked on top of the $10 admission is a big problem as well. The cost is definitely too high for this kind of show, and part of that is reflective of the high cost of the venue. A hotel (with free parking) would have been better.
Cosplayers were in short supply, but the ones that were there were excellent. I was deligted to actually see a Daredevil and the Samus costume was spot on, complete with a light up laser. We discussed foam techniques for a while and I must say, the folks in Columbus are quite observant. Several noticed the coffee cans on my shoulders and the soda bottles on my wrists. Most of the time that escapes the people who admire Voltron. I’m glad I chose this one for this week, it was a big hit and I like think that if I hadn’t had to leave early I would have placed in the costume contest. In fact the person signing people up joked “If you have to go, can you just leave the costume here?”
As the day passed they did begin to trickle in a bit more and then…hmmm. This guy (the dragon rider – He usually wears Frankinberry)showed up again, pulling his old tricks of arriving just before the contest. This is beginning to bother me. Just as well I had to leave early.
There were some good looking panels going on. I say good looking because I didn’t make it to any of them. The website had no schedule of events or list of panels so I didn’t knwo if there would be any or when they would be. I complained about this with NEO con and I’m complaing about it here too. Programming is the lifeblood of a con. Without it, the show is just a bazaar (I’m looking at YOU Jeff Harper). If you advertise the programming in advance I will plan around it. I will figure out when is best to break out the costume (what’s optimal, bit for me and the convention), when to shop and when to hang out. I’m WAY more likely to stay longer, and in the long run, staying long means shopping more. It benefits both the convention and the attendees, not to mention the vendors.
By the way, vendors? I have to give serious complements to Tricon for assembling one of the best groups of vendors at any convention I’ve been to this year. Great deals, exciting finds, just great dealers. Over at the Hyve of Villainy I found these Buck Rogers ships that blew my mind. They had no idea where they came from (a little research turned up this : http://reflectionsonfilmandtelevision.blogspot.com/2012/09/buck-rogers-day-galactic-playset-hg.html), but knew that at $5 each, I’d regret it if I walked away without them. This booth is also the first and only place I’ve ever seen that cardboard ZorCom space ship/station (Take a good look at that photo above. The ship is up there in the upper left hand corner) outside of a comic book ad. It took me aback for a moment, but I immediately recognized it. Just astonishingly cool. Seriously, check these guys out on thier website.
Hyve wasn’t the only great vendor there though. Almost as soon as I came in I found a worn, played-with Catra for $2! Even in costume I snatched that up and slipped it in the hidden pocket of the Voltron suit. After I got out of costume I decimated the 5 for $1 bin, not to mention the great deals over at Gem City (i saw them at Indiana Comicon too – these guys have a nice set up and great prices)I found myseld picking up dent and scratch discounted editions of the Walking Dead Omnibus vol 1 and 2 for $15 (normally $60 each). I got Lydia a Barbie book for $1 and Maddie recieved the Graphic Novel adaption of Treasure Island by Roy Thomas (Picked up for $2). Shopping just as good as Lake Effect ComicCon. Maybe better. Makes me feel all the worse that the turnout was so light (that’s according to one of the vendors themself, and they’d really being the position to know), but I spent twice as much as I budgeted for this con so I did my part to try and make up for it.
One of the reviews on TriCon’s facebook page calls it “The convention Columbus deserves”. With Mid-Ohio con being taken over by Wizard world and not a whole lot of smaller shows in the area, the reviewer has a point. Columbus needs a nice mid-size comic focused con. They deserve one, and TriCon could be it. They really could be, but they’re not. At least, not yet. Great vendors and a really good focus on creators ( the dealers room was evenly divided between the two and I really respect that), TriCon has the right idea, but they are in dire need of a better venue and MUCH better advertisement. Unless I see some big changes for next year (if there IS a next year – vendors springing for $500 tables with little foot traffic can absolutely kill a show) both in planning and on the website I can’t see myself going back. The thing is, I WANT them to succeed. I can see what this could be, and I really hope it grows into just that – the convention Columbus deserves.