Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baltimore Comic Con 2009 - Day Two


Any day that starts with people bringing bacon right to my door is a good day. With that in mind, my associate Ray Cornwall brought up a point in my report on the con yesterday that I was a bit slight on the positives of the Baltimore Comic Con. There are lots, beginning with the fact that the very cool hotel, the Tremont Plaza Hotel, was chosen by the Con. Indirectly, the bacon comes from them.

Other than the sound problems and the partitioned rooms, everything about the BCC is very well put together and nearly flawless. It's like a smaller, more friendly New York Comic Con, and that's a compliment. I really appreciate the focus on comics over pop culture, unlike other cons of recent years. Well organized, amazing guests, they even hosted the Harvey Awards - really, what can I say bad about them? I look forward to coming back again and again.

Ring Bearer

The day continued to start bright even before we entered the con. Just outside we saw Berni Wrightson and Steve Niles on a smoke break, marvelling at a great "Groverfield" t-shirt. From there we were just steps away from one of the best costumes of the con, the new Mr. Terrific, and he was accompanied by two members of the Junior Justice Society. The good day had only just begun.

One of my friends back home had asked me to pick up prop rings from DC Comics' Blackest Night. I didn't think the various colored rings would be available yet but the DC booth was on the agenda either way. I was right about the rings but DC was giving out the Black Lantern ring (thanks!) and Steven Schreck kindly played ring-model for all the prop rings to come. Apparently a full set will be available shortly from your local comics shop. While I have a certain distaste for events and crossovers, I am enjoying Blackest Night, and the little promotional props, like these rings, make the experience that much cooler.


I mentioned earlier how Baltimore's con was much friendlier than others I've attended. It's true. While there was a lack of news due to the retailers meeting tomorrow - the big guns saving the announcements for Diamond as opposed to the folks who actually buy their products - there was a very cool sense of community here at Baltimore.

Yesterday I met some folks I hadn't seen in some time, said hello to new and old friends and met some folks I had only previously known online. But I also made new friends, just striking conversations up with strangers just because we obviously shared a common hobby. This is how the first conventions I attended back in the 70s and 80s were, back in the dark ages before the internet, before we were global and 'knew' everybody on a social network.

For instance I chatted casually with a gentleman and his son who had come up from the south. He was taking a rest as I was taking notes. Our conversation went on and off as we each did our thing. We compared hotels, cons and I told him where to find Coca-Cola. The best part of the chat was the bit I wasn't a part of. The man and his son were of two distinct nerd (and I mean nerd in a good way) generations. Dad would reference the Fantastic Four and the son would parry with Halo. In a geeky way it warmed my heart.

Later when my friend Ray joined me we started talking with a gentleman named Jonathan with whom we chatted for nearly two hours. The passion of which I spoke yesterday burned bright as our conversation jumped from Alter-Ego to Blackest Night from Dark Reign to the identity of the Red Hulk. It never descended into Trekkie or "Big Bang Theory" levels of fanboy-ishness but stayed a positive exciting exchange between people who love their hobby. Now that is what these cons should be about. Community.

Thanks to the Baltimore Comic Con for their cooperation and accommodation. This has been one of the more fun and fulfilling shows I've attended. Thanks for the opportunity. I look forward to the chance to come back.

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