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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baltimore Comic Con 2014

Event: Baltimore Comic Con (baltimorecomiccon.com)

Location: Baltimore, MD

Dates: September 5-7, 2014

Venue: Baltimore Convention Center

Price: $25-$150 depending on the ticket type

Years: Began in 2000

Attendance: 15,000+

Guests: Nearly 200 comic writers and artists plus media guests Peter Mayhew and Joel Hodgson

Overview: The Baltimore Comic Con is a great traditional comic convention with a nice balance of vendors selling comics and toys coupled with a variety of comic writers and artists.

The location of the convention is ideal.  The Baltimore Convention Center is located within walking distance of the beautiful inner harbor, which is a great place to escape for a good meal or just a walk in the sunshine.  Inside, the convention makes good use of the cavernous basement rooms for the vendors and guests, while discussion panels are held in conference rooms upstairs.

The excellent organization is clear from the layout of the main room.  While many cons put all of their guests in one area causing congestion as multiple lines overlap, BCC avoids this problem by spreading the con guests throughout the large room.  This helps reduce congestion and encourages attendees to walk around the entire room.

Discussion panels included a celebration of The Phantom, teaching with comics, and the history of fanzines.  There were industry spotlights on Valiant, Dynamite, and Boom.  Guest panels included Gail Simone, Dave Gibbons, Matt Wagner, and Paul Levitz.

For Aquaman fans, the highlight of the convention was surely guests Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. Both enthusiastically talked with Aquaman fans and spoke about how much they missed working on that series each month. The two spoke positively of Geoff Johns and how they felt lucky to share a creator credit for the Others. Joe Prado was hopeful the upcoming Throne of Atlantis animated movie would be successful and hoped there could be an Aquaman and the Others animated movie in the future. Ivan Reis chimed in enthusiastically about that as well and both of them felt Mera was a fantastic heroine and deserved her own comic series. Reis shared his thoughts on how comics are the modern day place for artists to show the beauty of the human figure in action similar to the way statues were used in classic Greek and Roman art.  Joe Prado did a beautiful original drawing of Aquaman and Mera for us during the weekend as well.
Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez's eyes lit up when he saw Ruth was wearing a Mera t-shirt based on one of his illustrations.  We purchased a beautiful original Aquaman illustration from him and he was delighted to pose for a photo including the drawing and the two of us dressed in our Aquaman and Mera shirts.

Ron Randall was promoting his excellent comic series Trekker (Trekkercomic.com).  Aquaman fans may be familiar with him from his time on the Justice League comic. His daughter was helping run his booth and she shared that Aquaman was always a favorite of hers and that she felt he didn't get enough credit. We had a great conversation with Ron Randall about creator owned comics and the challenges of promoting them. We left with a stunning original drawing of sci-fi bounty hunter Mercy St. Clair.

Joe Staton, another DC alum, was promoting his current run on Dick Tracy.  Mike Zeck was also in attendance. He designed the DC Super Friends line including Aquaman that was covered on the Shrine here.

Sunday featured a costume contest as well as an outdoor photo op of the many cosplayers.  There was a spectacular Black Manta, but soon there were multiple voices calling out "Where's Aquaman?" and "Why didn't anyone cosplay as Aquaman?"  Let's hope someone remembers next year!

Sadly during the weekend we didn't see a single Aquaman or Mera cosplayer.  However we were pleased to see a couple of people with Aquaman t-shirts and several individuals commented that they liked our Aquaman and Mera shirts and lanyards.  That led to nice conversations about Aquaman being the best comic in the New 52 line and the opportunity to hand out some businesses cards promoting the Shrine.
In closing, we want to encourage fans to go out and attend a local comic convention if possible.  There are more and more of them popping up all the time.  When you go, be sure to see the guests, because they are there to meet the fans.  Plus, you might be amazed at the possibility of leaving with a great autographed print or even a piece of original art!

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Andy Luckett said...

Looks like a fantastic convention; thanks for the great report, Darren and Ruth!

I was thisclose to attending, just couldn't cover the last part of my shift. I had some friends who went and loved it. I'm in for next year!

Earth 2 Chris said...

Wow, looks like a great con. JLGL (PBHN)!!! Love how humble he looks in your pic. It belies his gigantic talent.

Thanks for the report!


Darrin and Ruth said...

Hi Andy and thanks for the kind words. This was our first year at BCC and it was a great con. We'll definitely be going again next year. So, if you are there too we should plan to meet!

Darrin and Ruth said...

Hi Earth 2 Chris and yes JLGL was kind, gracious, and soft spoken. A very nice man.