Monday, August 24, 2015

Geek on the Street: Reporting Back from Connecticut Comic Con 2015

Symbol for the con,
leading the way!
What is the magic recipe for a perfect convention experience?  Clearly, that show would need to have excellent guests, both from the entertainment and comic book industries; an excellent show floor offering a wide array of vendors and their wares; a kick-ass schedule of panels and events; and an all-around positive energy extending throughout the convention venue.  To be called “TerrifiCon” in 2016, this summer’s Connecticut Comic Con was an excellent example of what happens when all of these elements are brought together into that all-important blend.  The convention offered a little bit of everything and was a joy to attend.

The first thing to consider when attending these smaller conventions, of which we have learned there are many during the summer months, is the venue.  As I have told you previously, even the most unexpected of sites can be transformed into place of magic and fun by the right convention experience.  However, when a show is located in an already cool venue, the possibility of pleasure is all the more heightened.  The Connecticut show took place in Mohegan Sun, a tremendous casino hotel resort.  By being in such lavish digs, there was already a touch of class added to this convention.  The site itself was a destination worth visiting, making attending the show feel even more like a summer getaway than your average convention trek.

Death of Superman Panel,
featuring Mike Carlin, Jerry Ordway,
Louise Simonson, Dan Jurgens,
& Jon Bogdanove
This classy atmosphere extended throughout all of the events and was epitomized by the kindness and generosity of all of the celebrity guests.  Consider this: during this one short weekend, we were able to meet John Wesley Shipp, television’s original Flash; Greg Pak, a contemporary comic book creator and pioneer of self-publishing comics via Kickstarter; the voice of Batman himself, Kevin Conroy; and comic book writing legend Roy Thomas.  Because of the convention’s mid-level size, lines remained manageable, making having ALL of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences all the more possible.

In addition, the convention planners took full advantage of their incredible guest list, including many of the talent in Q&A sessions as well as moderated panels.  Sunday, for example, was so chock full of incredible panels that we found ourselves staying in a single panel room for three hours!  Often, convention agendas will have dull periods or lulls, but this show proved that, even without spending an extra dime in the vendor’s room, one can have an amazing convention experience just by taking advantage of what the organizers have planned in the event schedule.

View of the lobby of CT Comic Con
This show was the clearest proof to me of what I have claimed all summer: although the huge conventions will likely always remain the focal points of our geek calendars, it is at the smaller cons where we can maximize the potential of being Geeks on the Street.  We can meet more of our heroes, buy more collectibles (often at more manageable price points), and can bask in the glory of being nerds for more than just a single weekend per year.

Until next time, this is your official Geek on the Street Dr. Kelly wishing you a Glorious Geek Day!

Article by Kelly I. Aliano, PhD

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