Sunday, August 9, 2009
Chicago Comic-con 2009 is over and done with!
So, here we are again at the end of another Wizard World Chicago aka Chicago Comic-con convention. Thoughts? There are many. Way too many to get into on here but here is a brief over-view.
I'm beat. Cons take more and more out of me as time goes by. My energy just gets zapped so quickly these days. By Sunday morning it took everything in my power to stand up and smile at folks when they came up to the booth.
No badges this year, just wristbands. I felt like I was at a bar or club instead of at a con. They did give badges out to the "pros" that registered for the show, but exhibitors, attendees, and publishers did not get them this year. I like the badges. People then know who is who at the various booths. I'm sure it was more cost effective than the badges, but still it made me sad.
Did I have fun? Sure! It's always great to see old friends, like Paul Storrie and Jeff Limke, Len and Susan Kody, Dan Dougherty and many more. That is my favorite part of any con, catching up with all of my con friends. I didn't get as much of a chance to hang this time around because I didn't get a hotel room this year, but it was still cool. Met some cool new folks, found some cool shit to buy, talked to some of Moonstone's newest crop of creators, and other craziness.
Overall, it was loads of fun. Was it a good show for Moonstone? In many ways HELL YEAH, and in other ways, not as good as years past. I really do think that the name change was a bad move for the con, but folks still made their way out. DC and Marvel as a no-show did indeed hurt. The con floor felt...a bit empty and sad. The aisles seemed bigger and there was the occasional area with chairs, an island for relaxation so to speak. Massages were also available for the tired and sore. (They weren't free, but it's a nice option). There were some free spots in Artist's Alley, but the rest of the area was pretty well packed with an assortment of pros, new and old, and up and coming artists too. The Artist's Alley area was probably the highlight of the show. I spent all of maybe 15 min. there due to my Moonstone booth commitment, but it looked hopping. All the Artist's Alley folks I talked to had a great show. So that is VERY cool indeed.
Thursday night was busier than years past, according to the rest of the Moonstone crew that was there. Friday was pretty sparse. Saturday was VERY packed and the A/C seemed to not be working much at all. I think there was just too many fanboys and girls packed into the con hall and then it was so damn hot and humid outside it was very tough for the A/C to keep it even close to cool in the hall. Once all the bodies cleared out and we got ready to leave the booth, it was as cold as the arctic. Sunday was rather sparse too. I'm sure Wizard will report "record" attendance numbers, but I'm not sure how they count those things. I just know by watching folks coming and going, and my occasional trip to the little girl's room or to get something to drink. Again, I never have time to go wandering the aisles at these shows, which is probably a good thing, because really how many Wonder Woman t-shirts does a gal need? I can't possibly fit any more Wonder Woman or Supergirl t-shirts in my dresser, so staying put at the Moonstone booth saves me money.
Here is something GREAT that happened at the show this year! They raised lots of cash for John Ostrander's eye operations/operations. So that is AWESOME! And John was even on hand to chat with fans. What a great guy. I'm so glad that so many fans and pros have stepped up to lend a hand to one of comicdom's superstars in his time of desperate need. $13,000 was raised at the after-hours auction alone! And John has said that any money raised above and beyond what he needs will be donated to the Hero Initiative to help fund any other comic creator in need.
I'm curious to know how the con's various after hours obscenely priced events went. I haven't heard from anyone that the attended, so I can't honestly say. I did manage to go see the after hours "Shooting the shit with Mark Millar" event. It was free, so I had no problem attending that. It was fun. I do love hearing the Scottish talk! I would have rather there was less question taking from the audience because they already had a question and answer session earlier in the day at a panel. I would have preferred just being able to hear Millar talk, tell stories and just generally "shoot the shit" like the name of the event implied. That was pretty much what the Warren Ellis after hours event was like last year. Also it was held in a much smaller room, and a more casual setting, which is cool, but it makes it hard for everyone to see the guest of honor. There also weren't enough chairs for everyone, but these are minor gripes. Millar was entertaining so it was worth staying a little late to be able to hear some great tales.
I heard from many exhibitors that they did not experience as good a show as years past. Was it the set-up? Was it the economy? Was it just lower attendance? Hard to say. But many exhibitors were slightly disappointed.
My one major complaint about the con this year, besides the unbearable heat and humidity on saturday: THE WRESTLERS. They don't bother me in and of themselves, but the damn announcer was SO frickin loud. Christ almighty. It gave me a headache. Every time he was announcing some wrestler or other it took him forever to give the introduction and then it was SO loud we couldn't talk the entire time the man was speaking. Ask anyone on that side of the con hall, IT SUCKED whenever the man took the microphone. I understand the man making the wresting announcements was some famous wrestler of old but dear god it was LOUD!
So there you go. A more intimate affair overall. Not horrible, but not as good as years past.
Definitely looking forward to C2E2. Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse have all confirmed so far, and of course Moonstone is also confirmed. So what other reasons do you need to come on out for the first annual McCormick Place show?
Time for my nap...