The Very Late Gem City Comic Con Review
After nearly two months spent procrastinating, dealing with personal stuff, and looking for the flash drive with this file on it, I finally bring you my report on Gem City Comic Con.
GCCC was on April 3 at the Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. The show had been described to me as being a small one, but I found it didn’t feel like one. It felt like some bigger ones with all the people and how they carried themselves. Everyone one I talked to and ran into was very friendly. Giving you room to move around, holding doors open for each other, willing to help out if needed, and ready to strike up a conversation.
The location had a number of different places to go eat at, both fast food and sit down. Not far from the interstate, gas stations, and even grocery store. The building itself was bright, clean, and worked well for the con’s needs.
All the vendors were located in one main hall with them spread all the way through. There was a nice selection of vendors as well. Almost all comic shops, but you had the ones who had those with Golden and Silver Age comics, those with newer comics, those with graphic novels, those with action figures and toys, those who dealt with card sets, those with art, those with t-shirts, and anything else a good comic book nerd would want. Good prices too. Fifty comics for $20 at one place! Back issue stuff nobody wants, but still a great price.
The main guests for the con were: Bob McLeod co-creator of the New Mutants and one of the top inkers for Marvel and DC; Joe Jusko one of the best fantasy, pin-up, and comic artist out there; Rodney Ramos penciler/inker with over fifteen years experiences; and Steve Englehart writer who has worked on some of Marvel and DC’s top characters and creator of the Night Man for the Ultraverse. They were all in a small lobby area that connected most of the con. They all spent the con hanging out with fans, doing commissions, selling some of their work, and doing autographs.
In the same area they also had other guests: Dave Aikins, Dan Davis, Andy Bennett, Dara Narghi, Scott Simmons, and others. The Underground Video Network had their own set in the lobby too recording the con. A charity organization, Comic Book Connection, was there doing a raffle with donated comics to raise money and taking comic donations. Comic Book Connection provides comics to children in hospitals and shelters.
There was a room next to the guest lobby for various indie publishers, people who make their own comics without a company backing them. There were ones of comedy, of action, of drama, of fantasy, and everything in between. Plus there were several in there just doing their own art. Sprite artists, takes on superheroes, fantasy work, and more. It is always nice to see these kinds of creators and their work. There was Ringtail Café, Ohio Valley Artists League, Joseph Morris of TORC Press, G2 Comics, Kel M. Crum, Sean Forney, Eric Adams, plus others. The SCA also had their own table set up in their for people to talk to them.
There was another room for gaming at the con run by Bell Comics & Games. Tournaments held were for Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, and Heroclix. The standard popular collectable games kind of stuff. They did have room for open gaming with a few games for people to try out as well.
They also had a panel room set off from the rest of the con in a class room. Not much in the way of panels, three on indie comics. They let you get to know some creators and how you can get into it yourself. Not too bad and very informative. They had the charity auction in there as well.
The auction was presented by Comic Related.com for the Hero Initiative. It consisted mostly of donations from the guests and vendors. There were sets of people’s personal projects, art prints, and the like. They also had other memorabilia as well. The most interesting thing they had in my opinion was Marvel toilet paper, from the 70’s, with a comic story printed on it. Oh why was I low on cash that day? The final item of the auction was a copy of the con’s banner signed by all the guests.
The con ran door prizes throughout the day. They had a couple of different things for the winners to choose from; comics, toys, and the like. I didn’t win.
Lacking a costume contest, the con didn’t have much in the way of costumers. A few Star Wars, Zantanna, Lulu and Auron from FFX, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Polaris, and one or two others. There were very good too.
The show is definitely one for comic book fans who like small cons that don’t feel that way. My only complaint was a lack of signs of what room was what (I know it was small, but still), where certain guests were, and the like. The con promoter said they were planning to address this next year when I brought it up with him.
I was able to spend my time going around searching dealer’s box for cool things to pick up while gabbing a way with them, spending time talking to the indie creators about their work and picked up several comics I am eager to dive into, and joining random conversations about different topics. I also got some new sketch cards and a few autographs, and generally had a good time.
They’ve already got the dates for next year set and are moving to two days, March 31-April 1. They’ll be back in the same place with more guests, artists, vendors, and other plans to fill two days up. I will be back as well.
Keep up with updates at their site http://www.gemcitycomiccon.com/