This past weekend the comic-con blew into town. Now, let me just super geeky for just a second. Just a second!
The events in San Diego and New York commonly referred to as “nerd prom” and that get the major press coverage are not the same events that recently happened in Austin. They’re still all comic conventions but they’re supported by different firms.
This convention was put together by the people of Wizard Entertainment.
So, what does this mean to the occasional convention go-er?
Well first, it’s much more affordable to go to a con in town. There’s no hotel costs, you can eat at places you know are cheap but good and put that saved money towards comics and merchandise. But when you don’t go to the better promoted cons in bigger cities there is a price to pay.
The talent that was pulled for the weekend was mainly B list celebrities who do these things to stay afloat. There wasn’t a lot of focus on comic book artists or writers, which is why I believe we have these conventions. When I still didn’t have a lot of experience in comics and was mainly dragged along by my Dad I was often a little overwhelmed. This still happens at less focused cons like the ones put on by Wizard; young children in large crowds are easily over stimulated. But when the artists are the main pull you get a chance to discover new creators and many times older work from people you love.
This artist driven method does not pull in the general crowd.
Many of the people that I talked to that were there for the comics and not Batman and Robin. They were comparing this weekend to Wizard World Dallas of two years ago (the last Texas comic-con). Some were pleased to see the larger crowds, others pointed out the crowd size may look bigger but the space was also smaller. Most were not interested in the panels at all since it was filled with actor Q&As and the sparse comic creator. The general consensus was to wait and see what next year would bring because this was the test run for everyone.
Overall I had a fun romp around the convention center with other nerds.
The Billy Dee Williams panel was entertaining, and he was a good sport about all the questions. When asked what his favorite line from his acting career, “Don’t let the smooth taste fool you.”
I picked up some trades that I got good deals on, which is why we pay for that admittance fee a lot of the time.
Probably the weirdest thing I saw all con was not part of the con at all. Separated by two bathrooms and an ATM was the TAEA exhibition hall. As proud con-goers dressed in spandex and sometimes only a thong and pasties walked by Texas art teachers many a giggle was heard. I was accosted several times by teachers to get pictures of R2D2 and super heroes. But who could ask for a better situation to have two cons side by side? I’ve never met an art teacher nor a convention attendee I wouldn’t describe as zonky.
Written by Sarah Arnold