Comic Cons stole my life!
Baltimore Comic Con 2016 has come and gone and our own Linda White was there to take in all the sights and sounds. Here, she breaks down all the goings on for you in our official ComiConverse post-convention wrap-up.
Baltimore Comic Con: Buckle Up For A Bustling BCC
Baltimore Comic Con (BCC) is no ordinary pop culture Con. Be prepared to open your mind as you are lured into a world of fantasy, imagination, intellect, and delight. Baltimore Comic Con is geared toward comic fans committed to knowing the absolute truth behind their beloved fandom characters and those people that work tirelessly in bringing them to life. This hardcore fan convention is tailored to those with a passion for comic books, artwork, and fandom collectibles. And oh do they have their favorites!
The devotion of the fans and the dedication of the creators is what shines through at every level. TV and movie personalities actually take a back seat to the hardworking and talented people exhibiting their creative skills throughout the convention floor. While Baltimore Comic Con has similarities to other conventions regarding the welcoming atmosphere and excitement, it has opened my eyes to a deeper side of ‘con life’.
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Let’s journey in…
Upon approaching The Baltimore Convention Center, located downtown near the stunning Inner Harbor area, I ventured upon an eclectic group of people brought together by their love for all things ‘geek chic’; I had arrived at Baltimore Comic Con. Tip here: Try not to run into your fellow fans as you look skyward to catch Spiderman hanging out on the roof. Ouch! My incident was quickly forgotten though as I entered into BCC where all are treated to an exuberant greeting by staff members working hard to ensure an awesome experience to remember. Your eyes widen at the enormity of things to see, do, and experience as you step onto the convention floor. Excited fans maneuver through the crowd in search of items they desire to add into their ever expanding fandom collections. To say that options seemed endless would be vastly understated. A peek down one aisle yields what seems to be miles of comic books just waiting for new homes. Fans meticulously thumb through countless boxes just hoping to find their treasure. A peek down another aisle offers a view of bountiful collectibles. From action figures to jewelry and t-shirts to coffee mugs, they had it all! You want to sit down and draw?
Yup, there is a place for that.
Where to start though?
This event was much larger than I had anticipated and I had not even glimpsed my main focus yet, Artist Alley.
As I began my tour to absorb what Baltimore Comic Con had to offer, I observed the sheer happiness that surrounded me. Fans and creators alike were thrilled to share their thoughts on favorite artists, writers, comics, movies and so much more. One could get caught up for hours discussing their favorite superhero or defending their favorite villain. I also found myself being pleasantly sidetracked by the incredible cosplayers seen throughout my ventures. I would like to thank these clever and gifted individuals for allowing me to photograph them in all their costume glory. Treat these creative individuals with respect and they are more than willing to engage with you in some photo fun. I would be remiss to attend a convention and not interact with the awesome fans which I now consider part of my ever growing convention family. The best element of any con experience is the amazing people that will open your mind to new thoughts and ideas.
When I ultimately managed to regain focus and continue onward, I see what I had been most anticipating… Artist Alley. While Artist Alley was inconveniently and sadly located near the back end of the convention center, it was one of the most expansive I have seen since attending New York Comic Con (NYCC) last year. Excited fans perusing the artwork being displayed by the incredible talent that could be found throughout the area. Passionate artists provided a welcome mat into their world. It warmed my heart to see artists show genuine appreciation for those interested in their work. Chris Campana, a skilled artist with several years on the convention scene, gave me advice to pass along to my fellow fans. He expressed that one should never hesitate in approaching an artist. They want to talk to you, share with you, you are not a disturbance to them. You, as a fan, are the reason they are able to pursue their passion. You, as a fan, provide inspiration with your encouraging comments. If they are creating something that moves you, what better way to remember that moment than by taking it home. There was even an art auction held in the lobby of the convention center where fortunate fans could bid on amazing original pieces that were included in the 2016 Baltimore Comic Con Yearbook featuring Archie Comics.
A perfect treat for the art loving fan! I firmly believe in supporting these amazingly talented individuals however you are able. To that end, I would like to give special thanks to artists in attendance CJ Draden and JaCo Tartaruga for my incredible commissions. CJ’s work on glass and JaCo’s splatter style stand out in an awesome fashion and exemplify their individuality perfectly. Do yourself a favor and find Artist Alley at your next convention visit. Talk to these incredible artists, see what they have to offer… it may be much more than you ever expected.
Finally pulling myself away from the enticement of Artist Alley, I was able to progress my way through the maze of vendors when suddenly an alarm sounded throughout the convention floor. With only an hour remaining until closing for the day, fans and vendors alike were asked to vacate the area.
This was definitely a new experience for me as I followed the orderly flow of people outside the building. Thousands patiently waited outside in hopes of returning into the event, it was a sight to behold. When it was determined that there was no actual emergency, everyone was indeed allowed back inside the convention center. An announcement was soon made that any fan holding a Saturday ticket would be given free access to the convention the following day to make up for their missed time. BCC’s generosity was greatly appreciated by the fans who were thrilled to be able to attend yet another exciting day at the con.
To sum things up, I would be hard pressed to believe that any fan attending this convention left disappointed. If a collector could not find what they were looking for on site, rest assured, one of the savvy merchants would be able to locate it. In addition, a wide selection of programming throughout the weekend meant there was absolutely something for everyone! There were panels for writing, drawing, cosplay, comic books, cartoons, and so much more. The knowledge accessible was limitless, the challenge was finding the time to do it all. As I stated earlier, there were indeed celebrities at this convention. Hayley Atwell, Sean Astin, and Kristian Nairn, just name to name a few, were in attendance and provided some added fun to what was already a true fan’s blissful weekend. Entertainers were seemingly not the focus here though and I want to stay true to what defined Baltimore Comic Con.
If you are attending BCC for entertainment personalities alone then my fear is that you may be attending the wrong con. If you attend BCC for the sheer love of the comic book world with an appreciation for amazing art and creativity, you found the right place.
Keeping You Comi-Connected!
Were you at Baltimore Comic Con this year?
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Linda White is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter: @LindaMW87
Source: Baltimore Comic Con