Redartz: Good day, all! Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Indiana Comic Con, and posted a few details during comments on my post the same day. Doug graciously asked if I'd expound a bit on the day, and so here is an accounting in greater detail.
Some of you may recall an exchange of comments about two years ago, when Doug was planning to attend the Indiana Con and so was I. As things turned out, the convention's organizers failed to anticipate the crowds (that was their first big con here), and many potential attendees were turned away (Doug and I included). Following that con, there were numerous comments in the local media and social networks of less-than-praising content. So to 'balance the scales', as it were, I gave it another chance this year. Things worked out much better.
First of all, I made certain to order a ticket online in advance. This was a simple operation, and when I arrived at the Convention Center about 8:00 ( the show opened at 9), I entered and was able to claim my badge at the counter quickly and join the line to enter. At this point there were maybe 100 persons in line ahead of me, so not bad. Over the next 45 minutes I stood in line, and chatted with the other fans waiting (they had come from all over the general area, and spirits were pretty high). The line to enter grew, but even by 9 the line was reasonable in length. Upon starting time, they formed three lines at the entrance. So now I was only about 20 people from the head of the line!
I had planned to see George Perez first, assuming he would be a big draw. This became the only downside to the day; it turned out they issued tickets to 100 attendees to start his line, a fact of which I was unaware. So I was directed to stand in the 'no ticket' line, and ended up spending nearly two hours there (again visiting with other fans, a big side benefit to attending a con) before finally abandoning the attempt. Some of this delay was due, no doubt, to some of those ticket holders bringing literally stacks of books to be signed. One fellow actually brought a full shortbox and another large bag, amounting to several hundred books to be autographed (that brings up another potential post; convention etiquette). This time spent was by no means wasted, however; it was fun to meet other attendees and hear their stories. We also took turns holding each other's place in line allowing several of us to wander around a bit.
Once abandoning that waitng line, things went much better. I started off visiting Jim Shooter, and only waited a couple of minutes. He was a pleasure to talk with, and was very kind. He answered several questions I asked about the topic of the BAB post that day, posed for a photo and signed a book for me (my copy of Avengers 161- the Ant Man issue,prompting Jim to comment on George Perez' rendered ants). Finally I thanked him for the great stories he gave us, and moved on.
I then spoke with Marv Wolfman, also very pleasant, and with June Brigman (who spoke of the pleasure she finds working with Louise Simonson). I next went over to Mark Waid's table, and after a short two minute wait, chatted him up a bit. In all these cases, the wait was negligible, and the artists/writers all free and willing to visit a bit.
Next up: walked over to Ron Wilson's table. Watched him working on an ink drawing for another fan, and soon inquired about a sketch. Ended up ordering a pencil sketch, presented for your approval!
I have always gotten a kick out of watching costumed fans and cosplayers, so I took a tour of the convention floor and admired the array. And there were many, and some great outfits. It was pleasing to see how many actual families were represented: both parents and childen all costumed, and having fun.
That family -friendly feeling was everywhere, the convention was roomy with plenty of maneuverability. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, and seeing so many kids made me optimistic for the future of our hobby...
Last up was a trip to the dealer's booths. After all, can't hit a con without bagging a few goodies! There were many sellers there, with everything from tattoos to comics to toys and clothing. Being Sunday afternoon, quite a few comic dealers had the discount signs up (hint to any potential convention visitors; Sunday afternoon is a good time to find some bargains as they want to pack up as little stock as possible). I selected several books, all at half price.
And that was about it for this day's fun. Overall a very positive experience, not crowded, plenty of room to look. Fans were everywhere, and in good spirits.The organizers obviously learned from the first year's troubles, the venue was much larger. The guest list was extensive and quite attractive to a Bronze Age fan such as I. Convention volunteers were in great supply, if you needed help. Tickets were easy to get online, and pretty affordable. All considered: a day well spent, and one I plan to repeat next year. Maybe I'll see you there...