Baltimore Comic Con, Day One

Whew! I'm beat. It's been a long and eventful day. I need to save some energy for Day Two tomorrow. If you've got the time to get here and you've been sitting on the fence trying to decide to come or not, make the decision to show up tomorrow. I don't think you'll regret it.
I don't have the time, resources, or expenses to travel to several comics conventions every year - - so I'm glad that the Baltimore Comics Convention is so accessible and features so many guest artists and writers, exhibitors, and special informative presentations. I also don't have any other conventions to refer to or compare it to, but it rates highly in my opinion as as a very well organized and planned event. The attendance confirms that. Day One was jam packed with participants. When I arrived at the Baltimore Convention Center shortly before 10 a.m. the line waiting for the doors to open stretched out of the building and one block down a side street.
Once I got inside the exhibit hall there was one hour for exploration before the programs began. I took a long walk along the outside perimeter of the hall and made mental notes for places to return to later. There are approximately 112 retailers and exhibitors with booths, and the adjacent artists alley includes 86 organizations and/or creators. You could spend all day in here going from spot to spot.
But that wasn't my plan. The presentations looked interesting, so I headed upstairs to the conference rooms beginning at 11 a.m. and stayed for three consecutive one-hour programs before heading to the streets at 2 p.m. in search of a lunch spot.
I heard an overview of the prior year's events at ComiXology and what they see ahead for digital comics,providing applications for both retailers, publishers, and consumers and hoping to partner with smaller companies and independent artists in the future.
The immediately like-able and friendly Mark Waid gave a preview of upcoming events in the IRREDEEMABLE and INCORRUPTIBLE series, and spoke at length about his partnership with Stan Lee in creating some new super-hero titles at BOOM!.
THOR creators, both old and new, shared the spotlight for a Question and Answer session on all things THOR, including the upcoming movie. Walt Simonson made the biggest impression on me, full of enthusiasm and many stories. I think some of the other panelists were a bit in awe and allowed him to dominate the proceedings.
Mike Allred the person is as interesting and quirky as his creations. Even his style of relating his personal background in the field becomes an adventure as he tells it. I really enjoyed his presentation, and now want to look up more of his work - - including the new iZombie series. iZombie writer Chris Roberson was the host of this panel and asked all the right questions (as he has come to know Mike very well).
The last panel I attended was a lively q & a with IDW Editor Bob Schreck and four creators. They managed to fill the hour in spite of a failing av system that wasn't geared up to show their visual presentation.
This left me with an hour to head back into the exhibit hall before the doors closed at 6 p.m. After speaking with some friends/acquaintances I killed some time at a retailers 25 cent book closeout and picked up some good secondary reading on the cheap.
I passed on the Harvey Awards banquet. I considered trying to pick up a ticket but the combination of dinner plus awards presentation seemed too daunting to me, since I'd just spent most of the day sitting. I need to keep those back muscles loose and flexible for more extended sitting tomorrow.
Just before departing Baltimore, I made a side trip to Geppi's Entertainment Museum of popular culture. It's quite the collection and brought back some warm memories (and regrets for books I no longer possess.)
There's more great information and sites I'd love to write about on this site, enough for several extended articles on the presentations I saw. Hopefully, I can find the time to post again in the next several weeks.


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