The 14th edition of the Baltimore Comic Con took place this past weekend at the Baltimore Convention Center and it had more to offer than ever but still the focus is on comics and nothing but comics and the Non-Sport Update team of Production Manager Harris Toser and myself were there once again to take in the activity and let our readers get a feel for the show. If you enjoy comics this is the show you (and based on the number of card sets featuring comic book based properties I suspect a fair number of non-sports card collectors do!)
The registration process is always easy and even though the lines were long they moved quickly and the show has always been well-organized. Before entering the main hall, UK Trade and Investment was set-up promoting media creativity and films from Great Britain. Free postcards featuring Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Lord of the Rings were given to attendees and the backs promote UK technology, films, and television. We participated in a quiz based on UK entertainment. The more questions you correctly answer, the better the prize you could win, which ranged from pens to DVD’s. Harris was successful in answering three of four questions and came away with a Union Jack tote bag; Batman was not as fortunate as I could not remember what position Harry Potter played in Quidditch! (Note – Harry was the “Seeker”).
Upon entering the main hall, we walked through the vendor area which takes up approximately two-thirds of the main hall. Comic vendors were offering everything from just released titles to vintage Golden Age books. It’s worth the price of admission just to look at some of the incredible high-grade comics offered for sale at the show. Among the comics were many comic related collectibles—action figures, limited edition statues, clothing, posters, and our favorite, non-sports cards! Dealers Derek Woywood, Ted Antonakos (“TBear”), and Tony and Wayne from Zeno’s Books were on hand and we also saw a number of other vendors who had comic related sets or singles for sale.
We spent quite a bit of time in the artist alley section of the show as well and judging by the traffic it was popular with collectors! There is always plenty to see in the artist section of the show everything from mainstream comic art to the incredibly bizarre, and the artists/creators are always eager to discuss their work with the fans coming to their tables. A nice option for collectors is that there is art for sale for as little as a few dollars as well as original covers and paintings which can cost in the thousands, so there really is something for everyone. Artists familiar to non-sport card collectors we ran into included fan favorites Laura Inglis, Brian Kong, Dave Sharpe, and Meghan Hetrick. Laura was set-up at the show and Brian, Dave, and Meghan were attending the show as fans. Laura had original art and prints for sale; Brain will be in attendance as a guest artist at the upcoming Philly Non-Sports Card show being held in Allentown on September 21st and 22nd; and Meghan showed us a fantastic Lady Death cover she did for a special limited edition issue to be sold at the New York Comic Con in October. It was good to spend some time talking with all of them.
No show is complete without the ever-popular cosplayers and we saw plenty! As usual there were impressive costumes that clearly took a labor of love and many hours if not weeks or months to complete along with costumes that looked that they were made an hour before show for shock value only; there is no denying that this aspect of convention attendance is increasing in popularity. If only they would stop clogging the aisles, LOL!
Overall it was another great day in Baltimore at the show, a great location in an area with plenty of restaurants, shops, and sightseeing opportunities. The show will be expanding next year with a third day (Friday) already announced when the show will be held on September 5th through the 7th in 2014. Save the dates!