Charlotte Comicon 2015 Spring Show Report
In Charlotte, NC, David Hinson and Rick Fortenberry put together a smaller comic convention hosted at the Crown Plaza Hotel in South Charlotte called simply Charlotte Comicon. In the past, I’ve been attending as an artist, but this time I devoted my full time to covering the convention for the web site, and experiencing a little more of what it had to offer.
When I got there, parking was a problem. The Crown Plaza has a relatively large parking lot designed for a fully booked hotel, but not necessarily a convention the size that this has grown into. Next August, the Comicon will take up another ballroom for the cosplayers, freeing up even more dealer space. Around the con this day several attaendees were wondering how long it was going to be before the show will have to move to a larger venue. Any hesitation that people might stay away because of the show following just after Free Comic Book Day were quickly dashed by the enthusiastic crowd.
My first stop were some of the vendor/artist tables in the main hall where a quirkier bit of fare was for sale. At the end of that hall were the media guests, all actors from The Walking Dead. Inside the main dealers room, dedicated almost completely for comics, people were crowding around bargain boxes flipping through and pulling out stacks of back issues. Other dealers were showing off some nice Silver and Golden Age comics to interested customers. Artists Alley was busy as always, with many artists not only selling comics and prints, but doing sketches. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits, albeit some were still a bit tired from the previous day many spent at area shops for Free Comic Book Day.
Charlotte Comicon has become known for its cosplayers. Included below is a gallery of some of the ones that caught my eye. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any of the winners, but having seen them all day I can tell you that John Riley’s Starlord, Ginger Gilfillan’s Belle, and Kristen Hughes’ Anya were top notch.
The show gives prizes in three kids’ categories as well, which encourages younger attendees to show off the work they’ve put into their cosplay, and that makes for an awesome show, emphasizing that the future of comics is still in a new generation of fans. With a show this size, some of the best cosplayers sometimes create a traffic jam posing for pictures, but in doing so, draw attention not only to themselves but to the vendor or artist that happen to be nearby as someone waiting for the crowd to move through stop and glance at a table they were previously prepared to walk by. The cosplayers posing for pictures may sometimes block the aisle, but it opens a good vendor to a chance to interact with a fan.
The other ballroom at the show is primarily for toy dealers, but like with the first room, there’s a little bleed-over, which means both rooms get equal traffic. Because Charlotte Comicon is so good about not pigeon-holing itself into one niche of the market, it provides for a great atmosphere here as well. It also helps that the show is so friendly to kids that you can always find someone getting excited about something in this room. Personally, my daughter was thrilled with the Funk Pop Deadpool bobblehead I picked up for her.
Here’s a brief gallery of the cosplayers that caught my eye and were kind enough to pose for a picture. Where links are available, please check them out.
The next Charlotte Comicon is on August 9 in the same location.