I love comic conventions. Last year I attended 7 multi-day cons (WonderCon, Long Beach Comics Expo, Phoenix Con, Comic Con International: San Diego, APE, Comikaze, Long Beach Comic & Horror Con). They’re a great place to meet creators, network with friends and fellow fans, and buy comics and other pop culture goodies. The ComicSpectrum Convention Calendar page lists over 45 of the larger conventions happening all over during 2014. What we DO NOT list are the plethora of smaller events that are hosted by local comic shops all over the place! It’s not that we don’t think these are great, we just don’t have the resources to keep track of them all!
The BIG event every year for local shops is, of course, Free Comic Book Day, the first Saturday in May. My favorite holiday of the year! I make a point of visiting as many shops as I can on FCBD, anywhere from 4 to 8 shops in a typical year. I make sure I clear the day on my calendar of other obligations because I enjoy what many local shops go through to make this day special for their customers. Free Comic Book Day is not the only event of the year, it’s just the single day when the most shops are all doing something at the same time.
I was reminded this past weekend about how great local events can be. A reasonably close shop (about 30 miles away) Beach Ball Comics was having a signing event for Disney’s “Seeker’s of the Weird”. They had Disney Legend Rolly Crump, writer Bandon Seifert, and Disney Imagineers Tom Morris, Brian Crosby,Jim Clark & Josh Shipley signing in the shop. They have a lot of creator signings/events during the year, as do many shops.
Facebook is your friend. Many comic shops have Facebook pages, you should “like” the pages of the shops in your area to keep up to date on their events. Also ask your shops if they have e-mail lists that they use to notify people about events. You can’t take advantage of events if you don’t know they’re happening!
The second thing going on in my neck of the woods on January 18th was PHAT Con, put on by comic shop Phat Collectibles at at local Dave & Busters. It was a small room PACKED with local creators and collectors. The picture at the top of this page is myself & ComicSpectrum reviewer Andrew Sanford showing off some of the original art we bought from penciler Dietrich Smith. I also picked up a superb sketch cover from artist Mike Vasquez:
Sound like fun? Then you should look for your local shops on Facebook and ‘Like’ them today! Next time you’re in the shops sign up on their e-mail lists. Then, the next time they have an event that catches your eye make a point to go over and have a good time meeting creators and talking to other fans. For larger cons, check out our Con Calendar. If you know of a multi-day convention we’re missing, drop me an e-mail and I’ll get it added.
Bob Bretall: firstname.lastname@example.org
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