BALTIMORE COMIC CON 2016: Full Recap + Photo Gallery
By Jeff Ayers
FanboysInc was in full effect at Baltimore Comic Con this year, sharing a booth with our sponsors, Death Wish Coffee. A true recap of all the amazing things that happened in the Baltimore Convention Center would take almost as long to tell as the three day event took, so here is a microcosm of what went down, through my eyes, and in my opinion, at one of the best and truest comic book conventions around today.
To start, let me give you a little back story: Last year was my first year at Baltimore Comic Con, and I was completely blown away. I frequent small, local conventions in my area, I also attend the massive New York Comic Con every year. Baltimore Comic-Con is different because it is just that, a Comic Book Convention. Leaving the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and pop culture aside for the most part, Baltimore Comic-Con consistently packs the impressive convention center with creators of comics, retailers of comics, and a fandom of people who truly love comics and the industry as a whole. Something you will see immediately upon entering the convention is a plethora of smiles on everyone’s faces: the artists and writers happy to interact with fans, the volunteers happy to help the patrons, and the guests happy to be in attendance.
We were also happy, as FanboysInc was able to share a booth with our sponsors Death Wish Coffee. Keeping the convention hall caffeinated with free samples was fun, but seeing relationships build and grow over cups of coffee was the true reward. But what of the Con itself? I had the chance to walk the floor, talk with creators and attend a few panels, and once again Baltimore Comic-Con exceeded my expectations. Our booth was situated in a perfect storm between the Concessions and the amazing people of Ominous Press. That actually worked out well on both fronts, as attendees could pair their samples of Death Wish Coffee with an array of convention food, and pick up a free copy of the Death Wish Coffee Presents: ODINFORCE comic book and have it signed by Ron Marz from Ominous Press. (Check out the lowdown on how that comic came to be, right here.)
Myself, along with the Amazing D-Man from the DW and Incredible Jeff show, as well as my co-host from IncCast Mike Sains, and Rob and Manny from Popping the Cherrywood, were all in full effect as the convention continued. We talked to a bunch of amazing creators like Tom Raney, Mike McKone, Matthew Dow Smith, and Buz Hasson. I got the chance to catch up with old friends like Sean HusVar, Dean Haspiel and Christa Cassano, and all the amazing crew of Comic Wow!. We made new friends, like Bart Sears and Andy Smith, Christina Blanch, everyone at Line Webtoon and DeviantArt, as well as Brock Powell, the new voice of the Kool-Aid Man. Mike and I got the chance to guest on another show with the rad guys of Fanatical Podcast. We also had a ton of really cool people stop by the booth to wield the power of the Infinity Gauntlet. You can hear all about many of those adventures in our Comic Con Chronicles podcast, hitting your RSS feeds very soon.
FanboysInc was also lucky to have the always entertaining Sean Von Gorman to come by the booth a few times; first, to paint a picture of Detective Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks using Death Wish Coffee, and then Mr. Von Gorman created quite the scene with a daring straight jacket escape, live in person for the people in attendance. You never know what may happen right on the convention floor. Speaking of surprises, I was asked to moderate the Comic Creators Consuming Coffee panel by the incomparable writer Amy Chu, and we were having a great time until a fire alarm went off and we were forced to cut the panel short. But, the panel turned into an impromptu cocktail party on the roof with coffee to replace the alcohol, and a sunny day to warm everyone’s spirits. You can check out my recap of the whole panel right here!
I personally cannot say enough about the sheer professionalism and wonderful atmosphere that Baltimore Comic Con creates each year. This year was no different, with the guest of honor and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle creator Kevin Eastman holding court, a con wide singing of “Happy Birthday” to the legendary Walt Simonson, and the late night revelry of the prestigious Harvey Awards to round out the weekend. Penultimate thanks go to the staff who works tirelessly to put this event on year after year, most notably Randy Tischer. Randy is a completely integral part of the Baltimore Comic Con, and has shown true friendship to Fanboysinc, welcoming us back year after year. On a personal level, thanks to Randy for helping Mike and I with a press pass emergency). So much to see and do at this years convention, and I feel like I only scratched the surface. As Baltimore has quickly become one of my favorite comic conventions, I can now sit back and remember all the incredible experiences I had this year, and set my sights on 2017. Follow Baltimore Comic Con, which is coming back Sept 22-24, at their website here.
BALTIMORE COMIC-CON 2016 Photo Gallery:
All photo credits: Jeff Ayers, Mike Sains, various empolyees of Death Wish Coffee, credited above. All images are property of FanboysInc and FanboysInc.com