Tucson Comic-Con reminds me of the fairy tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Not in the way that anyone is sneaking around stealing porridge or breaking furniture, but in the fact that it was “just right.” I’ve attended many comic conventions over the years; sometimes a vendor, sometimes a guest, and sometimes just for the fun of it.
I’m a geek and proud of it. Sci-fi and Fantasy Conventions are what I was raised on. I have very fond memories of attending Star Trek conventions (in uniform) with my mother way, way back in the day. Some quite small, some quite large, I’ve been to quite a few. No, I haven’t been to San Diego yet, it’s on my list. There’s that whole pesky money issue… But that’s another story for another day.
Each convention has its charm. The small one often allow for more interaction on a personal level, but the low attendance, from a vendor standpoint, means sales are harder to come by. The larger ones can often suffer from such a frenzy that everything is drowned out in the white noise of the hustle and bustle.
Tucson Comic-Con was pleasantly in the middle, or dare I say, “Just Right!”
This was not a convention that catered to the big named stars, their focus felt more dedicated to the artistry of comics and celebration of creators. It boasted a very large vendor hall with, surprisingly large Artist Alley footprint. Artist and small vendors were not relegated to the dark corners of the convention hall, they were proudly set along the entire center of the vendor floor, further adding to the feel that this convention was about art and creativity. The isles were wide enough for people to stop and not impede traffic. And they offered a second floor for additional activities, cosplay, gaming, and panels. There was plenty to see and do, as well as an eclectic mix of vendor offerings. All of that made for a well-put-together show that expected to draw in a crowd of about 15,000 people.
But Katie, as nice as this sounds nice, how does this differ from every other comic convention out there?
Hold on. Let me get to the good part.
Yes. It offered the usual in respect to “things,” but what Tucson brings to the table that surpassed my expectations of an event of this size was not what the convention planners and organizers were responsible for. No. It was the people.
https://www.facebook.com/ElTARDISdeTucson/ El Tardis De Tucson
The atmosphere of a convention really comes down to the people who attend it. Convention organizers can only do so much to lay the groundwork, but if the people do not show, and more so if those people do not “bring it,” the convention can feel a bit hollow.
This was not the case at all. The convention staff did an excellent job with the layout, providing adequate spacing and areas of interest, and the community filled in the gaps exceptionally.
One of my favorite parts of Comic-Con is the Cosplay. And boy did Tucson “bring it!” They have a vibrant and imaginative community, and it totally showed in the mix of costumes they paraded around in. Have a look for yourself. From Punny to perfectly executed, the cosplay of Tucson was what made this convention a hit!
Beyond the Cosplay, there were, in attendance, some very amazing creators and authors. I had a chance to stop a few and snag a few quick interviews.
Gemma Lauren Krebs facebook.com/gemmalaurenkrebs
Suzana Flores drsuzanaflores.com/untamed
Jacob Devlin authorjakedevlin.com
Levi Davis – Legend of Kralis facebook.com/talariusgamemaster
Steven Rogers instagram.com/stevenrogersusa
Haylthewidow – instagram.com/haylthewidow