What was your favorite part of the weekend?
Let me just say that I agree with Bill about the atmosphere. It was somewhat electric and filled with the feeling of excitement. Everyone you saw seemed to have some kind of smile on their face as they saw all types of merchandise, crazy costumes, and some of their favorite icons/celebrities/artists. I would have to say my favorite part of the weekend was getting to meet Stan “The Man” Lee. Now I didn’t get to have a long winded conversation with the man, though you could do that at the open Q&A with him, but I did get him to sign Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spiderman Issue #1. It was the best $60 I could spend the whole weekend, because to me this was like meeting Elvis in his prime. I mean he is a pop-culture icon at this point, and it’s not every day you get to meet that kind of person. I could have saved $20 and met Norman Reedus (Daryl from The Walking Dead), my wife would have LOVED that, but $60 seemed more than fair. So take that Bill!
What was the biggest disappointment?
I was pretty disappointed in the lack of celebrity panels. Aside from the Stan Lee Q&A and Bruce Campbell panel, there weren’t a lot of panels that I wanted to sit in on simply because the people on them might as well be writing this blog. Not saying that we’re nobodies, but let’s face it, I think only our kids, wives, and girlfriends would attend, they’re probably reading this now. For instance, my wife loves Doctor Who and when we saw there would be a Doctor Who panel we thought “oh cool”, but when we read it was going to be run by “Nashville Whovian Experts” we immediately didn’t care to attend. Bummer. I know this is kind of the pot calling the kettle black as we are not experts, but like to talk like we are on everything nerd. At a panel though, you want to pick someone’s brain who has in some way or fashion been involved in the creative process of the subject. Not all panels at this year’s comic con were that way, but it would have been nice to have had more of them and with a little higher star power. Why didn’t Billy Dee Williams host a panel? Or Lou Ferrigno? Or Carl and Daryl from TWD? WHY??!?!? That would have been awesome. They were all there, but all we could do was pay $40 each to get their autograph and quickly say hello. I’m proud of Nashville, and when our event is mostly made up of B-listers I feel like it’s a shot at our city that we aren’t good enough. Hopefully fandom and time will change that.
Craziest thing you saw (Comics, Person in Cosplay, or Merchandise)?
I didn’t actually see her, but there was one lady running around in body paint as Spider-man or Carnage. My wife saw her as we were walking and her comment was funny “There’s a boob (shocked)… That lady is just walking around with her boobs out.” I’ll be honest this was our first nerdy convention. I know that is not really out of bounds to see, but she was the only one like that we saw. It was creepy seeing over weight young guys asking to get a picture of her. The make-up wasn’t all that great to be honest and it made me question if they’d be taking a picture with her if she wasn’t topless. The guys from Nashville Nightmare had make up worthy of a picture, obviously this was a horror thing, but it was pretty flawless looking.
How do you plan to go next year?
Stephen, Cam, and I all have the same blessing/curse…children. The first day we had to take all three of our kids with us, which wasn’t bad, but any time you have kids involved you are working on borrowed time. I mostly missed out on stuff because we either had them with us, and they wouldn’t sit in on a panel, or we had to get back to a baby sitter. I will say I would have liked to have gone on Sunday (kids day), but we had just gotten back from Disney/Universal and had some stuff to get done before the work week began. So my wife and I next year will be getting an all-day babysitter for Saturday (which had the most stuff to do) so we don’t have to worry about standing in line for something and missing a panel, because we have to get back. Another thing we’ll plan is a budget. I wasn’t prepared for all the awesomeness there and didn’t have the funds to spend on awesome art, books, comics, or collectibles. Keep in mind that panels are free with admission, and I think those are experiences that might be better than anything you buy extra there. Also, if you’re from out of state, take time and get out for lunch downtown. The Music City Center was charging $14.50 for a pulled pork sandwich. You could literally walk 3 blocks down the street to Jack’s BBQ and get one of those for about $4 or less with a side (and it’s a Nashville Original). I don’t know where the BBQ from the MCC was from, but I imagine it showed up in a reheat able bag. I hope it grows and is even better next year, but unless they have some crazy panels on Friday and Sunday I’ll just be going Saturday.
I’m giving Nashville’s Comic Con 7 out of 10 stars. They lose a star for not having more panels with bigger names. They lose another star because I feel like there weren’t that many actual comic booths. I think I counted 5 total (maybe). The final star falls because they charged $3.00 for a canned coke… Ain’t nobody got time for that.