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Texas Comicon 2010

JediCole here, back from San Antonio and the first-ever Texas Comicon!

It was a long, fun weekend selling and playing at Comicon. While it was nothing like say, San Diego, it was a convention with a lot of heart and a lot of potential. For a show that was coming out of nowhere in a city in Texas that has never had a multiple day show with celebrity guests and programming of this kind. Having been to many a first show from many a promoter, big and small, I have to say that for everything this show did wrong (and every first show does a lot of things wrong), they did two things right! One of the most thoughtful was to give free admission to anyone in costume. Thusly they encouraged a LOT of folks in costume! Here are just a few of the folks we saw over the weekend...

When I first looked at the website for this convention I must admit I experienced a bit of the raised eyebrow effect. Herbie the Love Bug? Garfield? Two of the Three's Company girls? Certianly the usual suspects were there. Peter (Chewbacca) Mayhew, a troupe of Ghostbusters, a great Artist's Alley. But on the surface it seemed quite an odd mix. The real joy of these things is discovering that they are often more than what you see on the surface! We were fortunate enough to be placed on the main aisle not far from the celebrity guest area, right across from Peter Mayhew and Richard (Admiral Motti) LaParmentier of Star Wars fame (nice for JediCole) as well as King of the Hill's Johnathan Joss. Also nearby were Dorian Harewood (the voice of Martian Manhunter) and even the WWE's Honkey Tonk Man.

In the end the guest list was one of the best. Joyce DeWitt and Priscilla Barnes were real crowd pleasers and seemed quite happy to be a part of the show. In fact across the board the guests were all engaging and approachable to all who attended. For us a further highlight was having our tables backing up to those of the folks from In the Face Radio. All weekend long (this was a Friday through Sunday show) we were treated to some incredible tunes, some great commentary, and even interviews with the stars and the artists in attendence. Plus a chance to plug The United States of Geekdom, which is always nice.

When it comes to putting on a convention of any kind you are faced with trying to be as close to all things to all people as possible. At least all people who slot nicely within the focus of the show. Texas Comicon really did a great job of providing a little something for everyone. The locale, the San Antonio Event Center, was unique. A former Builder's Square, it was a spartan looking place, very wide open with row after row of tables for dealers and vendors. But there were subtle twists. One exhibitor had brought in several arcade video games. The folks from had a number of huge enclosed gaming pods for giant robot fighting. And there were many clubs and organizations represented at various tables including some great folks offering yummy cupcakes for donations to the Cystic Fibrois Foundation. Even the local Double Dave's Pizza chain had a booth serving up pizza slices, pepperoni rolls, and decadant Philly cheese steak stromboli. Mmmmmmmmm!

Many of our favorite vendors were there, sellers we have known for many years through one convention or another. We got to hang out with some good friends while selling and enjoying the whole show. Friday and Saturday PurrKayla (the USG's resident super-hero) was seen all around the show floor (though her people had to head home on Saturday night so we really missed her on Sunday). We had a blast seeing our Grego and Stephanie of Bean Pot Toiz (who took us to a great local hamburger joint for dinner Friday night) as well as Jason and Charlie who we always enjoy visiting at conventions. And then of course there were the great guys from the Artist's Alley.

Another example of something the show promoters did right was having an Artist's Alley that was free to the artists who attended. There are a lot of great independant artists who are not working in mainstream comics and illustration who are making their mark out there and it is nice to see a show that supports their efforts. And furthermore they were goodly enough to give me a chance to produce Finish It! Finish It! on Sunday. This is a production that I conceived of a mere three weeks before All-Con 2010 and managed to pull together in time to have two showings during that weekend. Attending artists at Texas Comicon Chris Fulton (a long time friend of ours very early in his art career) and Michael Champion encouraged me to bring Finish It! to this convention. Look for more on all previous and upcoming incarnations of this program in a later article. Needless to say we had a lot of fun doing it all again with the help of Chris and Michael along with Kennon James (who also joined us at All-Con), Kal Slayton, and Brent Peeples.

Other cool features were the massive display of Lego creations by Texas Lug, the Ghostbusters car (and costumed characters a plenty) by the folks from the Houston and DFW Ghostbusters groups, and the Herbie the Love Bug VW along with a mess of cool Herbie Collectibles on display. Not to mention the celebration of Garfield's birthday all weekend long with appearances by the fussy feline and birthday cake for everyone on Saturday! And yes, that is Garfield the cartoon cat, not the 20th President of the United States. I am just too lazy to look up his birthday. And lest I forget, I got quite a kick out of Johnathan Joss singing along to AC/DC's TnT at the top of his lungs!

Be sure to visit my Facebook page for more Comicon photos (with better captioning) and in closing, here are a few more of the great costumes we saw at Comicon!


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