Tuesday, February 01, 2011

New Orleans Comic Con

This past Sunday I attended my first “Comic Con.” This is the first big one they’ve ever had in New Orleans. It was put on by Wizard World, the same people associated with the bigger Comic Cons that everyone raves about. Apparently it was successful enough to bring them back next year and I’ll probably try to attend again. I liked it quite a lot, and my son seemed to like it as well. He’s 23 and I told him I was glad he wasn’t “too cool” to attend a comic con with his old man.

It was smaller than I expected it be, and there weren’t as many costumers as I thought there might be. The cost for a single day pass was 35 bucks, which I thought was a little high. I also wish there’d been more booths selling the “graphic novel” formats. There were quite a few selling individual collectable comics but only one that had a selection of graphic novels. Those are the less positive things.

On the positive side, I got to renew friendships with quite a few folks in local SF/Fantasy fandom. I got to talk to a number of comic book artists, although I’m not really enough into the comic book scene to know people’s names. I picked up a number of cool book or comic book items that I most likely would not have found elsewhere, and got much of it signed.

I met Walter Koenig and Adam West and thought that was kind of cool. I got “Chekov’s” autograph on a photo. There were also a number of other celebrities there that I recognized, although I don’t know their real names. There was “Xander” and “Spike” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the mom from No Ordinary Family. There were several actors from the Walking Dead series that I really enjoyed this past year on AMC. There was a lady named “Claudia” something from Babylon Five. I recognized her but can’t recall the last name. One of the “Monkees” was there. I have no idea which one. There was a woman who played a demon on Buffy, and there was Ernie Hudson from the Ghostbusters movie. Apparently Burt Ward (Robin) was also there but I didn’t see him. I met a “character” in a graphic novel that I recently read and did an article on. He was one of the folks featured in A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge.

There were also quite a few very cool posters, including a zombie Clint Eastwood in one of his Spaghetti western poses. I almost bought that one, but with all of the paintings we already have up at home and the wall space taken up by bookshelves I don’t have any place to hang it. All in all, it was fun, and afterward my son and I ate at Mulates across the street and had frog legs and alligator with cold brews. That might have been the best.


jodi said...

Charles, was Archie or Veronica there? Sounds like fun especially that rockin' dinner. I love spending time with my son..

Charles Gramlich said...

Jodi, I didn't see them but saw quite a few goth chicks and manga chicks.

Tom Doolan said...

I'd wager that next year it will seem a lot bigger. Those things aren't cheap to put on, so they probably were "testing the waters" in NO. I doubt it will ever be as big as the San Diego one, but you never know. Good to hear you had fun. Sounds like a lot of cool celebrities.

Angie said...

At my first ever convention, I also met Walter Koenig and got him to autograph a photo for me. :) That's a great coincidence.

"Claudia" from Babylon 5 would be Claudia Christian. She played Susan Ivanova, one of the main characters until the last season, when there was some contract brangling because she wanted to do fewer episodes so she could do movies. There was some bad feeling there, and her movie career never took off, so the whole thing was kind of unfortunate. I loved Ivanova, though. :D


sage said...

35 bucks, eh? I remember buying comic books for 35 cents. Sounds like a fun time.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like a blast! Glad you got Koenig's autograph. I probably would've tracked down Ernie Hudson as well.
I bet next year it's even bigger.

Deka Black said...

Glad to hear you had fun. Fun to some of us is a luxury today ;)

Steve Malley said...

Sounds like a pretty perfect day, actually. :)

ivan said...

Sounds like a pretty good time, all in all.

I recall the Sixties, when I was entertainment editor of the Toronto Sunday Sun.

Met this guy George Henderson who said he had writen a graphic novel called "Homo Hotpants."

I began to shy away, and he said, "That's all right. I'll just stand here with my drink and consider the various problems.

But then I realized that the SUN was after all a tabloid.
"Homo Hotpants" might just make the front page.

It did.

But for a long time afterwards, the phone wouldn't stop ringing.

One call was from George Henderson, saying he would burn my office down. Didn't like the story. "My parents don't want to see me again."

The other call was from a cross-dressing troupe who called themselves "She-Rade."

"We know you'll want to come and cover the event. You certainly seem geared that way...Who knows, something migt be eating away at you right now."

I asked him what his day job was. He said, "I drive a limo."

Geez. I didn't want to even touch that line. the guy was pretty glib.

Driving home that night, from the She-Rade gig, my wife said I kept looking in the rear view mirror. "What's with that? Baby, I think you're afraid of being rear-ended."

There was a puce-coloured limosine just behind me.

Wife said, "You seem to attract them like flies."

"I know, I said."

I cleared my throat and spat out the open driver's window.

"I'm not convinced," said the wife.

Evan Lewis said...

Sounds like a pretty dang good con for being the first in town. I met Walter Koenig once and remember him as a very nice gent.

Charles Gramlich said...

Tom, Yeah, I kind of figured that was true. From what I heard they did really well financially so it is likely to be bigger next year. I'll look forward to it.

Angie, Yes, Christian. I remember seeing the name there now. I probably would have liked Babylon 5 but was so busy with other things when it was out I never watched it.

sage, I remember thos 35 cent comics too. They had collectibles there upwards of 150 bucks. I wish I still had my old collection.

Alex J. Cavanaugh, I saw Ernie up pretty close but he had a very long line so I didn't wait. If it had been Ray Bradbury now!!!

Deka Black, I'm lucky in that my career has gone fairly well (academic that is) so I do have a bit of disposable income these days. Makes this kind of thing nicer.

Steve Malley, my son and I almost always have a good time when we're together.

ivan, LOL. Great story. When the graphic novel format first came out it 'often' had a very underground 'feel' to it. Seems like you got that feel yourself.

Evan Lewis, Walter was very nice. He looked pretty tired the day I saw him but he ain't no spring chicken anymore.

Jodi MacArthur said...

Sounds like a neat time. I'd like to go to one myself some day. The clint eastwood zombie poster sounds cool.

nephite blood spartan heart said...

Cool, I've been wanting to go to one myself but have yet to make it. Glad you had a good time.

ivan said...


Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Ty said...

Haven't been to a comic con in at least a dozen years. Always had a good time and found them a great place to make new friends, and run into some old ones.

Deka Black said...

Yep, must be someone in Asgard saying: "This mortal is clever. When he dies, make him come here!"

pattinase (abbott) said...

That is pricey. I always assumed the vendors would pick up the tab.

Travis Cody said...

Ahhhh...Claudia Christian. I loved the Babylon 5 series and always thought Ivanova was a terrific character.

I've never been to a Comic Con. We've got the Penny Arcade Expo, otherwise known as PAX. I went in 2006 when it was at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

Scott said...


Sounds like a fun time. I went to Teaxs Frightmare Weekend last Spring, which was my first con , and it was a blast. Glad you and Josh had a good time...alligator and cold brew sounds good.

And seeing lots of Goth chicks is never a bad thing.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jodi MacArthur, it was very cool. I'm kicking myself now. I should have bought it.

David J. West, I almost didn't go because of the long drive but am glad I did.

ivan, not as funny as your riff.

Ty Johnston, I think I may make it a regular stop if it comes again, which it is supposed to.

Deka Black, there are certainly worse places. :)

pattinase, I imagine there is a lot of overhead for putting on one of those things.

Travis Cody, she is certainly a lovely woman.

Scott, once you've gone to a con or two it's hard not to go again. They can be so much fun.

the walking man said...

I would think that crowd would be looking for your autograph myself but then I am no fan of the comic book convention or stand-up comics either for that matter.

Charles Gramlich said...

Mark, that would be nice to think. I do remember being asked a few times for my autograph. I nearly fainted.

BernardL said...

What a great time! I'm going to the next big one in my area... usually San Francisco.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernardl, I found it worthwhile for sure.

Middle Ditch said...

I'm with Tom. I'm sure next year will be bigger and the year after even bigger still. Those things need time. Glad you had a good day with your son.

laughingwolf said...

sounds to me the best, too, charles, time with josh...

and yeah, 35 bucks is too much for that cheese!

Barrie said...

ComiCon is really big here. Although I've never gone. I just checked out the website and tickets go on sale this Sat. for our 2011 Comic Con in July!

j said...

That really sounds fun Charles, especially the time spent with your son. Were there a lot of people dressed in costume? It would be fun to just sit back and people watch.

Charles Gramlich said...

Middle Ditch, I'll be glad. I like to have lots of books to purchase.

laughingwolf, I really appreciate such days. They are too few even though he lives within an hour's drive.

Barrie, you might find it worthwhile!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jennifer, there were a fair number, and some quite intersting costumes. Not as many as I expected.

Lana Gramlich said...

You know, baby, if you ever want to bring a zombie Clint Eastwood poster home, I'd be glad to move paintings around so we can hang it. The way I see it, the paintings are just kind of "place holders" anyway.
Hope to go with you next year. Sounds like it was fun!

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, I'd rather have your pics baby. They are so much more emotive to me.