The Blot could not believe the electricity in the air when I arrived at Comicpalooza 2016 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. In many ways, this year’s later date in June did wonders for the show. You could tell school was out with high attendance early on Friday. By the time I arrived at the convention just before noon, the halls were already jammed packed with children of all ages in awesome anime and super hero costumes. That’s the great part about “Texas' Largest Comic and Pop Culture Event”. It has done an amazing job appealing to so many different genres and fandoms.
Without a doubt you could feel the excitement all weekend long for the Aliens 30th Anniversary Cast Reunion. I spoke with diehard Alien fans from around the globe who had flown to Houston for this once in a lifetime event. By the time the Aliens Q&A panel and signings began on Saturday Comicpalooza had been invaded by an insane amount of Colonial Maries, Xenomorph and Ripley cosplayers. It was awesome! The lines to meet Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton and Paul Reiser were equally insane. You would not believe all of the epic Aliens memorabilia brought to the convention floor to be signed.
But it wasn’t just the Aliens cast reunion that brought excitement to the convention floor. You definitely couldn’t tell Charlie Hunnam had just been in Houston for a con earlier this month. Sons of Anarchy fans flocked to his booth all weekend long, making his corner of Comicpalooza one of the places to be this year. Other huge draws were Kate Beckinsale, Norman Reedus and the equally exciting Boondock Saints reunion. Comicpalooza was definitely all about celebrity signings and photo ops this year!
The Blot is always excited to meet the professional comic book guests Comicpalooza brings to Houston this year. I had great conversations with Adam Kubert, John Ostrander, Mike Zeck, Val Mayerik and Andy Belanger. Mayerik (the co-creator of Howard the Duck) was a real thrill to speak with as he has not been seen on the comic con scene in a number of years. But it was a huge honor to get to talk with comic book legend Ostrander, the creator of the modern day Suicide Squad. Ostrander’s work was a huge influence on me and you can see today how that book has not only influenced the current era of DC Comics, but also the DC movie universe with the upcoming live action Suicide Squad film.
It felt like Comicpalooza’s dealers section has also grown tremendously this year. The Blot was really excited to finally meet Alvin and Cheri Ong of Furry Feline Creatives. These extremely popular plush and resin figure creators recently relocated to Texas and were making their very first Comicpalooza appearance. While we’ve been covering their releases for years, this was the first time I’ve been able to see their work in person, and boy was I blown away!
While the list of professional comic book guests seemed lighter than in years past, The Blot was thrilled to see a huge increase at comic book vendors in the dealers section. You could really see a larger emphasis on comic books at this comic con, and I hope this trend continues!
This was definitely the first time in my seven years of attending/covering Comicpalooza that I felt like I just couldn’t do everything I actually wanted to do. The show has grown so much that there’s finally just too much to do it all. But that’s a great problem to have! This is one of the few conventions that continues to grow and improve year after year, and The Blot’s really proud it’s in my own backyard. The commitment the City of Houston has made to Comicpalooza is a great sign that it will! If you’re looking for a great convention to attend next year, make plans now to attend Comicpalooza 2017 on May 12-14.