Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Con Report: Comicpalooza 2014

Comicpalooza Texas' International Comic-Con Logo

Last Memorial Day The Blot attended my fifth Comicpalooza, and without a doubt it was the best one yet! I was blown away from the minute I walked in the doors on Friday. I’m honestly a little concerned because I don’t know how Comicpalooza can top this one. Their guest list this year was A+ and they continued to add big name guests the week of the show.

Convention Report - Comicpalooza 2014

Without a doubt the stars of the weekend were Stan Lee and the cast of Marvel’s Agents of SHILED, with Doctor Who’s John Barrowman and the four Doctors a close second. All weekend long there was a mob of people waiting in line to meet and greet these geek icons. I couldn’t believe the autograph lines Friday at lunch time, a time when cons are usually a little slow. It was really interesting to note how many Arrow fans were in line to meet Barrowman. Now that he’s a series regular on Arrow it’ll be interesting to see if he’s still the Doctor Who/Torchwood guy or if Malcolm Merlyn is taking over!

It felt like there was a great emphasis on panels this year and the fans responded with long lines and packed halls! Another few years like this and Comicpalooza may be able to start competing with the nation’s top comic-cons. While the con definitely had some growing pains – the use of their new app as the only program seemed to be a huge flop – all in all the weekend solidified Comicpalooza as the preeminent comic-con in the state of Texas.

Convention Report - Comicpalooza 2014

Beyond the rows of B and C-list celebrities, was one of the great comic-centric shows I’ve been to in a long time. The Blot ended up spending most of my time talking to some of the amazing talent Comicpalooza brought in like Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, Don Rosa, Kevin Maguire, Aaron Lopresti and Nick Pitarra. I even learned one of my favorite inkers, Doug Hazelwood, lived in Texas! Who know? There’s nothing better than listening to their stories of life in the industry, especially Adams and Steranko. I’d heard stories of their showmanship, and neither icons disappointed.

Although I wasn’t able to take advantage of Comicpalooza expanding to four days, on Sunday I got to meet one of my childhood heroes, Bret “Hitman” Hart! The Blot’s always wanted to meet The HItman, and I was blown away by how nice and humble the seven time world champion is still today. I’m sure I sounded like an idiot as I geeked out meeting him, but what can you do!?!

All in all Comicpalooza 2014 was a really great experience. I just wish I’d had more time at the convention! There was so much I didn’t have time to do and see. I wasn’t even able to make it through my list of people to see and interview. I guess I’ll just have to make up for it next year!
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