A Day At The Con - Boston SouthCoast Comic Con, Anime Fest and Collectibles Extravaganza, December 9th, 2017
It has been more than a year since I found myself able to attend a convention. I hadn't been planning to attend this one but I had a good reason for that. Until two days ago, I didn't even know it was happening.
I found out about this because the actress Nicki Clyne (from the second Battlestar Galactica series) posted on her Facebook page that she was going to be there. Now I had met her twice before but since she was going to be there, I decided to at least check out the convention's Facebook page. That turned out to be a great decision because I soon discovered what quickly became my #1 reason for deciding to head off to Hanover, MA this morning, decked out in my Firefly related "Big Damn Heroes" T-shirt, to partake in the festivities.
The first thing to know about this con is that it takes place in the Hanover Mall. Yep, this con is held in a shopping mall. I know, it sounds a bit strange, but it actually works out quite well. It was easy to move around with the decently spaced aisles and there was lots to stop and look at without holding up traffic. You had vendors selling everything from comics and DVDs, to original art, jewelry, swords and just about every kind of collectible you could think of. There was the place I typically spend a lot of my time at the con, Artist's Alley, where comic book creators and artists are selling their works (and yes, I'm usually buying a few books to read). You had costume contests, celebrity panels, photo opportunities and a lot more. And you didn't feel cramped in the least plus, you actually got to talk to some of the creators that were there.
The part about not being cramped was important because I had a special guest with me for my trip. I called up a friend of mine yesterday and asked her if she'd like to come with me to the show. To my shock and awe, Florence said yes. She's never been to a convention before so not feeling rushed or cramped was a good way to acclimate to the setting. By the way, she's responsible for all candid photos in this article save one. It's not much of a spoiler alert, but she had a really good time both with me and when she wandered a little on her own. Oh and she loved the Arrow cosplayer she saw and got a photo of him. She also picked up a present for her son that he should enjoy.
I had three main things that I wanted to do at the con and I will get to those a bit later. As Florence and I wandered the floor, we stopped to look at some of the wares on offer. She was taken with some of the jewelry and picked up a video game too. At one booth there was not only jewelry but finely detailed masks from various genre characters. I loved the one of the DC Comics villain Deathstroke and the Star Wars geek in me really wanted the lightsabers that were available as well. And I don't meant the kind you can buy at a department store.
Actor Jeremy Jordan (Winn on the Supergirl TV show) was a featured guest and I saw a bit of his Q&A panel. There were a lot of cosplayers but most of them were anime characters. Since anime isn't my thing, I wasn't really paying them much attention. There were three pretty decent Supergirl cosplayers wandering the floor though.
As I said before, I usually wander the Artist Alley section of the con looking for interesting comic book / graphic novel work. I've made some friends with some of the people I've met and read a lot of great stories that way. This time was no exception. I touched base once more with Joe St. Pierre who has a great series called The New Zodiax. I picked it up at the Rhode Island Comic Con last year but got an update on how the next collection is progressing.
I met Matt Dursin, the writer of the comic series Robin Hood - Outlaw of the 21st Century and picked up the collection of the first four issues. You can learn more about his work at Robin Hood Comic Book.com
I've seen John Yuskaitis Jr.'s Boots & Pup at other conventions but somehow never actually spent some time talking to him or trying out his series. I picked up the first book in the collection, Inspired Laziness, this time around. We share a friend in the ever awesome Jennie Wood! You can check out more at Boots & Pup.com
My love of mysteries and thrillers also found some new material to read at this convention as well. The first was the Lovecraft PI graphic novel from Darkside Media. It is a series about a paranormal investigator and looks really intriguing. You can learn more at LovecraftPI.com Oh, and I got a nice little pin when I picked up the trade paperback as well.
Darby Pop Publishing had a booth at the show and they ended up grabbing my attention with two different mystery collections. The first is a conspiracy thriller called Things You Shouldn't Remember and you can read more about it HERE!
The second trade I picked up from them starts off with a real life back story. Recently, I've been accused of not being very in with the Christmas spirit. Mainly because of a couple of grouchy things I posted on my Facebook page. Well, how about a mystery that features Santa as a private eye for a little Xmas spirit combined with my love of mysteries? Yep, you guessed it, I now have a copy of Santa Claus: Private Eye. Read more about it HERE!
The best thing was getting to talk to the guy running the table (totally forgot your name, sorry about that) about loving mysteries and comics.
Keeping with the Christmas spirit theme, I stumbled onto the Homeless Comics table. I didn't know they were going to be at this show. I first became aware of the company through the 2013 Rhode Island Comic Con where I bought the trade collection of the series Healed and met artist Griffin Ess and his conversation starting (and disturbing) Captain Picard beefcake photo. I loved that series and this time I was talking to writer George O'Connor. I ended up grabbing the con exclusive collection of the first two issues in his Silent Knight series. It also features Santa Claus as a private eye, but that's where any similarity between that and the Darby Pop series ends. I got to have a nice conversation with him about Healed and a few other topics.
While I talked to him, Florence was off checking out some Pokémon stuff for her nephew but she came back in time to take the photo of O'Connor and I.
That was pretty much my experiences walking the floor with no real aim in mind.
As for those three all important items on my to-do list for the convention, the first was to take a photo with the coolest science fiction vehicle of all time. Yes, I speak of the vehicle that can go all the way from Earth to Raxacoricofallapatorius and back again, the TARDIS.
This photo was taken at the booth of The Phantom Star (http://www.thephantomstar.net), an online radio program that broadcasts "the best Sci-Fi, Horror and Fantasy of All Time". I really wasn't at the show for any collectibles but I did pick up a Firefly pinback and a DVD set of all of the Peter Davison 5th Doctor episodes of the Doctor Who TV show to go along with the photo, and thankfully rather inexpensively so.
At one point, Florence needed a break so she went out side to get off her feet for a bit. I took that time alone to wander over to the table for writer/artist Guy Gilchrist. If you don't know who he is, for shame, but I'm sure you know a lot of his work. He's been involved with the Muppets, the Muppet Babies, Fraggle Rock, Tom and Jerry and has been writing the Nancy comic strip for more than 20 years. It was this last comic work that was particularly important to me thanks to this Sunday November 12th, 2017 strip:
It meant a lot to me because that date would've been my mother's birthday and the text and sentiment of the strip really hit home with me. When I saw that Gilchrist was going to be at the convention, I wanted to thank him personally for that strip. I accomplished that and got to talk with him a bit as he told me the inspiration behind that particular comic. He did a quick little sketch for me and gave me some details, which I'll keep to myself, but will end up with me receiving a print of that comic. It was a really special moment for me getting to thank him personally for the strip. So special apparently that like an idiot, I forgot to get a photo with him. Instead, here's a photo that was taken by the convention staff (and used here with their permission) of Mr. Gilchrist.
The absolute #1 thing I wanted to do and the main reason I went to this convention was because they had actress Gigi Edgley appearing. She played "Chiana" on one of the best science fiction shows of all time, Farscape. I'm a huge fan of the show but I'd never even had the chance to meet one of the cast members before. So this was a MUST!
One of the exhibitors at the show, conveniently located right across the aisle from Edgley, was the puppet creator Bill Diamond Productions. He's been involved with The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and The Little Shop of Horrors among numerous credits. I mention this because instead of getting the standard photo celebrity photo opp with Ms. Edgley, I was able to take advantage of a different kind of photo experience. I got to have a photo taken not only with Gigi, but with "Pilot" as well. On the show, which the Henson Company was deeply involved with, Pilot was an integral part of the ship but he was indeed a puppet. Not that you would've realized it much as you got involved in the show. He was as real as the human characters.
At first there was a wait for all this as Edgley was at her photo session and then on a break. But when she came back, it was PICTURE TIME! Florence got to take a number of photos of the two of us together with Pilot and it was simply all kinds of awesome!
After that was over, Florence and I walked back over to Gigi's table with her and we ended up talking about her music video that just came out, including the look of the video resembling a movie that neither of us could remember. She was so stuck on naming the movie that she actually called a friend of hers (or perhaps her significant other, I'm not sure) IN AUSTRALIA to find out the name. After that, I got my Farscape Complete Series DVD box set signed before saying a final goodbye to both Gigi and the convention.
I have to say that I really enjoyed myself at the Boston SouthCoast Comic Con. It is a smaller convention in terms of overall scale, but the ability to move around at a reasonable pace as opposed to having to be constantly on the move to avoid being trampled to death really made for an calm yet exciting day. I got to spend the day with a good friend of mine and introduce her to wacky world of pop culture conventions and see her actually have a good time with said first experience. And I got to add to my collection of great memories meeting celebrities from shows that I love, comic creators that are turning out great stories and pictures that document it all. For me, this was a really big successful and enjoyable experience.
Thanks for sharing the experience.
Seems like a fun place to be. It's been a while since I attended any comic cons.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article!