Hartford ComiCon 2016
By Janice Wawrzynowicz Sanborn
April and I ventured to Hartford on a mission to explore the Hartford Comicon 2016. We chose an outdoor parking lot a small block away from the convention center. It allowed us to catch some of the awesome architecture of the city while walking and scope out the necessary supply options. It is difficult to obtain adequate food supplies at conventions for veggie eaters.
First of all, once inside the convention center, we found the information booth with ease and the lines were not very large. A guide brought us to the press booth, where we received our press badges. There were no programs, printed information or documentation provided describing the Comicon, its guests or panels. Network access on the cells was sketchy – sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
Food and Photos
They had two food sections located within the main hall of Exhibitors. In fact, the bulk of the Comicon was the Exhibit hall. We never located any of the panels or the location where panels were held. They did have a section that was marked off for paid photographs and autographs with their featured guests.
Hartford Comicon 2016 vs. 2015
We had attended this Comicon last year with Mr. Getty. I have to say, it was a bit larger last year. That being said, it was more interesting in the Exhibitors hall this year. The booths were spaced out well. Last year they were crammed together. There were fewer cosplayer guests and booth holders this year. There were more artists and writers this year, which I particularly enjoyed. Your standard booths of statues, knickknacks, games, comic books, resellers and toys were there, but not in full force. There were a few unique booths selling jewelry and costumes. To our surprise, there was even a booth selling art supplies. Yes, you heard me right and the art supplies were not overly expensive. April and I discovered a new source of art supplies to work with.
Our booth favorites was the stand selling root beer out of kegs. You buy the mug and get free refills as long as you have the mug you bought for the entire convention. The mugs were sold at $15 to $30 each with the smallest mug holding about 30 ounces. Root beer flavors of all types and kinds existed. I think we were going into diabetic comas by time we left the convention.
Usually you see a lot of attendees cosplaying. This was not the case at Hartford ComiCon 2016. However, when we did find cosplay action, it was very well done. We captured pictures of any we found as we walked around the convention.
Another favorite about this small convention was the fact that they had several photo booth opportunities with the Scooby mobile, the Ghost Busters vehicle, Batman, Joker and Superman. You paid a fee of about $10 or $20, they took and printed your photos on site.
In addition, Bill Diamond also had a booth with photo opportunities with his puppets. In case you don’t know who he is, he is the artist who designed the Fraggle Rock puppets, the man-eating plant, the puppets in The Dark Crystal and the puppets from a movie with David Bowie. For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of that movie. Mr. Diamond brought a crew. His booth was sizable He was one of the guests at the convention and we had an awesome conversation. Most noteworthy, we spoke about the business of art (of course, what were you expecting) and is interested in the idea. For me, he was the highlight of the convention. For April, it was the art supplies.
Some recommendations when going to this convention: a) Make sure to read the web page well before going to the show to have an idea of panels, guests and basic information. Printed material is not available, panel rooms are difficult to find. Furthermore, network access for your cell is not reliable, making checking the website via cell on location a maybe.
b) Also, talk to the information booth about what the programming or schedule is for the day and ask up front where things are located.
c) Furthermore, bring your camera, cash (there is a ton of high quality goodies at this convention) and good comfortable walking shoes. Because seating is not available unless you grab up a place on the floor. And all eating locations were standing only. While the tall stand at tables are cool, it is nice to be able to take a seat.
d) Be patient with the restrooms. There are two for the entire convention space. That being said, it is one of the few lines you will find yourself standing in at any length – well maybe next to the root beer stand.
Finally, for a small convention, it is definitely one to keep an eye on and plan to attend next year. In addition, Hartford ComiCon 2016 did a great job of reviewing the exhibitors, attracted a few unique booths that are not standard to these types of conventions, brought in plenty of photo opportunities that allowed its attendees to not only pose with their favorite guests and obtain autographs, but to pose with their favorite pop culture icons.
But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
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