Here we are at the end of the “comic” convention year (a few other smaller cons are sprinkled through out the month) and my final con of the year was Tucson Comic-Con. This was my third year attending and I’ve come to enjoy the con for what it is. What is it actually? That’s a good question because it has morphed into this hybrid con that is trying accommodate several different crowds.
Tucson Comic-Con has pride itself on being a con that’s skewed toward independent comics and makes no bones about it. You’ll find nearly every local creator at this show from Val Hochberg, Jeff Pina, Denny Riccelli, and so on. The fans support these creators at the con which is why it’s become such a favorite of indie creators. With out the presence of a marquee guest in the past, Tucson Comic-Con had creator a comic focused con that drew really good attendance. So when you’re a comic focused con, you’ve gotten really good attendance without breaking the bank on guests, you’re loved by the local scene, maybe the next step is bringing in a Todd McFarlane or Jason Latour, creators who’ve dabble in both independent and mainstream comics.
However, that’s not the direction Tucson Comic-Con decided to go. Instead, they went the route of celebrity guests, following the blueprint of so many other cons. We were given Casper Van Dien, Dave Ellefson of Megadeath, Tony Todd, Marina Sirtis, just to name a few. I didn’t keep an eye on celebrity signing area the entire time I was there but the times I walked by when the guests were there, it didn’t look too busy. It will be interesting to see if this route of celebrity guests will continue and be successful for the con.
With that said, I still enjoyed the con. I’m a big fan of a good and diverse exhibit hall that features a variety of merchandise, comics, and art. If you enjoy digging through $1 long boxes or getting an art commission from an art stud like Mat Nastos, finding a unique hand made gift, than you’ll love the exhibit hall at Tucson Comic-Con. You know what else is really solid at Tucson Comic-Con? The cosplay! Every time I’ve attended I notice the amount of creativity of the cosplayers in town, it’s a really underrated strength of the con.
What I am trying to say is that I don’t want Tucson Comic-Con to do the same thing almost every other con is doing. They have build a good foundation and I would hate to see that diminished because they want to bring in more celebrities. If anything, brings us some headline comic book guests, I know that isn’t the “sexy” thing to do but your attendees would appreciate it.
As always, make sure to follow Legion of Sand on Twitter for more Arizona convention coverage and news.