Growing up in the ’80s, going to a comic convention was no easy feat to accomplish. And one happening in Connecticut? Pretty much unheard of.
If you were lucky, you could make it out to San Diego, or the occasional NYC con. But that was about your only options.
That’s why it’s still so incredible to me to have an event like ComiCONN this weekend.
It’s been around since 2010 – “A Show For the Fans By the Fans” – and it’s only gotten bigger with each year. Last year it was in Hartford at the Connecticut Convention Center but it outgrew that and now it’s moved to Foxwoods – you know, the biggest casino in North America!
Times have certainly changed. I was there in the ’80s as a fan of comics when it was certainly far from the mainstream that it’s become now. We never thought we’d get another “Star Wars” movie – now we have a new one every single year!
Comic culture hasn’t simply permeated the mainstream, it’s totally taken over. The most important movie right now is “Wonder Woman,” and three of the five biggest movies of 2017 are comic films (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Logan,” and “The LEGO Batman Movie”). “The Walking Dead” is the biggest show on TV, and there are comic-based series on nearly every channel (every single night in the case of The CW) and Netflix (all their original Marvel programming is among their most popular content).
You’ll find comic culture literally everywhere, not just on “The Big Bang Theory” – sports, clothing, music…and of course, at ComiCONN!
There will be celebrities signing autographs. Ron Perlman (Hellboy himself!), Gaten Matarazzo from “Stranger Things,” and Ric Flair to name a few, but the true celeb highlight is both John Kreese and Johnny Lawrence from the original “Karate Kid” are going to be there! Is it too much to ask them to reenact this scene?
Since they are ComicCONN, they’re staying true to their roots with comic book creators, writers and artists. True legends like Jim Shooter, Neal Adams and Jim Steranko. Plus Timothy Zahn will be there, the man wrote 1991’s “Heir to the Empire” – the first official sequel to “Return of the Jedi” – and he basically single-handedly brought “Star Wars” back to the mainstream.
Plus there’s everything in between – tabletop gaming, video games (including a “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” competition), cosplay, anime, sci-fi speed dating, tons of vendors, and much more!
And if you think ComiCONN isn’t for you, realize that the comic culture is really so far beyond comic books. This year anticipate seeing plenty of live-action “Beauty and the Beast” cosplay – something that has nothing to do with comic books whatsoever.
Neither does the new “Twin Peaks” revival, but where else would you go to find an official damn fine cup of coffee mug?
Or go into any mall and check out the thousands of Funko Pop! vinyl figures! There’s a good chance you’ve got one or two on your desk right now and, if so, congratulations! You’re a part of the con culture!
Whatever you’re into it, there’s someone else into it too at ComiCONN.