Wow, Baltimore, who knew? Everybody but me, I guess. The comic con here is simply fantastic, on par with Heroes Con and Emerald City as one of the best mid-to-large all comic shows. Baltimore Comic Con is another great example of a good sized comic book show that doesn't need celebrity media stars, video games, or movie studios to be energetic and successful.
In a wide room resembling the hanger bay of the Battlestar Galactica, housed in an expansive modern convention hall, which is located in the center of a rejuvenated tourist friendly city center, this comic con was packed wall to wall with guests, dealers, and best of all, eager attendees! Arriving two hours early for setup on Saturday, there was already a long line stretched outside. My opinion of this show is going to be somewhat limited, however. This was my first time at Baltimore and I was so swamped the entire time with sketch commissions and people coming to the table. As a result, I never had a chance to walk the con floor. Fortunately, I felt like I still had a full experience because it seemed like a lot of the con came to me at one point or another. But my biggest regret, as is often the case, was not being able to see so many of the other great exhibitors and guests that I knew were there. But, it's not a terrible problem to have, and I did have a wonderful experience at the Baltimore Comic Con.
Big thanks to comic book, sketch card artist, and my good buddy Chad Cicconi for the drive from Pittsburgh and being a superb roommate. We rode together down to Heroes earlier this year. Both times I've brought a handful of cds but never bother to open them as the conversation is constantly flowing throughout the journey. The city of Baltimore had me a bit worried, besides it's questionable reputation and portrayal in shows like The Wire, on our route into town it was clear that this city was in need of some serious urban renewal. As we got downtown and near the convention center, it was clear where all the money went, as this area was very new, shiny, open and ready to receive visitors of any shape and size.
The organizers of the convention really have their game together, everything from my my angle went smooth as silk, and they really take care of their exhibiting guests. Every convention needs a vip room!! Good job there, Baltimore Comic Con! Seriously, I cannot stress how helpful this simple addition to the exhibitor amenities really helps at a busy con. I wish every show had one. I had so many great conversations, saw some many wonderful people, everyone was positive and excited to be right where they were. Lately, I've been very busy at conventions, but even in light of other recent successful shows, I was still astonished by how much business I received in the two days at Baltimore. I wish I could draw faster, because my sketch list filled so quickly. The first day, I had to tell a number of people to come back first thing Sunday to try to get on the sketch list. I didn't expect anyone to actually come through with this offer, but they all did! Ten minutes after opening on Sunday my sketch list was again full and I knew I'd be busy right up until the closing minute. I also sold a really healthy amount of prints and I moved the Guns preview book off the table at a rate twice that of other successful cons. I want to give big, enormous, no, ginormous thanks to everyone who came by the table and got a book, a print, a sketch, or just came by to talk and tell me they liked my work, that really means a lot.
I wish I had a boatload of pictures to share from my weekend, but like I said, I was just too busy. I couldn't even stop to take pictures of the myriad of great costumers as they passed by my table. Save for just one, and if you check out my pics you'll see why I just had to snap that photo: All Hail Skroob! This was my first experience of the Baltimore Comic Con and I recommend this show to anyone who can attend. I know I'll definitely be back next year!