I don't know about you guys, but I'm having a pretty crazy October. So crazy, in fact, that I haven't had a chance to post pictures from the San Diego Comic Fest until now. The convention, that took place at the Town and Country Resort the first weekend of October, is a smaller, more intimate alternative to the pop culture explosion that is San Diego Comic Con.
While I'm a huge fan of the massive madness of SDCC, it was a nice change of pace to enjoy something so much more laid back and quiet. The Fest is in its second year, and I think as more San Diegians become aware of the event, it will quickly grow into a nice, comfortable mid-size convention. These days, many locals can't even get tickets to the SDCC and many who can still avoid the massive convention because they can't stand the outrageous crowds or the high prices of attendance (including food and parking). While I doubt the Comic Fest will ever get the same size as Comic Con, that's actually a good thing. In fact, it's kind of the point.
Like all conventions, the Comic Fest has a dealer's hall, panels, artists and more. But one thing that made this convention special was all the kid-friendly programming available. In fact, I'd feel way more comfortable bringing a kid to this convention than any other I've been to because it's not only small enough that you don't have to worry about losing track of your youngster, but they will also have all kinds of fun there.
There is even a whole crafting room for kids with hourly activities such as mask making, alien construction and puppet creation. When I went in, the kids were making hats. Of course, if your kid got tired of crafting, he or she could always head down to the hotel's lovely pool.
Speaking of the pool, while people sunned and swam, artists took advantage of the great weather and worked on their art right there beside the pool. We saw Jeff Remmer paint a cool picture of Ghost Rider (see it completed here).
While I don't have a link to show you a completed version of the project he was working on, he did have some of his other art on display, so this can give you a small idea of his artistry.
One of the really cool things about this convention was getting to see the work of so many local artists. Here is one of my personal favorites, Batton Lash, the creator of Supernatural Law and head of Exhibit A Press.
These adorable post cards were available for sale from Arkham Bazaar, who was also selling some delightful Cthulhu Absinthe shirts and assorted other goodies. My mistake, it turns out, these were available courtesy of Wyngd Lion Creations and were created by artist Cindy Kinnard of Orginal Cin.
Outside the rooms, there was a great DeLorean on display that was loaded with all kinds of cool Back to the Future goodies, including a hover board, Marty's Walkman and an early drawing of a flux capacitor.
Speaking of fun, geeky visual displays, one of the hotel's rooms was all decked out as the Draco Tavern from Larry Niven's short story collection of the same name.
It was pretty fun to check out all the decorations while enjoying a quick bite to eat and watching a live band perform on stage.
While the convention was pretty tiny, there were still a handful of cosplayers, like this Two Face.
In fact, given how few cosplayers there were, it was quite noticeable that such a huge portion of them were dressed up as characters from Batman. I think this Joker might have been my favorite.
I thought it was really nice seeing people look happy and comfortable in their homemade costumes, like the girl on the right, whereas at Comic Con, there is way more competitiveness about cosplay, so many people who just want to have fun with their costumes don't bother dressing up at all.
There were way more cosplayers out at night, and with good reason: there were all kinds of fun evening events for adults. Out by the pool, there was a cocktail party with a rock band.
And inside the ballroom, there was a masked ball going on.
Local band Raggle Taggle played a fun mix of swing, entertaining the crowd in style.
The ball was great because people were invited to wear whatever they wanted, whether that meant something fancy...
Or something a little more geeky.
Personally, I was the most taken in by this couple with a decidedly dark twist to their look.
Though these two looked pretty awesome in their costumes and I really wish I got to see them dance.
Because I had to head home between the closing of the exhibit hall and the ball, I even ended up missing quite a bit of other fun evening events including a fund raising auction and a live Doctor Who improv session. Needless to say, while the convention is tiny, there's still a lot to do there, ensuring it will keep entertaining attendees in years to come.
If you happen to be in the area next year, I highly recommend stopping by and checking out the San Diego Comic Fest as it really is a good time.