If you’re like me and live in the Bay Area, we got to experience two conventions within two weeks in the form of Heroes & Villains FanFest two weekends ago and San Francisco Comic Con this past Labor Day weekend. For a veteran San Diego Comic-con attendee, this was awesome because I want to see more and more comic conventions pop up locally to appease both my urge to attend and volunteer as well. And I categorize this past weekend’s show at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis better than San Jose’s Big Wow Comicfest but still has some way to be the next WonderCon (which was held in San Francisco, years ago, before moving to Anaheim).
I was able to attend the show Friday and Saturday. Friday’s show was a treat because I took PTO to enjoy the beginning of this con and was pleasantly surprised about the amount of artists on the exhibit floor. Tons of tables with artists, showcasing their prints, buttons, and comics along with one of the Image Comics founders, Whilce Portacio, a 12-year old artist that I follow on Instagram, Ethan Castillo, and an artist that I discovered while walking the floor, Mindy Wheeler, who had her creative prints on metal pieces. Some friends were disappointed that there weren’t many toy booths which there weren’t but a big draw the entire weekend was the mystery box booth that had various sizes boxes that attendees could purchase in the hopes an awesome exclusive was hidden inside.
Similar to Heroes & Villains FanFest, a big draw for attendees was the ability to meet celebrities and the bill had many from nerd culture including Janet Varney, the voice of Korra from The Legend of Korra, Chris Sabat, the voice of Vegeta from Dragonball Z, Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who, Ian McDiarmid, Emperor Palpatine himself, and Manu Bannet, Crixus from Starz’s Spartacus and Deathstroke from CW’s Arrow. I was able to meet Janet Varney on Friday and take a photo with Jenna Coleman on Saturday without too long of a wait. On the Celeb hunting checklist, it was a good weekend!
I can’t write about a comic convention without reviewing the cosplay scene. And I’m glad to say that cosplayers were out in full force this weekend. I ran into a really great David Tennant Doctor Who cosplayer, the Psylocke cosplayer, Marie Bartz, and a Bay Area Spider-Man cosplayer, AndroidSpid3y.
And there were a few cosplayers that I never were able to meet at other conventions but ironically were able to meet as they were waiting in line to meet another cosplayer. So meta. Kittiecosplay does a great Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebel and Lilo Fett mashup between Lilo & Stitch and Boba Fett. And thestylishgeek herself, Emily, looked particularly Vader-like in her Vader cosplay.
What’s really cool was this con featured 4 professional cosplayers who had booths right next to each other. The lines here weren’t too bad but did get busy on Saturday when the exhibit floor was packed with attendees. Jessica Nigri, Jennifer Ann, Lisa Lou Who, and Heather1337 not only had a cosplay panel but sold prints at their booths. I was able to meet Heather on Saturday when she debuted her Spider-Gwen cosplay. The vibe was great on the cosplay front and it really was awesome to see as I made my way through the hotel, passing various Deadpools, Harley Quinn’s, and one huge Pikachu!
All in all, this show bodes well for future San Francisco Comic Cons. I think the organizers did well trying to spread out all the various things you can do with panels on one floor, the 501st and Mandalorian Mercs on another floor, the gaming area on 5th floor, and Star Signings on another floor. Plus, the Children of the Con area, which was a room with Legos in the middle, for the kids was a genius. My son loved playing with Legos the entire time!
This was my son’s first convention that he could remember and to see him enjoy his time makes this a successful experience. He did get a bit shy seeing the Mando Mercs and Stormtroopers but I’m hoping he gets use to them in the future. And he generally liked walking around and exploring, so as a nerd dad, this is a good sign!
Kudos to all those involved with this show and I hope it returns next year. It was super fun to be an attendee this weekend since I was a volunteer at Heroes & Villains FanFest the weekend before and actually nerd out. For me, because of the celebrities present, awesome cosplay, and the high discoverability of new art and artists, this show has great potential for years to come!
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