It felt like this year's Baltimore Comic-Con hit a new record for attendance, and it just goes to show that people are still very much interested in comic books -- both traditional and digital (if the packed house at the comiXology panel was any indication). Lines wrapped around the convention floor for such comic luminaries as Stan Lee, Greg Capullo, David Finch, Adam Hughes and Barry Kitson, and fans swarmed spinner racks and tables full of the latest titles.
It was also pretty obvious to an observer that despite the current debate over whether mainstream comics only appeal to a certain specific demographic, the diverse turnout for BCC2011 indicated that truly, comics are for everybody. Young and old, male and female, of every race and creed. They all want to read comics, and this convention provided them with a healthy balance of capes n' tights, indies, comics for kids, westerns, and everything in-between.
DC artist Jamal Igle draws a commission at Baltimore Comic-Con
Hot topics at the show included DC's impending "52" relaunch, Mark Waid's Daredevil, the Harvey-nominated Echoes from Top Cow, new Spider-Man Miles Morales, new projects from ACT-I-VATE, and the recent Captain America movie. While the Big Two didn't have tables at the convention, their presence was felt via "ambassadors" such as Waid, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Snyder, Tom Raney, Jason Aaron, and many others. Publishers who did have booths at the show included Top Cow, Top Shelf, AdHouse, Boom!, comiXology, and Avatar.
The comiXology gang horses around for the camera
A special note should be taken of the keen interest in hobby gaming amongst comic fans -- and vice-versa. Collectible card game publishers Zeitgeyser LLC, just a few months old, generated a lot of interest in their new game Conquest Tactics and had a very successful convention. The Visionary Comics series Deadlands, based on the popular RPG game, saw many fans of the game coming to the booth to buy the comics. Given that hobby gaming has seen so many gains this year (at least, according to Diamond Distributors), perhaps comics + gaming is a natural for conventions.
The gang at the Conquest Tactics booth pose for a pic
The person who really tied the whole convention together, though -- and whose presence could be felt everywhere, from the con floor to the Harvey Awards -- was Stan Lee. His panel on Sunday was attended by about 800 people, a portion of whom paid almost $200 a piece to have some face-time and a photo with the living legend of comics. Despite feeling a little under the weather during the weekend, he expressed tremendous energy and enthusiasm for the fans.
A rare photo of Stan "The Man" Lee, so energetic that he's hard to capture on film
In case you weren't able to make it out to BCC this year, here are some snaphots from the event:
That Lex Luthor is an evil guy...
B.P.R.D. writer John Arcudi signs a book for a fan
The lines are huge in front of the convention center
Loki has never looked so good!
Terry Moore does a signing for fans
Baltimore Comic-Con is for lovers
The Avatar booth
No comic-con is complete without the Star Wars contingent...
Jimmy Palmiotti, Lee Moder, David Gallaher, Steve Ellis, and C. Edward Sellner at the Deadlands panel
Spaceballs cosplay? Sure, why not?
The fans flock to the Top Shelf booth
Somebody should tell them where Loki went...
Fun game: how many comic book industry people can YOU identify in this pre-Harvey Awards reception photo?
Top Cow, respresentin' at Baltimore
Paul D. Storrie, the author of the "My Boyfriend Is A Monster" graphic novel series from Graphic Universe
Why we were all there.