We’ve been to our fair share of comic book conventions throughout the years here at DFAT and they can run the range from blah, to fun, to okay let’s never do that one again, and more. We love the vibe that a convention has regardless if it ends up being good or not. Hundreds or thousands of people who are fully expressing their fandom and being connected with the characters and creators they’ve come to admire. This is my first time at the Nickel City Comic Con and I found out that the fan experience, is exactly what they delivered. You could pretty much take any genre from fandom and you’d be sure to get something out of the show. From Star Wars, to Wrestling, to Marvel and DC and so much more. NCC really did a great job of catering to everyone who attended.
I was first struck with just how organized everything was. This can be a common problem amongst some cons that don’t put the fans first. They’re most interested in making a quick buck, instead of paying attention to the needs of the guests that come to support them. The staff at NCC were all knowledgable and happy to help. I’ve been to Queen City Comic Con many times at the Convention Center, so the layout was similar; there’s really not much you can do about that, but it was good that the welcome pamphlet held the weekend’s activities and told you where to go to find what you were looking for.
I was a big fan of the ‘Artist Alley’ and was probably my favorite part of the con. It’s great to see independent artists mixed in with well-knowns all creating great work in the same area. You could feel the passion from them as you discussed their works and took commissions on pretty much anything you could think of. I also had the good fortune to moderate a Sketch Duel with the artists. William Mutka, Nathan Jeffers, John Kindelan, and Thomas Preston all faced off against each other in a timed battle of who could draw the most accurate comic character. Also in the panel, the attendees learned about each artist, their craft, best practices, and inspirations for doing what they do. It was a truly awesome thing to be a part of and give it up to Mutka for putting it together. Myself and the audience really enjoyed it!
Don’t let me forget that there was an entire section devoted to horror on the first floor! Horror Fest had The Cryptkeeper himself, John Kassir amongst guests from Donnie Darko, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween just to name a few. The entire con was packed with celebrities like Hulk Hogan, Lou Ferrigno, Jason Mewes, Lori Petty, and so many more. Heck, even Napoleon Dynamite himself, Jon Heder, was in attendance! This was truly a show to get you a large range of stars. On the comics side of things they had James O’Barr (The Crow), Frank Cho (Hulk), Peter Tomasi (Superman) and other great guests!
Special thanks to Community Beer Works as well in Buffalo provided some tasty brews including their newest creation, The Hopside Down. While I’m not usually an IPA guy, this beer really blew me away. Perfect for sipping while checking out the merchandise at the booths or the cosplay contest or talking with your fellow fan about what you saw that day. They really nailed it with that beer.
Overall, Nickel City Comic Con was a really great time. I’m happy to see a fandom convention like this one in the area and give something to everyone, regardless of what they’re into. The organization of the Dave & Adam’s was excellent and really gave other cons something to emulate. I can’t wait for next year!