GARDEN STATE COMIC FEST
JULY 25-26, 2015
JESSE PARRINO 28-JULY-2015 As a spur of the moment idea I went to Garden State Comic Fest this past Sunday. I had a really good time. The decision to go came from seeing Amber’s photos of the event. Despite being pretty much done with conventions due to money and other more personal issues, I decided it looked like fun. It didn’t disappoint. That said, I don’t go to conventions with the same eye as Amber. So I didn’t do any panels. I go mostly to socialize with like-minded fans and to do some light shopping.
First thing that comes to mind was, for a $15 ticket price, the show was quite large. Four rows of vendors with some of the guests scattered around the outside. As per the usual for cons of this size, in the current market the largest chunk of the guests were the cosplayers. This bothers me on a few levels. The main one being something Amber brought up in her review. People like her and I have been at this a lot longer; it’s weird to be seeing “veteran” cosplayers talking at length. When as a con goer and cosplayer, I’ve been doing it for longer. With that said, I did notice that there was a sizable amount of younger attendees. People that I’d normally only ever see at the Anime Cons were here and I’m glad to see the crossover.
One other thing I noticed was the amount of different cosplayers and cosplay groups collecting for charity. My favorite being the Mando-Mercs and their Bounty Hunt which was spoken about already. My friend put a hunt out on me. So I put a hunt out on him, and it because this huge circle of hunts and charity, it just made me so happy to see. There was a second Star Wars group collecting as well as a few other odds and ends.
The biggest take away I had from this show was the amount of charity done.
The vendors and artists were a good mix of styles. I saw both the comic professionals and independent artists selling commissions. Vendor wise, there was a really good mixture of figures, books, and assorted other items. No one vendor type overtook. But there was one issue I had in the vendor hall. Bootlegs. There were two vendors selling burned DVDs of “old” TV shows. One of them was even selling Doctor Who seasons that were readily available on DVD. I have no idea if any of their other items were available at retail. But seeing vendors like that always puts a bad taste in my mouth and it’s just not a good sign for a con runner to allow sellers of that type at their con.
The cosplay itself was well done – a lot of people bringing their best which I think stems from many of the guests being cosplay guests. I saw a lot of creativity and a good amount of people really trying to win those NYCC tickets. I didn’t stay for the contest as I had other things I needed to get done. What I saw was done remarkably well, including a eight-foot-tall Gorilla Grodd and a Grey Scale Harley Quinn. If you’re local, I can’t recommend this con enough.
Amber’s Review of the show includes all the great things she saw and some personal experiences.