GARDEN STATE COMIC FEST 2015
KATE THE GEEKY REDHEAD 10-AUG-2015 Garden State Comic Fest was an overall positive experience for me. There was a minor issue picking up press badges but, as it was sorted out quickly, I’m willing to let that slide. This was their second year, first time in this location, and it seemed that not all staff knew where to look on what list for registered names – I expect some minor hiccups as a con is getting started!
The convention itself was small enough that nearly everything is in one room – all of which is on ground level. The artists and vendors were all in one space surrounded by bleacher type seating. I point this out because the sports arena provided a lot of seating to rest your feet, if you are able to climb stairs into the bleachers. Even discounting those, the con was small enough that there was plenty of open space to pull up beside a wall and rest. Outside of the main area, there is a small snack bar near an ice rink that has more chairs and benches with no stairs to reach them.
However, the panels were outside in a tent in the heat. While that may have been the best option for the venue, it was difficult for my group to figure out where the panels were to start with so better signage to direct people to the panels would be appreciated.
There was a nice variety of here. There were amazing artists and crafters, comics, and collectibles of different genres. There were booths selling Lego figures, hot sauce, geeky jewelry… It was a blast to look through. There wasn’t a lot in terms of cosplay or props for sale, but with Jennifer Rose on the scene there was geeky apparel!
This was a great con for cosplay! The DC Cosplayers East were out in force, the always amazing Ruby Rinekso and Jennifer Rose (one of the most charming cosplay couples I know) were there with a vendor table of their own as well as kids in costumes. A super adorable lady ghostbuster won my heart with her custom suit and her all business bustin’ pose.
This is great con to hit up if you are getting started in cosplay and want to network with other enthusiasts of different skill levels and make new friends.
The overall feel was good. Lighting was decent – it could be a little better in the main area, but it was by no means dark. The fact that everything was local to one room helps with feeling safe. You are never wandering away from the crowd and getting lost.
However, there was at least one attendee who set off my ‘danger sense’ enough that I alerted a few close friends to keep an eye on the individual as they interacted with me. It never exceeded comments and odd looks so, while I would not regard this as a reason to forgo the con, I do feel it’s worth mentioning.
This is a sports complex so the food situation is pretty in line with that. I would strongly suggest just bringing your own food if at all possible. I grabbed an ice cream sandwich from one of the vending machines because…. Because I like ice cream vending machines, ok? It was good and still in date but rock hard.
I am hoping that there will be more variety next year as there was a separate food vendor and if the con is larger next year there may be more.
I’m looking forward to going back. It’s a fun local con that has a lot of offer for geeks of different fandoms and varying levels of ‘geek’. It was friendly to both people who are just getting started in their fandoms as well as seasoned con goers. It was particularly a blast for me as a cosplayer. There were a lot of other local cosplayers while still being small enough that we could interact and make new friends.