Terrificon 2016 was Beyond Terrific!
Connecticut’s Terrificon has come and gone. But the lasting memories, along with the physical loot, still are fresh in my mind as well as my companions that I brought along on this quest. I have always loved Batman, and since I have been collecting comic books, of particular meaning to either me or to the comic’s history, I have yet to own a Batman book. I knew which one I wanted, Batman #244 with the iconic Ras Al Ghul standing over a defeated but still burly chested Batman, illustrated by non-other than Neal Adams himself. Thus began the prime motive for the convention along with the chance to meet some other comic book creators famed or not.
The convention hall for Terrificon is located at one of the corners of the massive Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville CT. This con has really become one of the premier events for my friends and I to meet up again since we live a few hours apart not (jobs, family and adulating has separated my Nerd Herd). This particular Con, I even brought my wife along who fancies some of the Convention’s attributes, but I will get into her point of view later. The point is, Terrificon is more than just the average Comic Book Convention to me and my close friends, some even fly in from across the country to reunite.
As is expected, there was a large turnout of cosplayers dressed as Harley Quinn and Deadpool, shocking right? This year Terrificon featured Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes and the Comic Book Men so there was plenty of Jay and Silent Bob lookalikes. Each year there is one large costume that probably set the cosplayer back a few hundred dollars and even more hours in creation. This year there was a Hulkbuster suit standing well over the heads of the crowd with full sound effects. Even more shocking to my Con-going-experience was the growing trend of Disney Princesses (not just the little girls being dragged along by their dads (soon to be me)). What I normally don’t like about cosplayers, is that most go to be seen and show off their work, that is great and all, but they clog the allies and main floors of the Con. But what I especially enjoyed about a particular Belle cosplayer was how she was getting involved in some of the event’s immersive experiences such as scaling the side of a Gotham City skyscraper with Batman straight out of the 60s.
One of my favorite experiences about going to a Con is meeting indie comic book groups. The passion they have for their product is unequal to anything I have seen in a long time. They truly love what they are doing, they are following their passion and dreams and they are speaking to you from the heart about why you need to pick up their first issue or even the last issue in their series. I got to share my point of view with my wife and close friends as I interviewed just some of the many talents showing off their Independently Published books such as; the group from Gentlemen Pickle, my new favorite artist Jamie Jones or even Monster Haiku which holds a special place in my heart for its wit and Sunday Newspaper Funnies feel.
Of course creating the thickest traffic would be the areas where you can find the more established names in the Comic Book world including Paul Levitz, Neal Adams (though he was out in the main hall) and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez to name some of the bigger icons in comics. Not to get to detailed into why each of the other guests there signing comics was special to me, but you can really tell which of the guests want to be there to meet the fans and share a story versus those who have been singing stacks of comics so long there isn’t much of a word shared across the table except for “that will be 30$ for each signature.”
Along with the indie comics, the known writers and illustrators, you could find other treasures like posters of Lando Calrissian selling smoothies, high quality parody prints of the Predator sitting down with Chris Hansen and even rough drafts of comic book pages up for sale. Then there are several booths for buying and even selling old vintage comics or even brand new series in varying forms of graded or ungraded. This was my quest that I always set for myself at each Con, a comic hunt. After speaking to a few vendors with no luck but having bought a few other books in the searching process, my friends can see how hard I am searching for this particular book and they even begin to get their hopes up every time a vendor pulls out the older Batman books they have. After being offered a few books close to the issue number I want and hemming and hawing over another Batman issue that is great in its own right, I finally strike gold, well more like fine condition gold, but gold none-the-less. It wasn’t just me who sighed with relief when I got the prized Batman #244 but my Nerd Herd was nearly just as happy.
Now onto my wife’s point of view, which I asked her about on our ride home as I wanted to know how she enjoyed her first convention. First, she had posted a picture to Facebook while we were at the con and she would have never thought she would ever go to a Comic Book Convention. But even she was impressed with how much more than Comics were at the event. Having Gotham’s Selina Kyle (Carmen Bicondova) walk past us was pretty cool she admitted, as she is a fan of cop dramas on TV and Gotham fits perfectly into her interests it was a win/win for me. Getting to meet some other movie actors who just happen to be a part of Geekdom was also a surprise to see them in person and not just on a screen, actors like Jason Mewes who she obviously knew from A View Askew flicks, Sam Jones from Ted as he played himself in the movie and even Tony Todd who she got shivers thinking of the Candyman again. Granted there was a lot of walking, a lot of waiting and even more sideways walking to shimmy through people traffic, she still had a good time at the Con. She probably won’t be going to every Con I go to, or again for some time, in her words, she had more fun than she thought she would.
After the Con closes its doors for the afternoon, this location had plenty more to offer from the 90s themed roof top party with the Comic Book Men, a comedy show from either Brian Posehn or Kevin Smith or even the more obvious gambling and drinks with friends on the casino floor. Needless to say, this was a very full weekend.