It was a nasty Saturday morning. Normally, I would have preferred to bundle up in the covers and forget that the rest of the world even existed. This Saturday, however, I had in my sights a potential treasure trove of comics and comic related fun!
If you have never driven from southern Indiana to Schererville, I highly suggest you have someone else do it. That is one long drive. Luckily some music and conversation was enough to distract me and in no time (read over 3 hours) we were there!
I was mildly concerned when pulling into the parking area after a wrong turn or two caused by some poor google maps labelling. The structure in the distance just didn’t look like it could hold all that much. I was reassured however by all the determined faces I saw in various states of costuming making their way towards the entrance.
My concerns were ill founded as I always forget my spacial recognition isn’t always the best when my glasses are covered in schmutz from the inclement weather. There was a line out the door of people ready and excited to get started! The layout of the floor was pretty simple and made for an easy progress through the building. To either side of the entrance was a hallway already filled with vendors and at regular intervals there were three large entrances to the main room.
If you have never been to a convention, it is important to note that the vendors are often fantastic. Depending on the type of show there can potentially be a wide variety so you can often be surprised by what you find. Looking to the left of the main entrance there was a booth for a fellow podcast, a role-playing game, nick knacks and costuming. To the right there were more odds and ends and a balloon vendor for the kids. (I am leaving several vendors out for the sake of time, but suffice to say, there was plenty to look at.)
When you entered the main room, it was basically divided into 4 distinct areas. On the left you had the bar where you could grab a snack if needed. Towards the middle you had more vendors selling things that you would expect at a comic convention. There were at least two vendors that had a variety of classic comics to choose from. There were custom artwork vendors in a variety of styles. You could get some commemorative glasses or plates, I think I saw a few lunch boxes. This is an area you kind of want to take your time in. You can often uncover some pretty neat stuff that you might not have thought existed.
One thing I noticed while walking the halls is that the light levels there were a little odd. Often in bigger conventions, everything is very bright. In this one however, it had a more comfy glow. It was bright enough that you could see what you were doing, but not high noon level of light.
To the back behind the middle section was the third area which was the main stage. This is where the convention barker(I am sure that is not what you call him, but it is always what I think) would shout at the crowd at regular intervals to inform everyone of the upcoming events and what you needed to do in order to participate in them or see them. This is a very important part of every Con I have ever been to, but I can’t help but get annoyed by it every time. If you are having any sort of conversation when the announcements start, you might as well stop until they are finished because you couldn’t hear anything else.
The last section of the main hall to the right was in my mind, the star attraction. This is the area that all of the authors and artists resided. It was pretty smartly laid out where all of the more well known comic book contributors were along the outside wall and window and the up and comers were nestled within that L shape. I cannot stress to you how fun this area can be. If you are already a fan of some of these individuals it allows a small chance to interact with them and maybe pick up a special piece of artwork from them. In fact you should definitely do that, as these pieces are often very cool to have and it is a great way to support those creators that we all appreciate! And as for those creators that you might not be so familiar with, it gives a great chance to see something new and get in at the ground floor with someone who might create the next Walking Dead or Batman. These people are generally really friendly and very much want to tell you about their work. In the next couple of months we hope to bring you some interviews with several of the individuals that fit into both veteran and newcomer status.
In the next entry of Prose and Cons, this Pudding Guy will have returned from Wizard World Cleveland! I will deliver part one of what that Con is about and what it is like to attend. See you next time!