...and the best thing about it was leaving!
Okay, okay, I'll be serious. Gonna give a review of this convention. To start off, I've been going to comic shows for about 30 years. While I understand that the nature of the comic convention has changed, that doesn't mean that I'm not looking for comics. Seriously. Comic dealers, collectible dealers, comic artists & writers, etc... Anime is fine. Cosplay is fine. Even a few celebrities. But I don't want to see shows that are dominated by cosplay, anime, and celebs. I go to buy comics!
I bought the tickets for this months ago, after this con's first strike. Con is the right term. After advertising a lower ticket price on Facebook, I went to the web-site and the tickets were almost twice as much. And no kid's rate. Most shows either have a cheaper rate for those who are 12 and under, or they get in free. Their customer service, when contacted, was terrible. They missed an opportunity to gain some good will. I eventually saw the tickets on Groupon, and for less than the advertised bait and switch rate. I decided to give them a try, since they are a local convention. I don't know how much the tickets got to on the web-site, and prefer not to. From the looks of it, they were trying for MegaCon prices.
So, pulling into the parking lot I encounter strike two. They charged for parking. This year, Collective Con was at the Morrocan Shrine Temple. I've been to shows at this venue before, and have never had to pay for parking. Until today.
So, we (my nephew and I) were early, about 15 minutes before the doors opened. There was a line. Not unreasonable (see photo). When the doors opened, it moved. What I didn't see was where to get tickets until we had moved up some. Fortunately, no one was in the Groupon line. We got our tickets quickly, and the people who had been behind us in line were nice enough to let us back in.
So, we got in. And it's hot in there. Bleh! It took us 45 minutes to take a turn around the entire thing, and we were done. Maybe 5 dealers with comics. 3 with super-hero action figures? Maybe 4. Lots of anime stuff. Lots of artists, and not just in the art room. Some cosplay stuff. Lackluster.
The good stuff.... in order...
Someone had built a T.A.R.D.I.S., and my nephew took a pic of me in front of it. There was also a cool R2D2 replica in the lobby.
I got a Marvel Select: Electro action figure for $10 (normally they're $25)
I met Steve Cardenas, who played Rocky on Power Rangers. I got a signed photo from him. He was very nice, and since Rocky was one of my favourites, it was nice meeting him. Check out his Facebook page at http://facebook.com/stevecardenas123 Meeting Steve was the best thing about this show for me.
I got a few comics, mostly issues of Justice League and Brave & Bold from the 70's. $2 each.
I budget money for comic shows, with the expectation that I will spend more than half my budget. I spent maybe 25% of my budget, and that because I got the signed photo.
Sadly, this convention follows the trend of an organizer just wanting as much money as they can make. I've been to a lot of really good comic shows where the dealers and the organizers obviously made money, but at the same time I didn't feel like I was just there to have my money taken from me. For what I saw at Collective Con, this was a mid-level convention trying to charge like a large convention. They aren't even a mid-level convention, truth be told, but they are a little larger than some of the small shows in the area. $15 would have been a reasonable ticket price - parking included.
Honestly, while we were glad to give the show a try, my nephew and I will not be returning. At least we've got MegaCon coming in May, and there are always small shows (the Comic Book Connection show being our favourite!) going on. And even though this show was a disappointment to me, I hope that others, especially younger fans, had a good time! There's room for several types of shows, and I hope that someone will organize a local, mid-sized convention that focuses on comics! I picked up some stuff, so it obviously wasn't a completely bad experience. "Meh" fits the bill nicely.
All was not lost! We hit the Chinese Buffet for lunch afterwards. Yummy!