Boston Comic Con Retrospective

The dates of April 10 and 11 are usually pretty insignificant. I'm sure there's some holiday somewhere associated with each, and for people born on those days I don't want you to think I'm shortshrifting you on your birthday. This year, it meant something for the city of Boston as it was the weekend that featured one of the most important shows for the area in a long time.

At the Westin Boston Waterfront was the Boston Comic Con, which I was quite unsure about. I honestly didn't know how crowded it would be considering past Boston cons have been a little light on the con part of it and heavy on the "local comic shops selling in a room" part of it. I guess I should've used PAX East as an indicator of the business. The shot above is the front of a line that wrapped around half the block, and the show was so packed that people couldn't be let in until others left. Yes, Boston Comic Con was much like a popular nightclub on a Saturday night (minus the alcohol and shady patrons). Why the massive crowd?

First, you had the powerhouses in Jim Lee, Mike Mignola and Eric Powell on hand for the only three panels (one each) and of course the requisite madness that surrounds their presence. Second, there was a pretty solid Artists' Alley and a lot of the talent was local grown. A convention like this is great for getting attention for the smaller, indie publishers in the Boston area. The fact that so many of the local comic book fans and vendors got on board with the show made it an even larger success, which bodes well for future shows. What might the crowds have disliked?

For one, the space was still TOO SMALL. I'm pretty sure the crowd size overwhelmed the convention planners, as I don't think they expected nearly as many people to show up. There were no panels to speak of (other than the the three mentioned above), so really all there was to do at the show was wander the Artists' Alley and then the local comic shop kiosks. I spent about two hours total in the show, but I did meet some great people. Megan from Silver Circle was awesome and let me know about the film Silver Circle of the same name her group is working on and due out next year. Sarah from Angry Penguin was kind enough to fill me on the Angry Penguin.

Comic Coma is a local indie publisher in Boston that publishes works from local folks. And finally, the Boston Comics Roundtable meets weekly to discuss everything comics, and even has some anthologies out from local talent. That was the biggest them of the show really: local talent. And it was awesome to see so many at the show and so many attendees to be made aware of their presence. Not all the talent was local, as Ben Templesmith and Billy Tan were two of the more recognizable names at the show.

Anyways, for the perceived shortcomings, the show was a fantastic success. I'm sure organizers will take lessons learned from this year and apply them to next year. I'm sure the location will be different, allowing for more people, there will be more panels (not just creator specific) and there will be more big names at the show. It's definitely a good time to be a comic book fan in Boston and if the show improves it's going to be amazing in future years.


  1. The funny thing is, this sapce was LARGER than the previous one art the BACK BAY EVENTS CENTER, so even the prompters were taken by surprise of the attendance!

  2. Yeah, the space was a LOT larger than the one at Back Bay Convention Center. It's a great problem to have though as a promoter: an event so popular that there's not enough room for everyone.


Post a Comment