A show the weekend directly after Free Comic Book Day, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, with no headliners and what seemed to be less artists/vendors than the year before. My expectations were very low for Summit City Comic Con yesterday.
So how did it go you ask?
The show hit on all cylinders yesterday. With no “stars” there I didn’t expect the community to come out, but the fans were there in full force, costumed and ready to support comic creators.
By the time I had unloaded and parked my car, it was a few minutes before opening. I walked around the front of the convention center to check out the entrance, since we had arrived at an empty loading dock, fully manned by friendly personnel (that’s a good thing for those of you hosting shows). I was very pleased to see quite a line waiting to get in!
As for the crowd itself, it showed a lot of promise for the future of the medium. These weren’t thousands of diehard fans from my generation looking for the next big thing. There were a lot of families at the show with little kids, and packs of teenagers taking in the show with their friends. Again, these weren’t autograph hounds trying to get their #1 random superhero comic book signed by an artist that cost thousands of dollars to bring into their town, these were fans looking at books by indie writers and artists, picking up prints and original art from people in their own community.
And buy they did! By 30 minutes into the show, most of the people I saw walking by my table had their promotional bags filled with books and prints and toys. These aren’t the people that will spend $300 to spend 20 seconds with Stan Lee at a Wizard World show, these are the people that have probably been saving up to get real art, from real creators. That my friends, is a great community to be a part of.
To say the least, I was very impressed with what Zack Kruse was able to pull off this year, but he can’t have all the credit. His army of volunteers was amazing. All day we were asked if we wanted any drinks or snacks, and I don’t think I walked down a row at any given point in the day without seeing at least one volunteer helping someone out. That is quite a crew Zack has, and they should be commended for their commitment. That’s a rare find in shows these days, and one of the reasons that I will most definitely keep Summit City on my schedule next year.
I want to thank the comic community of Ft. Worth for supporting your local show. You’re very lucky to have one, and obviously by the turnout yesterday you really do deserve to have such a quality show in your town.
See you next year, and I promise to bring plenty of new stuff for you to check out. Even you, creepy guy that was petting Emma Frost’s boot. Even you.