I was pretty excited to head back to Rhode Island last weekend for the first RI Comic-Con. I grew up in RI and was glad to see them finally get a convention of their own.
Now, I didn't have huge expectations for the show. I felt it was 'comic-con' in name only as the bulk of the guests were sci-fi and horror celebrities. That said, I went there primarily to see Walt Simonson, Jamal Igle and Bob McLeod.
Well, prior to the convention I learned on Twitter that Jamal Igle had to cancel (maybe fallout from Sandy)? But Simonson and McLeod were a big enough draw and I wanted support the convention, to help it grow.
The line Sunday morning was very long but I was near the front. After paying $10 for parking and $25 for a ticket, I walked into a crowded hall in the beautiful and spacious RI Convention center. I made a quick loop around the place and it was clear ... there weren't many comics. I would guess that of the many dealers there, around 5 were primarily comic dealers. And most of them were there with mostly dollar boxes. (I was able to grab a bunch of good deals, getting 4 issues of DC:New Frontier, the last issue of the 70s Beowulf, and some 70s Starfire for cheap.)
The remainder of the dealers were there with toys, posters, DVDs, etc.
And the celebrities there seemed to draw a crowd. The wrestlers, original Power Rangers, Battlestar Galactica stars, and other sci-fi folks all seemed to have decent table traffic and were signing stuff.
As for the comic guests, at 12:30 PM neither Walt Simonson nor Bob McLeod had arrived. I asked a couple of workers if they knew anything about if/when they would arrive and no one knew anything. Having looked through all the comic boxes that were there, and with no clear idea if they were even going to come, I left.
So overall, I have to say I was a bit disappointed personally. That said, it was a busy hall and there seemed to be some energy there. For a first time con, I think it can only get bigger and better.