This last weekend I went to the Rhode Island Comic Con.
This is a relatively new convention and is a Comic Con in name only really. There is an artists alley. But the big draw seems to be the pop culture celebrities in attendance. I was heading there mostly to meet Mike Grell and Chris Claremont.
You might recall that last year there was something of a ticket disaster. The con was oversold. People couldn't get in. The floor was overcrowded. Things didn't seem to be run well.
This year, the convention seemed to answer a lot of those questions for better. Tickets were now plastic badges that were scanned to keep an accurate count. The attached Dunkin Donuts Civic Center was added to the floor plan, increasing floor space tremendously. That was the good.
Now onto the bad. If you bought tickets online, you were subjected to ridiculous fees which nearly doubled the price. It still felt oversold and overcrowded on the Saturday. And there was no map at the con. The show said there was an app to download which I did. But on Saturday, the second day of the con, many artists tables were still listed as TBD.
Okay, enough overall review.
I was thrilled to meet Mike Grell. I consider his Legion run to be my first comic books. I have loved his work all my collecting life. So I brought some issues to sign and hoped to get a sketch. As you can see from the first pic, I was successful. Given my predilection to 70s Grell, I opted for the hot pants costume.
I would have loved to talk to Grell all afternoon but his table was pretty busy. I was able to grab a handful of signatures (more talk below).
I also got to meet Chris Claremont. I am not a big Marvel person and certainly wasn't a fan of the Xmen in the 80s and 90s. But I still had a smattering of issues to get signed by him. That XMen/Titans crossover is a favorite issue in my collection.
It was also interesting to see how charging for comic signatures has sort of proliferated. Here is the breakdown of prices for signatures and then how many comics I got signed.
Neal Adams, $30 per signature. No books.
Chris Claremont, $5 per signature. 5 books.
Simon Bisley, $5 per signature (told to me). No books
Joe Rubinstein, $5 for Claremont/Miller Wolverine book, $3 otherwise. No books.
Mike Grell, $3 per signature. 5 books.
Rich Buckler, $2 per signature. 1 book.
Ale Garza, $0 per signature. 5 books.
The one regret was not meeting Amy Jo Johnson. I was a big fan of the Pink Ranger. But she was in a sort of VIP room and the line to get in was huge. I didn't even get a line of sight on her.
I can't really complain. I met Mike Grell and got a Supergirl commission from him.