Baltimore Comic Con 2018 Highlights

This is my second year attending Baltimore Comic Con. Last year we attended on Saturday only, but this year my husband and I decided to do all three days so we could get the real feel for the convention as a whole. In addition, there were a few other things in the city that we wanted to check out, so we made it a full weekend getaway. You can read about the rest of our Baltimore trip later on in another post. To learn more about the con specifically, continue reading!

Simply Nerdy Mom was hosted by Baltimore Comic Con and received press passes for full coverage. 

Friday afternoon. Starting to get a steady flow of attendees near the media guest tables.
When we arrived in Baltimore Friday around 1pm, we just went straight to the convention (with the exception of checking in and parking our truck at the parking garage near the hotel). I was actually surprised how busy it was for a Friday afternoon. More so than any other convention we have attended in the past. Typically for conventions, Saturday is the busiest day since that's when everyone has off work, there are panels and contests, and that's when a lot of the celebrities are available. 

Baltimore always has a nice list of media guests who are set up on the far left of the convention center. This year they hosted celebrities like Wil Wheaton and Tricia Helfer. We didn't do any celebrity photo-ops or autographs this year. My husband's goal for the weekend was to get his Marvel stuff signed by the people who worked on the comics and there were plenty of those. As a matter of fact, there were enough to keep us in line and busy going table to table that we had little time for much else. We were really thankful to have been there all three days for this reason. 

Friday. A look into the artist tables. 

One of my husband's major bucket list items for the weekend was to get his Captain America Shield signed. I had bought him the shield for Father's Day and he was able to get it signed by two artists at a previous convention, but Baltimore booked an impressive list (they always do) of artists that have worked on the comics. You'll see in this photo, there are already a few signatures. We got those Friday. The center of the star is signed by Jim Steranko, who is somewhat of a comic book legend, and he's from Reading, PA. So my husband decided he would be the "star" of the piece. 

Getting the signatures on this shield was a bit of a team effort. There were three of us working on it. I stood in line for the more popular creators while my husband and brother-in-law would run the shield to the tables with no line. We ended up getting about 25 signatures on it. However, even with three of us working at it, it took literally an entire day. So, with 100% accuracy, I can tell you that you need to be prepared going into things like this. We knew enough to start autographs Friday and as soon as we arrived. We printed off a floor plan and highlighted the tables we needed to hit up for autographs the night before our trip. This helped us immensely because we didn't have to walk around looking for people and knew right where they were to go straight to them. We missed line cut off for one of the major artists on Friday and boy was the line long Saturday even though we got there as doors opened. This ended up happening Sunday as well. 

Saturday was a bit of a mess, if I'm being honest. They usually have pretty helpful staff, but they were kind of lacking on Saturday for whatever reason. We would get in line for an autograph and were told after waiting for a while that the line was capped before we got there. But no one told us that until we had been standing there for at least 5 minutes. When asked when the artist would return (to give us some idea of when to get back in line so we could plan out the rest of the autographs), they didn't seem to be able to give us a straight answer and there were two people working this particular artist's line. We did manage to get in line pretty early when he did arrive back at his table. 

The second time this happened was when we went to get an autograph for Greg Capullo. This man is hugely popular for his work on Batman, but he's also working on Swamp Thing at the moment, so his line was expected to be long. The problem was that when you went up to his table, there seemed to be no line. We asked around to everyone at the table, but no one could tell us if there WAS a line. Some guy in front of us just walked right up and got his items signed. We watched a few others do the same, so we figured it was some miracle that he didn't have a line and went to get an autograph. At that point someone told us the line was on the other side of the table. So we went and got in it, but then a different person said it was clear over past the row of tables and against the wall. There was other artists at the table so we asked numerous times which line was which and didn't get a straight answer so we just left. We did walk past the line against the wall and it was like 400 people deep. At this point we were exhausted and hungry and decided we weren't going to even attempt it. 

Ive seen this happen at other conventions and it's kind of frustrating. The solution is typically to have a staff member stand with a sign that directs where the line begins and some sort of sign to direct where the end of the line is. These staff members just had signs with "stop" and "go" colors on them to direct those in the line on the other side of the room over to the table 5 at a time. We learned this Sunday morning when we arrived, but that's because those staff members on Sunday were much more helpful. To a point. 

We figured out on our own to go directly to Capullo's table before he even arrived, and let the staff know we were in line and once again ask where they would like us to wait. This time there were visible signs. They were probably there Saturday, too, at some point, but they definitely weren't visible to us because people were standing in front of them and staff just didn't know where to direct people. Sunday's staff members actually stood there and explained the process to those of us who got there early and continued to explain it to those who arrived to look for the line. Kudos to those guys! 

The man working at Capullo's table walked up and got our payment before we got to his table so things moved a little smoother. The problem with that was he charged everyone $5 even asking us how many items we had. We told him we only had one book. We know from previous experience that Capullo allows the first two signatures free, then after that it's $5. Asking for a refund for one book that should have been free would have been a pain, so we just dug through our bag and luckily found two more books for him to sign. So I guess it worked out. Plus Capullo is a huge Black Label Society fan and so is my husband, so they bro'd it up over BLS for a moment and my husband got his fanboy moment in.  

Sunday was reserved for checking out artist alley while we waited for Greg Capullo, mostly because we at no time had any opportunity to head in that direction at all. I enjoy seeing new artists and people who sell handmade items. I did end up picking up some business cards of a few I am very interested in. Unfortunately by the end of the weekend we were out of money and energy to buy anything. So after Capullo showed up and we got his signature, we left to come home. Oh! I forgot to mention, the staff standing at the doors on Sunday specifically were hyped! Because Sunday was mostly for kids because of the costume contest, they were cheering and clapping for every single person walking through the door and it was awesome. It really brightened up the day and the long weekend. 

If I'm being honest, I don't think I could do another three day weekend like that. I've never been so exhausted in my life. Because remember, in addition to the convention, we were also out checking out other events and things around the Inner Harbor as well. Hubby and I joked that this weekend was training for Disney World. 

Speaking of...

Next year's Baltimore Comic Con is going to be a no-go for us and we are pretty sad about that because we really love this convention. Unfortunately, the dates got pushed into October next year (18-20) and that's the same exact weekend we leave for Disney World. 

That all being said, I cannot recommend this convention enough! It's so great, and aside from the minor hiccup on Saturday with the lines, it's usually pretty well organized and the staff is so fun. Plus, let me tell you, the costumes people show up in are a huge highlight! There are some extremely talented people working and walking this show floor. Definitely check it out if you can!

I want to thank the people at Baltimore Comic Con for graciously allowing me a press pass for the show. 


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