It’s hard to believe, but I’ve already attended my first comics convention of 2015!
This past weekend the Magic City Comic Con was held in the Miami area, and it was a good one! Talking general impressions, it was convenient, had a wide variety of guests and vendors, and was a great value for your entertainment dollar! Here’s their website!
The con was held in the Miami Airport Convention Center, so it was in a good location as far as ease of access. It ran from Friday, January 16, through Sunday, January 18, and was very well attended. It’s important to note that this con is related to the Florida SuperCon that takes place in July. I reviewed their 2014 convention at this link.
A friend and I made a day trip from the Orlando area on Saturday. Of course, it involved a fair amount of driving time, but the time spent at the con were productive and enjoyable, so we’re likely to make this a yearly event.
WHAT IS MAGIC CITY COMIC CON?
Here’s the convention’s general description: “Magic City Comic Con offers three days of fun in Miami featuring celebrity guests, comic book creators, voice actors, industry guests, cosplayers, artists, writers, panels, Q&As, films & shorts, costume & cosplay contests, Florida Super Championship Wrestling (the world’s premiere cosplay wrestling federation), vendors, parties, anime, workshops, video gaming and more!” This sums up the event pretty well.
As with Florida SuperCon, probably the biggest draw was the media guests. They held several “reunions,” including people from Guardians of the Galaxy (Sean Gunn and Karen Gillan), Doctor Who (the aforementioned Gillan, Colin Baker and Dan Starkey), Once Upon a Time (Robbie Kay, Lee Arenberg, Sean Maguire and Christie Lang), Pirates of the Caribbean (Lee Arenberg, Kevin McNally and Martin Klebba), Planet of the Apes (Linda Harrison, Don Pedro Colley, Lou Wagner, Austin Stoker and Ron Harper), Attack on Titan (David Matranga, Bryce Papenbrook, Lauren Landa and Caitlin Glass) and Disney’s Gargoyles (Greg Weisman and Jim Cummings).
Sci-fi and comics cons have been getting away from the idea of a film festival, but it was there in force. These are great ways to fill the time between what you want to get to, such as between panel discussions. Also, I liked the gaming areas, which several people took advantage of using.
Of course, I was primarily there for their comics guests, which included Mike W. Barr, Marcelo Bravo, the folks from Cosmic Times, the people from Creature Entertainment, Terry Cronin, Jeff Dekal, Jenny Frison, Greg Kirkpatrick, Francis Manapul, Trevor McCarthy, Mervyn McCoy, Ann Nocenti, David Quinn, Tim Seeley, Dan Slott, Charles Soule, Ryan Stegman and Tim Vigil. If I’m fortunate, you just may find interviews with some of these folks in upcoming episodes of my weekly Wayne’s Comics Podcast.
There were also booths featuring many local artists, and they attracted the attention of many con-goers. Hopefully, they sold a lot of their wares! Also, many dealers had a lot of stuff that people were picking up, paying for and taking home, so they seemed to be having a profitable con.
Lots of people were in costume, and some were great. I saw my first Peter Capaldi Doctor costume there, for example. There were also a LOT of things to do, and not just during the hours when the dealers’ area was open. That probably explains why there were a huge number of younger fans in attendance – they had a lot to do!
This was the very first time, in all my years of attending comics and sci-fi conventions, that we were able to park in front of the building where the con was held. We were able to easily walk the 80 or so feet from the car to the entrance. Knowing we could quickly run from the center to the car in order to drop off things we wanted to keep in good condition was a luxury I wasn’t used to, but really enjoyed having.
Also, registration and dealers’ room entrances were very near each other on the first floor. Not far way was an escalator to the second floor, where Artists’ Alley was located. Food was easily accessible on both floors, and it was some of the better con food I’ve ever tasted.
There was a huge convention ballroom in which guests and fans both could easily fit, and it was pretty full most of the time by presentations. This room also opened up into the dealers’ room, something I’m sure made those who were trying to see things very happy!
As far as entertainment value, we spent $35 each to attend on Saturday. Given all that was available (and how many folks were there), I felt we got more than our money’s worth.
There were a lot of hotels very near by. If we had decided to stay there, we could have probably walked from the hotel room to the con pretty quickly. Hmmm, maybe next year?
THINGS TO IMPROVE ON
I’ve mentioned many of the positives to this year’s Magic City Comic Con, so let me talk about some things I feel could go more smoothly next year.
I’m sure the event organizers were thrilled to see so many people in the aisles on Saturday, but they were often difficult to navigate as a result. Just a few more inches in each one would have been the difference between.
The most confusing thing to me was that the second-floor Artists Alley had almost none of the “name” comics creators. Instead, they were all in the first floor dealer’s area. I’m sure they were thrilled to be there in the main flow of traffic, but in most cons, pros are located in the Artists Alley. Granted, there were a lot of artists and comics producers there, but they were largely unknown to me and others attending. I’m not sure if this is a trend we’ll see begin happening at other comic cons or is something that needs to be renamed to more accurately reflect what happens there. We’ll see.
The food was convenient, but still very expensive. I know, I know…we’re paying for the convenience. I wish just a couple of dollars less was possible so we all had more to spend on the vendors and guests.
Still, it was a great experience. I used to go to the cons to spend hundreds of dollars, but now I go to make connections for interviews to appear on my podcast. I think that if you attended, you had a good time no matter what you were looking for!
I haven’t found any scheduled date for 2016 yet, but I’m sure it will be back, so keep an eye on their website! It was fun and a half and well worth the money to attend and enjoy![signoff predefined=”PayPal Donation” icon=”icon-flag”][/signoff]