Windy City Comicon

November 5th, 2008 by

The podcasters at Around Comics (see their link over on the right) decided that they were tired of traipsing all the way out to Rosemont for Wizard World, so they figured, “Hey gang! Let’s put on a show!” Like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, they threw caution to the wind and did it. And how! 1500 people attended the show, at five bucks a pop.  Things were definitely popping, too.  It reminded me a lot of the local MNCBA conventions we have here, with a bit more focus on the writers and artists.  The layout of the convention kept the focus on the creators, giving them center stage, so to speak.  Unlike many other conventions of this type, the vendors were around the perimeter, with the creators right in front of you as you walked in, and taking up the front center part of the gymnasium where the convention was held.  There was also some gaming available near the back of the gym, with HeroClix tournaments taking place.

And speaking of Judy Garland, one of the things that I enjoyed in particular about the Windy City Comicon was the venue.  The convention was held at the Center on Halsted, a GLBT community center in Chicago’s Boystown area.  According to the organizers, the space was chosen based on size, cost and proximity.  Me, I just enjoyed the fact that it was in Boystown and afterwards, it was so easy to hit the bars.  Also, most conventions have food options that resemble what you might find at a high school cafeteria with prices comparable to a major league sporting event.  The Center on Halsted is connected to a fully stocked Whole Foods.  Quite possibly the best convention sustenance I’ve ever experienced.

It looks like the organizers are going to give it a go next year, and I look forward to making this a reason for an annual trip to Chicago.

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