Baltimore Comic Con is like coming home.
It’s not the convention I’ve been attending the longest but it’s the con that I can always count on to reinvigorate my love for comic books (and put a dent in my wallet!) It’s also one of the conventions out there that still truly deserves to have ‘Comic Con’ as a part of its name because comics are definitely the star here.
Okay sure: over the years, BCC has added some Media Guests to supplement its guest line up. These guests always have some geek cred and, while they’re certainly a part of the show, never steal all of the spotlight from the comic guests. I find it fairly telling that I waited longer in Mark Waid’s signing line than I did in Jessica Henwick’s and Skottie Young always had a line about a dozen people deep anytime I walked past his booth. Move over, television stars: the comic writers and artists rule here! If you’ve attended the convention for a few years, many of the faces that you see at guest and artist tables tend to feel familiar. For some shows, that would be a sign of stagnation. For Baltimore Comic Con, it’s a sign of just how much these pros love coming here which is good because the fans love seeing them.
The one area where BCC feels just okay is in programming with their fairly light schedule. If you’re interested in any of the media guests, their spotlight panels are always well moderated and it’s not hard to get a seat even if you show up right as the panel’s starting. The Jessica Henwick and Finn Jones panel this year was a lot of fun and fans had the opportunity to ask them about more than just their work on Iron Fist. Marvel also consistently takes part in a nice panel featuring some of their creators who work on some of their biggest projects. It may not be a place where you’ll learn any breaking news but it is a chance to hear these creators talk about their upcoming work and to ask questions from the audience. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Tom Brevoort is there moderating and he even gave two fans the chance to read Marvel Legacy a few days early. Unfortunately, not all of the panels are as great. The “Women Creators Discuss the Evolving Comic Book Industry” was decidedly a let down as it seemed less a deep dive discussion of how the industry has changed over the years and more of a superficial chat about women and comics. Given brief chats I had with other audience members, I was far from the only person disappointed by the panel.
The depths of the exhibition hall make up for it though. This is the convention that’s mainly responsible for me keeping a wish list of comic trades on my phone. After all, digging through longboxes is a time honored convention tradition. This is a practice which may feel strange at the start but once you fall into a rhythm of flipping through, it becomes second nature. It may take time and patience but your efforts can be rewarded. Personally, I’m not the sort of fan who’s on a hunt for THE single issue of her dreams and that’s okay because there’s no one right way to be a comic book fan. What thrills me is finding that last X-Factor trade that will complete my collections for just $5 while what thrills the 15 year old kid looking at comics beside me is finding that one issue of Green Lantern that he’s been dying to get his hands on. I left Day 1 of the convention with a backpack full of new comics and no regrets. (Yes, I may have also bought the backpack there. Don’t judge me.) There’s just something about Baltimore Comic Con that never fails to fill me with glee and a need to buy all of the comics that’ll keep me busy until the next one.
I’m lucky that Baltimore Comic Con is only a short drive for me but it would absolutely be worth making the trek to Baltimore for even if I lived further away. This is a convention that any comic fan should make the effort to attend at least once. Yeah, it’s just that good.
Of course, it’s not a convention without cosplay. Given that we’re a Star Wars focused site, it only seemed appropriate to highlight some of the Star Wars costumers we saw wandering the convention floor.