Saturday morning we arrived early at the Metropolitan Convention Center to set up, and we were immediately impressed! The venue was excellent – new, spacious, airy, rather posh, and it was easy to carry stuff to our setup. We had a pipe and drape backdrop, too, which made it easy to put up the banner and posters.
So much geekery! Lots of different comics dealers, lots of cosplayers, steampunk was very popular, as was Harley Quinn, and furries! There was a rabbit who was very interested in the hats, and seriously, next time I must take pictures. But I was busy with the booth, too. I started selling goggles immediately, and sold out of every pair before the end of the day, even the odd colors.
It was a very kid-friendly con – I appreciated that, as my kids were with me and got to walk around and see the sights a bit. But they were most interested in the booth directly in front of us – That Computer Store had a video game tournament featuring Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U! We've been thinking about maybe getting one for a family Christmas gift, and this was a great chance to admire it and try it out after the tournament.
I also did a bit of facepainting. I did a little cartoon Minion, and some of my fair paintings like the rose and the dragon, and Pikachu wearing Ash's hat, and a few others. I'm going to have to paint a new sign with chibi characters and cartoons, just so the moms will realize that I can, in fact, paint a Minion or a My Little Pony or Alphonse Elric reproduced 2” in diameter on their kids' face. Kids are awesome – they come right up and ask for some outrageous thing and the moms get this look like “there's no possible way that can be done with face paint, please ask for something easy.” But it can be done! I love doing those!
Joe thought there might have been upwards of 5,000 people there – I have no idea. I hardly left the booth – I usually don't. Of course I had to be there to paint faces... but the real reason is because I'm an introvert and a homebody at heart and if I have to be somewhere all day, I like to make a nice little home base and then STAY THERE in my safe zone. Because even crowds of the best people I've ever met are still crowds, and... eek. But everyone I saw was awesome, polite, enthusiastic about being there, and honestly I don't know what is going on at these conventions where harassment seems to be a thing? Every one I've been to in South Carolina – which is admittedly new at comic cons – has been wonderful and the people are the greatest. Maybe we're all just ridiculously polite, so accustomed to our “yes sirs,” and “no ma'ams,” and holding open doors for everyone that we just can't bring ourselves to destroy the homey, upbeat atmosphere with petty power struggles. Or maybe we just haven't had time to form cliques.
If you'd love to come to a con but you're concerned about getting harassed because you might be considered some kind of wrongfan, let me be the first to invite you to a South Carolina comic con. We have a ton of fandoms excited to share our previously-closet geekiness with you, even if you are a newbie or not quite the usual fan.
We featured Shandra Koger, creator of Lightning Prophetess, at my booth Saturday (and I still have prints and posters if you'd like to buy!) and she had quite a bit of interest in her art and characters.
We had a full day, packed up at 6:00 pm, went to our slightly disappointing hotel (next time, we're booking earlier and getting the good hotel!), and settled on the Palmetto Pig BBQ buffet for dinner – which was incredible. The hushpuppies, y'all. Yes, the barbecue was stellar, but it's rare that even the lowly hushpuppy is made with such perfection. The slaw was also quite excellent, and the sweet tea was positively candied. If you want authentic, very reasonably priced, all-you-can-eat barbecue and you happen to be within 30 miles of Columbia, you have to go there. Devine Street, you'll find it.
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Artist, writer, creator of stuff. I just want to build worlds for you to escape to.