Ticket Price: ★★★★★
April arrives with all things wonderful in the world of comics. Specifically Gem City Comic Con 2017 has arrived for a second time in its new location located in downtown Dayton, Ohio. It’s a place that rings true to us at First Appearance Comics and Games as it is our primary home base.
Of all the conventions that I’ve attended over the years, Gem City has been flush with all kinds of comic goodies. If you had the cash they had the books. Unlike the toy shows this one focused mostly on comics. I appreciated the dealers that had the older, harder to find books. The tables were also ripe with the long boxes of $1.00 comics. It’s something I’ve always been fond of sifting through because I always can find that gem in the rough.
There were a bevy toy collectibles to remain sealed in their boxes for all eternity. I taunted my friend with the possibility that my 6-year-old would love to play with his new Batman ‘inaction’ figures.
I have found that comic guests are what you put into it. What I mean is that if you don’t spend the time talking to guests what do you hope to gain? Gem City usually draws some decent talent every year. Sadly, Howard Mackie cancelled and I was sad I didn’t get to talk to him about his runs on Ghost Rider, Spider-Man, and Wolverine.
I did get a chance to get some books signed by Barry Kitson. If you don’t know the name then go back and read some Azarel, LEGION 89, or the Avengers (from Marvel’s pop art productions). Barry was fine gentleman who signs books for a small donation. His prices for sketches and watercolors were fairly reasonable too.
Otherwise a lot of local talent was on hand to join the show including Jack Wallace from Disposable Fiction Comics, LLC.
The cosplay wasn’t as nearly thick as some of the bigger shows that we attend, but the spirit was there. I enjoy the cos-players at every show. Everyone gets that moment to become someone else and get into the escapism of the whole.
Gem City always has its costume contest which is solid fun for the cosplayers. There were several panels to attend that could help you break into the comic business on the creator’s end, or to open your own shop. It was all good material. Barry Kitson had his own panel which was very enlightening for the modern-day comic business.
Overall Gem City is a solid convention. I would like to see more comic creators there in the future, but that’s always a tough juggling job. They normally don’t have entertainment guests, but that’s because it’s not that kinda show. Here you’re coming for comics, not a Power Ranger. Parking in downtown Dayton isn’t always a joy but it’s cheaper than some of the bigger venues at least. I enjoy that it’s all about the comics. We will be back next to year to show my love naturally, for this great, actual comic con.