Ticket Price: ★★★☆☆
Once again, First Appearance Comics and Games approached the capital seat of Indiana ready for an incredible event. Almost 13 months later IndyPop Con 2017 returns and we were there to check out the festivities. Now, IndyPop Con is a different kind of convention because the con isn’t quite sure who or what it wants to be as this is its third year running. It’s not a comic book comic convention because there are not a ton of vendors selling comics but there are some and one has the potential of purchasing a myriad of collectible items and meeting several types of media guests.
What makes a con a “con”? Let’s run it down…
Roy Thomas was someone I didn’t know I wanted to meet. I had seen the name in several of my comics over the years and I was lucky enough to have had him sign two of my favorite Avenger titles that I valued highly in my collection. I had even considered selling said books but no longer. What makes Roy’s appearance at this year’s POPCON was that he didn’t quite fit in with some of the other guests on hand. I’m just saying the “YouTubers” crowd didn’t necessarily jump to his table. However, his table was visited by many who were a little older (and wiser) as they knew and recognized one of the most talented individuals. Roy Thomas is comic royalty second to Stan Lee himself but regardless, Roy was happy to join IndyPop Con and sign some books along the way.
Greg LaRocque has been in the comic circles for years and his credits include The Avengers, Legion of Super Heroes and The Flash. Yet again, Greg was another artist happy enough to sign the books I put before him. He commented on the fact that he knew he made it in comics when he penciled The Avengers vs. The New Masters of Evil. I just happened to have said book present for him to sign. My copies had seen some wear and tear which might have seemed a disappointment to Greg but I’ve had them since I was eleven. Meeting Greg was an excellent treat as he was pleasant and eager to talk to fans. What made it really special was the fact that Greg (and Roy for that matter) WANTED to talk about their work to me. Had I pulled up a chair and sat with them, I have no doubt they would have let me pick their brains but it was a lot of fun to see Greg light up as I placed my collection of titles in front of him to sign and relay some cool factoids.
Matt Ryan is living proof that stars can be down to earth and talk to people. I must admit I gushed over meeting Matt. Constantine was one of the best shows to ever be cancelled. Matt took the time to speak to about the Nielsen rates and how people watched Constantine but three days later on DVR. He pointed out it aired on Friday night but who watches TV on Friday night. He said, in his British accent, that he would be at the pub getting a pint on Friday nights so he understood why no one was watching the show at that time. However, he did discuss the possibility of returning to Arrow in the near future. While he gave no clear indication through his facial expressions if this was ultimately true or not, the thought of seeing Matt return to the role that was clearly made for him was enough to keep everyone at First Appearance satisfied for a little while. I wished him well and hoped Constantine would return to the airways eventually.
On Thursday night IndyPop Con gave a special screening of Revenge of the Nerds. Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine were present to join the crowd. While we didn’t get to attend the showing we did get to meet the guys at the Con. What can I say, we drove in for the day. I wasn’t sure if Curtis had been on the Con circuit for long or IndyPop was a chance to relive old memories. I did get a chance to ask him if Nerds had aged well. He seemed to think so but I haven’t seen it in years. Custis was happy to be here and he had a new novel to push. Check out our special feature for the book.
Like many other cons IndyPop Con had a wide selection of panels to attend. We had the opportunity to attend the Star Wars Celebration panel and Comic Book Lovers panel. If you haven’t been to any panel ever it’s a different experience every single time. It’s all unscripted and blunt. Greg Grumberg was the highlight of the Star Wars panel. You could tell that he was willing to risk death by saying anything about The Last Jedi and he couldn’t even say that he was even in the movie. It was nice to get the different points of view about Star Wars. Special thanks to Joe Corroney for talking to me every time I see him at a show. (Someday I will drop some cash at your table!) The Denver Carrie Fisher print is worth the 100.00 bucks but I’m a tad poor. We seem to forget that to the core the Comic Book Men are fans of the comics. Mike Zapcic did an excellent job of avoiding talking about Comic Book Men and kept the panel on task about the comic book industry as he talked with Greg LaRocque and Roy Thomas.
While I’m not necessarily the one to talk about YouTubers there is a place for it. IndyPop Con has always been a decent space to meet your favorite pocket size friends. First Appearance guest photographer Emily Dyar got her opportunity to meet Nikki Taylor. The cool thing about the situation is that IndyPop had pre-tickets set up in really excellent way by passing out bands ahead of time. For those aspiring to become stars by expressing yourself online just know that this is one source of income for the up and coming celebrity. With that I give you…
Our own Mr. Andrew Buckles took to YouTube to express his everlasting joy for IndyPop Con, please make sure you check out the video. The video highlights his personal experience at the booths and guests he ran into while canvasing the expo floor.
Overall, IndyPop Con 2017 was much improved from the previous year. They re-spaced the show floor to give everyone enough room to move around and breath. The main stage was huge and could easily hold larger panels. The vendors seemed to being having a decent show and hopefully made a decent profit and while the show isn’t quite sure what it wants to be it’s still a place to be in the summer.