INDY POPCON 2018: Review

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Ticket Price:  ★★★★☆

Parking:  ★★★★☆

Space:  ★★★★★

Guests: ★★★☆☆

Vendors:  ★★☆☆☆

Overall:  ★★★★☆

 

 

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The halls of the Indiana Convention Center

It’s been three years now that I’ve made the trek to Hoosier land and descended upon INDYPOP CON. The con is now 5 years old. It’s always well organized and the staff usually know the drill. Sadly.  I want to think the Con has taken a hit this year in not necessarily quality, but content. To be fair in all respects, Wizard World was holding their own con in Columbus, Ohio at the same time. GeekOut 5.0( an outdoor con we covered last year) was occurring in southern Ohio at the time as well. The talent and even the people that attend these things had to make a decision. I did actually go on Sunday, so the crowds are normally smaller…Let’s get down to it…

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 THE COMIC MEN

I generally like to go to cons to meet and greet the many artists that make their way to the shows. This year I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Bradshaw. If you haven’t ever seen Nick’s work, make it happen…his artwork is extremely detailing and a joy to experience. His most recent book is actually The Amazing Spider-man #800. Ironically I asked him what his favorite subject to illustrate was and he said Spider-Man. I actually asked him to sign some of the Guardians of the Galaxy comics I own. He did mention that he was shopping around a graphic novel. I can’t wait to see it. Overall, Nick is a great guest to visit with, but I wish his line was a little longer.

One of my other scheduled stops was with Joe Corroney. Joe and I actually both graduated from The Columbus College of Art and Design in ’95. Joe is someone that travels to a ton of cons throughout the year. He works exclusively for Lucasfilms. He does a ton of Star Wars art. His Carrie Fisher and Mark Hammil illustrations are fabulous. Joe and I talked about that fact that there are people actually boycotting Star Wars. You should never, ever take for granted the gift Star Wars has given us. If you see Joe…give him money, it’s worth it. He did mention that IndyPOP was one of his favorite cons cause of the small appeal.

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Jim checking out The Black Widow and Catwoman Cosplay

I did get a super cool shot of Jim Steranko…thanks for the art Jim.

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THE ENTERTAINMENT GUESTS

At first I didn’t think I would make the show this year. There simply weren’t enough guests to make the effort or to make the drive from Ohio. I have to learn from my own comments and not take anything like this for granted. With that, we got a chance to meet and greet Tara Reid. Tara is known primarily for the American Pie movies in the ’90’s. Funny stuff, but not for kids. Lately she’s been pushing the Sharknado films that have been on Netflix. Honestly, Tara looked like she had partied hard the night before, but it was Sunday so I appreciate her making an appearance. She was super cool. I had her sign my DVD copy of National Lampoon’s Van Wilder. It’s a fantastic comedy and one of the highlights of Ryan Reynolds career. I generally never get anything else signed by any other guests due to the price.

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We love Tara’s simple loving signature.

We did attend a Panel on Sunday. Wil Wheaton and Levar Burton entertained the crowds for a solid hour in the large hall. They talked about Star Trek(of course), Big Bang Theory and Reading Railroad. Levar Burton still works hard for children’s education and still does voice work for books on tape. Wil Wheaton was more recently seen on the Big Bang Theory. He appeared in the final episode which also starred Mark Hammil. He was excited to work with Mark and also know that Mark knew who he was…It was a nice moment. I have met Wil before at another con. I felt he was a little standoff-ish. I didn’t know he suffered from anxiety and depression. He fights it every day and isn’t one to truly enjoy being on camera. I gained a new respect for Wil as he stated, “I am a wealthy white male in America that doesn’t have to worry about walking anywhere in the country. I will support anyone that has been put down by the color of their skin.” This was a Q&A question that asked how he responds to some of the toxic elements on the internet. He fights it from time to time via Twitter. We weren’t able to take pics of the panel.

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Before the panel and before we were told not to take pic…second row…not bad

There were also 11 different Youtube Guests to entertain those that are into that sort of thing. It’s simply not my thing, but the medium has it’s place and millions are entertained daily by the millions of videos. It’s one of the things that make INDYPOP CON not just another comic book convention. It does more for it’s fans.

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The Mercs came to show off their Cosplay

COSPLAY

I have to apologize for delay in our Battle of the Cosplayers. We are not perfect. IndyPOP is a great supporter of the Cosplay cause. They welcome everyone and their costume ideas. Like any other con they post “Cosplay is NOT Consent”. So with that I will post the folks that didn’t make our poll…believe me I respect your love to put it out and be photographed. Hopefully I can catch you next year or at another con.

The missing Cosplay…

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Thanks to all that took the time to be photographed.

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The booty haul from the show.

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Whitney Kay Rader

THE STUFF

The best part of going to any Con is trying to come home with some good stuff. I believe I have been to too many cons…because for me everything looks wallpaper. No offense to the vendors but it takes a lot to truly catch my eye. Regardless we did come home with quality items. I’m sure the multiple cons that were happening within the area caused the vendors to be spread a little thin. The con did have some really cool LEGO vendors. My 8 year old daughter did manage to get a cool cat tail which we will use for some Cosplay at some point.

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Madilynn’s cat tail and EVIE Cosplay

THE END

This is my advice for the CON and GOERS. I know it’s hard to schedule any when your trying to add guests to improve the experience. This year wasn’t the best line-up for IndyPOP. There was still enough variety to where there had to be someone you might want to see. The show was still organized and the staff continues to be helpful. I do recommend parking behind the convention center right by the football stadium. It was cheap and not a bad walk. Parking in the mall can be confusing. The prices for some things were good and some a little off,  but it’s all what the vendors have to do to make a buck.

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Madilynn caught up with an old friend.

 

 

 

 

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