Indy Pop Con has hit a crowded convention scene this year for the first time. The convention is located in the heart of Indianapolis, IN in the Indianapolis Covention Center. With so many convention hitting the country, especially the the midwest, does Indy Pop Con deserve your attention for a visit next year? At least from our experience this year at the newly founded con, we can easily say yes!
This happened to be the first time we had been into Indianapolis, and it is easy to say we were impressed by the city immediately. For a big, beautiful city, the traffic was much lighter than we expected. Normally we were prepared for congestion downtown, but there was none. Indy Pop Con was sharing space with a large graduation downtown, along with at least one other convention, but on a bright Saturday afternoon, it was extremely easy to navigate. Our biggest gripe beyond traffic is when we have to hunt for a parking spot, but the convention chose wisely as there was more than enough parking garages around the convention center to easily fit a crowded downtown and con at the same time. The price was just right too, usually in a big city we end up spending a lot on parking, but here it was just $10 after spending the entire day in the convention. It is hard to beat that.
Once inside the convention center, we would be remiss not to mention the ticket prices. They had a great selection of guests, which we will get to soon, but they kept the ticket prices to a fair price. In a day and age were con prices are starting to get exuberant (we’re looking at you Wizard) the tickets for a day pass are good price, not to mention the great price for a 3-day weekend pass. If you do make it out next year, make sure to pick up your ticket online in advance it will save you near 20% off your ticket price.
Easily our biggest problem with a con is when it is way to small for the space it inhibits. It makes it very difficult to walk the floor and enjoy yourself if you are constantly bumping elbows with fellow fans as you advance aisle to aisle. Again Indy Pop Con gets high marks from us on this. The con itself was not overcrowded with attendees, but either way it had nice big aisles that could accommodate more people than they had. You never once felt claustrophobic inside. From the looks of it, the floor could still be expanded inside to allow for even more of everything next year.
The panel areas were the same way. The panel rooms themselves were a good size and we never saw anyone turned away for lack of space. The main stage itself, reserved for the biggest panels, was gigantic. The closest size we can compare it to would be the main stage for C2e2, which is a con of a much bigger size. Suffice to say it had plenty of seating from the panels we were able to attend, and you were able to get up nice and close to the front.
Now being it’s first year, it simply did not have the amount of guests that many other large cons have. For its inaugural year, however, they actually had a good mix for all of fandom to enjoy. For the comic side of things, legendary co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman was in attendance, along with long time veteran Larry Hama, horror artist Ben Templesmith, the amazing Batman artist Norm Breyfogle, to just name a few of the great comic guests. For anime you had the extremely talented John Dimaggio (who will always be Bender to us) and Eric Stuart. The media guests included big names as Ron Glass from Firefly, Kandyse McClure from Battlestar Galactica, Kristian Nairn and Esme Bianco from Game of Thrones, and several others that would take us much longer to list. Having these big names for its first year is pretty impressive, so we most definitely are excited to see who they can pull in next year.
There was a varied selection of vendors that sported all sorts of collectibles. Of course there was a huge selection of comic vendors, but there was a good mix of several other things. There were plenty of vendors selling anime and Dr Who merchandise as couple of examples, and several video game dealers as well. They even had some big name stores show up, such as Gamestop with a small booth, and Half Price Books with a fairly large one. Kroger was even right inside when you walked in where you could win some free candy for the long con. In the end it was a nice mix, and plenty to choose from when shopping around for a good deal.
It definitely did not hurt being situated in such a great city such as Indianapolis. Beyond that though, Indy Pop was a great con this year. It was very surprising that this is their first year, considering how well put together the entire thing was. We expect after a successful first year we will see an increase in guests next year, which is our only real complaint. As great as the guest list was, it was still small comparatively. If you were unable to attend this year, make sure save the date for next year. Overall, Indy Pop Con was easily one of the most enjoyable conventions we have attended this year!
Ticket Price: ★★★★☆