By: Chris Delloiacono
The Pittsburgh Comicon 2010
It’s great to be writing a piece for the Comics Nexus again. It’s been far too long….years somehow. And speaking of years it was amazing to return to the Pittsburgh Comicon for the first time in two years. The con was moved from its regular April spot last year due to a new Convention Center being built. The show still occurred last year, but it, unfortunately, happened at the beginning of September. That’s not the easiest time for a teacher like myself to take a day off and cover a comic book convention, as much as I would have liked to.
Having missed the September show, this was my first experience in the new Convention Center. What an upgrade over the old facility! In my mind the Pittsburgh Comicon always suffered a bit from being held in a substandard building. This injustice is at an end. The new convention center is a top notch building with plenty of floor space, high ceilings, and excellent lighting. All of these items are non-negotiable for a truly pleasing comic convention experience. The parking facility is vastly improved too. The old parking lot was weirdly designed, as it shared spaces with the adjoining hotel. While that lot has been expanded there is also a brand new parking lot that really takes the stress for parking and eases it down a notch.
The best part of the Pittsburgh Comicon is getting to hang out with my buddies Daron and Jeff. Since I’m from New Jersey and my buds are from St. Louis, we don’t get to see each other more than two or three times a year. This con is the perfect location for long distance friends to catch up and delve in to ample comic-awesomeness.
The convention offered us plenty of time to chat with guests, shop, and just plain hang out with friends. The guest list was a good one again this year. Such luminaries as Tom Mandrake, David Mack, Daryl Banks, Brian K. Glass, Scott McDaniel, Billy Tucci, and Marc Wolfe signed autographs, did sketches, and just plain spent time chatting. The convention floor offered plenty of space and never made us feel like we were in a cattle call, as most of the Wizard branded shows seem to. There was also the chance to catch up with friends from the small press area. Adam Withers and Comfort Love of Uniques fame are always great to chat with. And we especially enjoyed having a fine meal of Chinese faire with the couple on Friday night (The Harvey Award Winning Writer, Mr. Bryan J. L. Glass and his wife also joined us for dinner, but were kidnapped by another table as we were being seated – no worries though, we were able to rescue the couple before we left).
There were plenty of other events to enjoy as well. The Quick Sketch, the annual charity auction that benefits the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Casino Night, panels with celebrities from the original Dawn of the Dead, Margot Kidder, and Star Wars personalities offered something interesting to do whenever your feet needed a break.
This past summer I had the wonderful experience of attending the San Diego Comicon. The southern California show is stupendous. There’s no doubt about it, but it’s far from a comic book show. SD is a multimedia event, but calling it a Comicon really is not fair advertising. I’m going back to San Diego again this year, but I will also be back in Pittsburgh again next year. Hell, I will be back in Pitt. every year I can swing it for the foreseeable future. I love shows where comic books are first and foremost, and there simply isn’t a better comic book show.