North Texas Comic Book Show
On February 11th, Mike & I had the opportunity to attend the North Texas Comic Book show for the first time. While we where there we had the opportunity to speak to quite a few interesting people: artists, writers, cosplayers, comic book store owners, and even a woman who sells nerdy fingernail art for you to show off your fandom with a wave! To be honest, we hadn't heard about this little convention until about 2 weeks prior & we weren't even sure what to expect going in to it. However, what we found was a very present surprise.
Located at the Irving Convention Center in Los Colinas, we walked in to the main lobby to find a couple of tables setup: one to buy or pick up tickets & one for the conventions' new promoting partner, Cosmunity. While this appeared quiet & unimposing, it wasn't until we walked onto the convention floor that we saw the fun that awaited us. Only taking up about a quarter of the space that the convention centers' ground floor offered, there were comic book vendors & artists everywhere! Lining either side of the space were the tables for the main guests. There was Al Milgrom, Mike Zeck, & John Beatty (the team that gave us Marvel's Secret Wars II), Gigi Edgley (from Farscape), Jim Starlin (renouned author & creator of Thanos, Gamora & Drax the Destroyer) & many more. What made this convention different from so many others, though, was that, while these big name guests were there, they were not dominating the attention of the convention attendees. There was a natural flow of people all around that exuded a love of the comic books & art that was featured there, rather than the personalities on display.
In an interview with the convention's owner, Chris Latshaw, he said that his purpose in creating the North Texas Comic Book Show was to bring back the feeling that used to exist at so many of these comic conventions before they became primarily focused on pop culture & movies. He wanted a place for comic book fans to be able to come & interact with other people that love the same fandoms, as well as the people that helped shape the stories that they grew up reading. When we asked him what he would like people to know about this show that haven't yet experienced it, he said, "if you're a comic fan, this is definitely the place for you because that's what it's about. Right? If you're someone who's kind of dipping their toe in the water for comics or are wanting to do a Con for the first time, then this is a great family friendly event that's not overwhelming." "It's easy to navigate, easy to handle all of the artists & kind of get exposure, & then make a decision about whether you want to go on to the bigger things."
We couldn't have said it better our selves. While I had the good fortune to have my first convention experience at Dallas Comic-Con back when it was still small enough to fit into the Richardson Convention Center, Mike was thrown into the deep end with it at the height of if's size right before it moved to the Dallas Convention Center & was purchased by Fan Expo. So, instead of that fast paced environment where you can barely have a second to think, this convention gave him the chance to experience a more intimate environment where you can actually stop & talk with the different artists about their work & influences. A place where more niche comic book stores can come & show off their classic books & you, as an attendee, can actually stop to look through them & see what hidden gems you can find (without being pushed aside by the 30 people behind you trying to do the same thing).
If you are looking for a comic convention to be your first & or are like Mike & have only ever experienced the large or super large conventions, the North Texas Comic Book Show is a convention that you NEED to experience. They will be having a second show later this July, so take a couple of hours out of your weekend, when they announce the show dates, & go check this convention out for yourself.