Monday, July 16, 2018

Recap and Review of the new Atlanta Comic Con @theatlantacomiccon #convention #geeks #nerds #press

I was invited to attend the new Atlanta Comic Con as press in exchange for my pre-post and posting a review at the end.

I have to admit, I was rather disappointed by the turn out of attendees, especially on Friday.  I knew it would be low (workday and all that), but it was still smaller than expected.  It didn't start until noon, so we picked up our passes and got lunch before diving in.  Our only real confusion Friday was thinking that the convention was in building A (like Momocon), when it was actually in building C.  I mostly wandered to see what was going on where.  There were free 80's type arcade games to play on as well as a room set up to play various XBox games.  I did go to a family friendly freestyle D&D panel, which was interesting (and funny) to watch.

Optimus Prime

Saturday was considerably more interesting.  A lot more people came out for the convention, so there was a lot more going on.  I started my day out by going to the panel featuring Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings and more recently in Stranger Things).   I stayed in the panel area and sat in on Linda Larkin and Paige O'Hara (voice of Jasmine and Belle respectively).


I followed that up by going and visiting with the men from Helluva Productions.   They showed a short film of what they HAD and followed it up with some examples of work from a new animator.   Barring any production or other issues happening between now and then, look for a potentially good new animation out in October (may not be appropriate for younger audiences).


I watched the girls for a while and checked out some of the games in the 1UP game room.  We also took our time going through the exhibitors hall.  I picked up 3 themed mystery boxes while there (the main one being Harry Potter themed) and a hand crafted phoenix figure from HP.  I finished my day up on an HP note with the Matthew Lewis (Neville from Harry Potter) panel.


Sunday we discovered that there was an Atlanta United game.  It made getting in/out of the convention center challenging to say the least.  Otherwise, I attended Renee O'Connor's panel as well as Cary Elwes'.
My son and I attended the Sadie the Science Lady presentation and then finished our con out by watching another freestyle D and D panel, this one aimed at the 18+ group.  Considerably more humorous, but definitely not for the younger set.

Science Rap

There was definitely a good selection of guests in attendance (certainly aided by the fact that Stranger Things is filming in Gwinnett).  They had an app that you could use to keep track of the schedule.  My request on this one would be that you be able to pick the panels you're interested in and make your own calendar to track them (similar to the one used by Momocon).  For the bigger panels, they used 3 rooms together with a lot of chairs.  If the crowd had actually filled the room, the people on the sides would NEVER have seen the panelist.  There were no monitors for them to watch.  Also, the acoustics in the room weren't very good either.  There was a definite echo at times and the speaker would occasionally get lost in clarity.

My daughter would love to see a "quiet space" for those that get overwhelmed or just need a time out for a while.  She and her best friend were also concerned by the price.  It wasn't cheap for a 3 day admission, even getting them online early.  Talking with another attendee, she was concerned that there hadn't been enough advance notice for the cosplayers to really come out in force.  Apparently another con was this weekend and most had travelled for that one.  Hopefully if this one happens again next year, there will be plenty of notice so they can attend.

A kudos to the Gamers on the Edge group that sponsored the 1UP video game room.  The girls really appreciated being able to play games aimed at multiple players and fewer single person games.  I liked the fact that they were supporting the Children's Miracle Network with both a raffle and an item sale.  We entered the raffle (didn't win) and I got a beanie.  Though I suspect the beanie will be taken over by one of the children at some point.

 If it does happen again next year and a larger number attend, they'll need more panels.  My son would suggest fan-run panels or something similar.  He appreciated the scheduling tasks, but isn't one to appreciate sitting an hour in between panels he finds interesting.  The panels he DID attend, though, he definitely enjoyed.

All of us agree, for a first year con, well done!

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