Settle down … despite the name, PalmCon is not an excessive public celebration of the Adult Film industry … it’s Palm Beach County’s premier nerd-culture convention! :)
All of the usual trapping of a comic convention were accounted for. From vintage toy booths, comic book artists, “celebrities”, discussion panels, to the copyright infringement gray-hole of “artist’s row”, and cosplayers … oh the cosplayers! (So many cosplayers!)
This year’s PalmCon was well attended despite the lack of “big name” celebrities or “marque” comics talent. There were plenty of talented artists and performers … just not the kinds of names that get people to pack the kids in the car, drive a few hours, pay $5 to park, and then pay admission kinds of names. Regardless, the people showed up!
I’ve been on a huge vintage toy kick recently so I was really looking forward to PalmCon this year. I went early and made it to the show as the doors were opening just so I could get “The Good Stuff”! Well, “The Good Stuff” was slim pickins’ this year so I was a bit disappointed on the vintage toy front. There wasn’t much from the 70s or 80s, which is my nostalgia wheel-house.
There were a couple of cool toy booths but they didn’t have anything that I was willing to pull the trigger on. My only toy purchases ended up being two recent sets of Marvel Mini-Mates. I’m a sucker for both the Punisher and Ant-Man so Dead Pool and Hawkeye are nice bonuses.
After the toys, I checked out the indie comics corner. For the uninitiated, these are usually small companies and creators that are getting their start. They compete with the giants of the industry (read Marvel and DC) for your comic buying dollar. It takes a special kind of person to take on that David V. Goliath battle and I have a TON of respect for all of them! There were also a few industry veterans mixed in the lot. Again, the comics field is a tough one, anyone that can last in it, deserves what the kids call “MAD PROPS!” I got to meet and talk to a few creators this year and they were all really nice folks that were a joy to talk to! :). Here are some of them:
Austin is a Comic Book Creator and super nice guy. He was kind enough to talk “inking” shop with me. Austin uses a Windsor Newton Series 7 (everyone at the show that used brushes used Series 7. No love for the Raphael 8404 …) I picked up a few of the books he’s worked on and they look great!
John is “Master of Masters” and the World’s Strongest Man! He has 143 world records to prove it. He’s also and author. I picked up his autobio-graphic-al novel – I just coined that phrase – for my little nephew (to inspire him to stop playing Flappy Birds and get off his duff! Also to get off my lawn!) John is a super nice guy and was easily the best salesman at the show.
Rob Torres Art:
Rob’s a Professional Illustrator. Among other projects, Rob does covers for Blackbird comics. We talked shop a bit and Rob is a big proponent of Manga Studio 5. He’s also a fellow fan of the Kuretake brush pens! I picked up a couple of his prints. The print on the left is from one of his original creations. Super great guy and a lot of fun to talk to. Checkout his site here:
Blackbird is a Resistance Entertainment series. Again, they were all super nice folks. You can checkout their stuff here: www.ResistanceEntertainment.com
I WANT TO GIVE A SPECIAL SHOUT-OUT TO THE GENTS AT KECHAL COMICS!
I walked up to them out of the blue and pitched one of my comic series ideas. They were very generous with their time and listened to my pitch. They showed genuine interest in the pitch and gave me a ton a great advice. Really took time out of their busy day to talk to me. I can’t tell you how cool that is and how much I appreciate it! 99% of the folks out there would either shut you down immediately or politely listen to your pitch and brush you aside for a paying customer. Super great guys and they have a couple of really cool series (Tart and UnderWars) that you should definitely checkout: www.kechalcomics.com
I picked up a print from the Oops Comic by Jeramy Hobz and Cyndi Foster. Some great line work. The guys from Kechal said Oops was a terrific comic for younger readers. I read the mini comic they were giving out at the show and it looks like a lot of fun! Check it out here: www.oopscomicadventure.com
Jay works on ’68 for Image Comics. ’68 is a series about zombies in the Vietnam war. As it was pitched to me, 1968 is the year Night of the Living Dead came out, also Vietnam was going on. So they’re mashing up and exploring those two horrific themes. The book looks great and I really dig the artwork! (Zing!)
I talked a bit of shop with Jay and he’s a super nice guy!
Once I made my way through indie corner, I checked out the crafters section and picked up some interesting curios!
I love the super cool lighting piece I picked up from Ransom Designs! This was my “big” purchase of the show. Jes and Kyle Smith repurpose old store signage and add comic character graphics to them. I got a giant “S” because “it’s Star Lord man…”.
A little side story. The “S” was so big I left it at the Ransom Designs booth for safe keeping so I didn’t have to carry it around the whole show. Near the end of the day I got to talking to an old friend and left the show while talking to him. It was about 45 minutes after I got home that I realized I forgot my “S” at the show! I jumped in the car right away and drove all the back to pick it up. It’s totally worth the drive back!
You can checkout their site here: www.ransomdesigns.com
I saw Alison at PalmCon two years ago and picked up a super cool Wicket ewok headdress. This year, I picked up a Wicket spear. “YUB NUB!!!” (ewok war cry!)
Alison makes some really neat Star Wars inspired head gear. I asked her if she does custom commission pieces and she does! Looks like my dream of wearing an Ookla the Mok headdress may become a reality!
You can checkout Alison’s Etsy shop here: CosplayforJedi.Etsy.com
Palm Beach County Grindhouse Series:
I forgot to write down the names of the guy and girl at the booth but they were super cool to talk to. They screen old horror movies. Rare, one-night-only type screenings. I don’t make it down to Lake Worth often by I may have to for their upcoming Re-Animator screening! I you had HBO in the mid 80s, you’ll definitely be familiar with this B-horror classic. I haven’t seen Re-Animator since 1987, and never on the big screen, so I can’t wait!
They’re screening it on Friday, October 23rd at 9:30 PM (one night only!)
Tickets $10 online and at the theater
Don’t tell Jefferson Twilight but they even had a bootleg button of Blackula!
Cosplayers were out in full force and I think the main driver of the show. It’s always a fun time when folks get dressed up and let their nerdy freak flags fly! Adventure Time and Harry Potter were well represented. The most random mainstream character had to be Man-Thing! To get more random you’d have to dress as Varley from Marvel’s 1991 Korvac Quest! The costume looked great and it was a lot of fun to see. My favorite though was an old lady dressed as Iron Spider. Wow … just wow. Tons of great costumes all around. I was so in awe of both Man-Thing and Old Lady Iron Spider, that I forgot to take pictures of either. Please take my word for it though, they were awesome!
I have more fun to share but that will have to wait for a “part 2”. Let me close this massive post by saying that all-in-all, it was a really fun show. For me, the indie creators (comics and otherwise) were easily the highlight of the show and I want to thank everyone that took the time out to chat with me. The whole event was a lot of fun and I hope it gets bigger and better each year.
If you read through this entire post, thank you so much! I hope you felt like you were there :)!