Cincinnati Comic Con Explored by NERD MANAGEMENT

The only convention I had ever been to was an annual table top convention that Indianapolis holds called “GenCon.” It’s cited as the “largest gaming convention in the country”,but I would never have noticed either way. I had never been a table top gamer per say, but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself anytime we went. I just never felt like my fellow nerds at this convention were “My people.” I almost considered them the cool kids while I was still just a lonely console gamer and comic nerd. I wanted to feel like I was a part of something, and this convention just wasn’t going to do it for me. All of that changed this past weekend (9/8/13).
My fellow podcaster (Warner Swopes) and myself met at his home along with my brother, Warner’s wife and son, early on Sunday morning. We were to journey for a grueling hour and a half to Cincinnati for my brother and I’s first ever comic book convention. Tensions were high. Wallets were full with cash ready to spend on over priced variants and figures we, surely, didn’t need, but couldn’t live without. The car ride was full of speculation on how the artists and writers would act out in their natural element and if any of them would be cool enough to take pictures with us. Purchases were thought out and planned. It was glorious. Even though my expectations were already monumental, the banter I and my comrades were having only increased these expectations.
With the car parked and everyone itching to finally stretch their legs, we finally pulled into the convention center parking lot. Within the first 2 minutes of walking towards the convention, I had already seen 2 Doctor’s (4 and 10 to be precise), a Batman, and a Spiderman. I was home. Check-in was easy enough, and the staff there very personable. As I walked into the first room, and a slight look to my right, I saw something that I had only dreamed of. A working, Micheal J. Fox free, DeLorean. “Back to the Future” being one of my favorite films in all of cinema, this made my heart skip a beat. Hell, it skipped 100 beats. I knew from that moment on, that this was going to be one of the best days of my life.
We started out by scoping the place out. Taking everything in. Further planning our purchases. We all, basically, knew what we wanted to buy and how much we were willing to spend, but it was still important to see where the real deals were. After we had done as much research as possible, we decided to go for the real reason we were there: THE SIGNATURES!!! Jason Aaron (Thor: God of Thunder), Ethan Van Sciver (Justice League/ Green Lantern) , Chris Burnham (Batman Inc.), Ryan Stegman (Superior Spiderman) and Tony Moore (The Walking Dead/Venom) were on the roster for this weekend. Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing) was supposed to make an appearance as well, but I’ll let Warner tell you about that. Burnham was up first and what a first he was. Extremely nice, and seemed excited to meet all us that approached him. Stegman was second and on and on until we had all of the signatures we wanted. Every artist/writer we met was nicer and more courteous than the last. We were in nerd heaven. We were so famished by the end of the experience so we decided to look for some lunch.
After some well deserved lunch at Hooters (heh Hooters), and a couple of glimpses at the Bangles/Bears game (Yes! I am a sports nerd too!!), we started back towards the convention center. This time, however, we were solely focused on spending some cold, hard, cash..and that we did. My requirements for this con were as follows: A sonic screwdriver, A David Tennant figure, A Humberto Ramos variant of “Guardians of the Galaxy” #1, and a few cool figures of Batman. I accomplised ALL of these…..well almost. I didn’t get my Tennant figure. Oh well. The prices were all very fair, and vendors very nice. Except for 1 guy who is actually from the Indianapolis area, but I won’t single him out just in case. There were plenty of things to do, from panels to a working Echto 1 of “Ghostbusters” fame. It was all more fun than I could ever imagine. All of this, along with the immensely helpful and nice staff made this convention an awesome place to hold a con. I will be returning next year and will remember to bring more cash. More cash=more loot. That’s always important to remember.
-Alec Ward (Nerd Management)
I have been to cons big and small for many years now. My first comic con was the first C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo)  in 2010. Ever since then, I have been to every C2e2, one Cincinnati Comic Expo, one Cincinnati Comic Con, Indy Toy and Comic Expo, and a handful of Ash Comic Shows in Indianapolis. I am eagerly awaiting 2014 Con season when I will be attending both Indianapolis Comic Con and C2e2! This past weekend, however, I had the pleasure of experiencing the first Cincinnati Comic Con.
When I first heard about this convention I was considering going but wasn’t 100% sold. A few weeks after it was announced they started releasing the guest list and Bernie Wrightson (Co-creator of Swamp Thing) was on that list. I was ecstatic! As a huge Swamp Thing fan (and having met Len Wein a few times) Bernie Wrightson would have been about the most exciting guest I could want to meet. I say WOULD HAVE BEEN  because Mr. Wrightson fell ill and was unable to attend the con.
Despite the obvious disappointment over not getting to meet one of my all time favorite artists, the show was actually extremely enjoyable. They had many great guests who were easy to access. Many times at the bigger cons like C2E2 you could wait in lines for ever trying to get a signature. Here it was as simple as waiting just a few minutes. All of the guest were very friendly too! Some even agreed to do a little intro plug for our Nerd Management podcast! The biggest highlight for me was all of the Swamp Thing merchandise I was able to purchase at great prices. All of the vendors were willing to work with customers and make great deals! I would definitely consider going to next year’s Cincinnati Comic Con.
-Warner (Nerd Management)

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