It seems that everyone has discovered that the Baltimore Comic-Con is one of the friendliest and most star-studded comics shows on the circuit.
We don’t have figures of magnitude yet, but pre-sales and attendance this year are WAY up. While the crowds on Saturday were always brisk, when we arrived at noon today it was difficult to get into the show floor past giant lines for Jeff Smith, David Finch, and (of course) Stan Lee. Reportedly there was a giant line that wrapped around the block to get in this morning before the show opened.
Or as one exhibitor told us, “At 9:30 when they let in the VIP badge holders I thought ‘Good crowd.’ At 10 when everyone got in, I was ‘Oh my god.'”
In the early hours of the show, tables everywhere were mobbed.
The biggest line? Stan Lee, of course, where several hundred people stood in line to get their photo taken with the comics legend.
The costume contest was a similar hit, with a huge line outside the room at the 3:00 starting time, when the room had already filled up long before.
We’re not sure what’s behind the hugely increased attendance. Stan Lee was surely a factor, but it also seems to be general enthusiasm for the concept of a comic-con. And all that despite no movies, no celebrities, and no video games.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.