I’m so glad Tuscon Comic-Con was success. Maybe I’m biased and I’m proud of the Old Pueblo (Google it). The sixth annual comic con just passed this 2013 calendar year and was better than ever all thanks to the fans.
I became the online editor for the Tucson Weekly in September, and it’s been a dream come true. My job is to pay attention to what every other local publication is saying and there was hardly any mention of the convention. There was no print advertising, but one radio spot on one of the popular morning shows.
Brian Pulido, Matt Hawkins and Travis Henson were the big names. A lot of creators were committed to Stan Lee’s Comikaze in Los Angeles, so it’s become a battle for this convention to nab bigger draws. Phoenix comics retailer Jesse James from Jesse James Comics was one of the organizers and event coordinators, and he did a better job than the social media organizer at promoting the event. There was hardly any kind of online presence or voice for this show, and that’s really important there wasn’t any print advertising. I have to congratulate Mike Olivares for putting on another good show despite the up hill battle.
My biggest complaint was the fact that none of the aisles or tables were numbered. I felt a bit silly posting on Facebook or Twitter when I had no way to indicate where I was. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one that felt this way.
The cosplayers seems to be having a good time and happy with the first costume contest. There hasn’t been a single report on any sexual harassment! That’s a big win for any convention. There were a lot of creative costumed fans, and it wasn’t overwhelming. Alfred Truijo and his wife Cara A.K.A. Power Girl were lucky enough to get a booth after the horrid Jack O’Con situation. They stated that they had to sleep in their rental car and wait for TCC to open so they can try to recoup of the money they lost from that trip.
Not only was the Meat Puppets and People Under the Stairs in town, but it was the Dia De Los Muertos, also known as the All Souls Procession, going on that weekend. Over the last year downtown Tucson has erupted with food and bar restaurants located blocks from the convention. There has been a major local foods and craft beer initiative, and it’s just begun. There are so many local micro-breweries and amazing restaurants just walking distance from the convention center. I’m spoiled rotten by Tap & Bottle with their 50+ local or regional craft beers. I had breakfast at the Cup Cafe in the historic Hotel Congress before the show started. All the best locally owned bars are located on Fourth Avenue. It’s a southwest paradise you can’t experience anywhere else.
There final count for attendees is 8,000 for the two day event. Olivares stated on the TCC blog that the convention will stay with Tucson Convention Center but go from 30,000 to 80,000 sqft.
We would like to open up our floor to the dozens of creators we turned away due to space constraints and better tool the registrations process for everyone. This show will continue to always be about promoting the amazing world of comics books and the people who make them, so we would like to open our doors to grow an even bigger local and national audience as well as shine that spotlight on our great local talent!
The convention dates have been booked for 2014 for Nov. 8th and 9th.
Henry Barajas is the co-creator, writer and letterer for El Loco and Captain Unikorn. He has also written and lettered short stories for two successful Kickstarter SpazDog Press projects: Unite and Take Over: Stories inspired by The Smiths and Break The Walls: Comic Stories inspired by The Pixies. He is the Newsroom Research Assistant for The Arizona Daily Star and was nominated for the Shel Dorf Blogger of the Year award for his work at The Beat. You can follow him on Twitter @HenryBarajas and Google+.