By Max Hurwitz

[Editor’s Note: Once again, a live teen consented to give his honest thoughts on going to a comic con, namely Rose City in PDX. Max reported on last year’s show for The Beat – what did he find this time out? The results may surprise you.]

There is a lot of stuff going on in the entertainment world right now, sequel fatigue, the WGA-SAG-AFTRA strikes, big comic companies constantly resetting universes, not to mention all of the actor controversy, AI art, and the weird Netflix live-action anime reboots. So when we find ourselves in times like these, I think a good comic con can really be used to help reset the brain and really engage in what we love best, Nerdom, Anime, adaptations, and utter geekery. I am Max Hurwitz, and welcome to Teenager’s review of Rose City Comic Con Part 2: credit card access

A lot of people see Portland Oregon as this Pacific backwater, nestled between self-immolating California, and the land of overpriced coffee that is Washington. But this is an incredibly oversimplified view of the city. Does it have a rampant drug problem? Yes. Is it getting so expensive that New York is a genuinely better option? Yes. Does it host and actively facilitate the very societal problems it tries to fix? Yes. but does it have an absolutely thriving comics scene? Yeah, yeah it does. A lot of Portland’s geeky-ness can probably be traced back to the fact that it hosts one of the highest CBSpC ratings in the country. CBSpC of course stands for Comic Book Stores per Capita. And not only comics, but records, Powell’s bookstores, and a culture of heavy marijuana use which actively encourages alternative thinking and promotes nontraditional mediums as a method of entertainment. I’m gonna be honest it’s probably all the weed’s doing but that doesn’t really help the local reputation so. .. Anyway, onto Comic Con!

I’m going to start off hard and honestly because I can’t filibuster the history of Portland’s comic scene forever: There was a lot of D&D this year. Not that D&D’s a negative, I’m part of a D&D club. But by Jove, there was an excessive amount, I did not expect there to be this many. And I don’t mean like booths, I checked the website and about 2/3rds of all the meet and greet celebrity panels were D&D related, adjacent, or somehow connected. For instance, everyone from the Critical Role show was there, and by everyone, I mean everyone. And I don’t just mean heavy-hitting Game Master Mathew Mercer either, everyone, Laura Bailey, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, and Travis Willingham, to name five. It was so much Dungeons and Dragons that I didn’t even realize absolute animation legend Steve Blum was there. I, gonna be honest, Wolverine’s my favorite X-man, so not meeting Wolverine is going haunt me for the rest of my days (or until I stop buying Marvel but that’s gonna take a while). This was shocking because the loadout was somehow more loaded than last year, not from a name standpoint but from a “look how many people we got” standpoint. On the website, there are (roughly) 60 notable guests, with a half-and-half split of writers/artists and actors. Which is honestly insane, pure insanity.

Going into Rose City this year I was a tad worried about the appearance of celebrities, artists, and writers. Mainly because of the ongoing Sag-AFTRA strike, and the recently “ended but still sorta having effects” WGA strike. What I didn’t realize is you can do acting/appearances without breaking union rules. Which is dope, because power to the creators. I also completely forgot comic books and films are mostly separate entities, and that actors probably had this lined up for a while. So ya know, thanks Critical Role, Steve Blum, and Eric Vale, ya got this.

There was a surprisingly high number of sellers, as is customary for any comic con. Cosplay equipment was a really common one, with a few stalls for just swords and hats. There was a booth with Cyberpunk 2077-esque weapons and attachments, which I am only choosing to mention because the lady at the booth complimented my very goofy outfit. A few stalls were even selling D&D dice and notebooks for long-winded or one-shot campaigns. One stall I quite liked was this one with a bunch of vintage T-shirts, including a 1997 X-men cartoon Tee, and multiple horror movie bootlegs, very much in the same vein of Das bootleg.

There are also a few odd things. In the last two years I’ve gone to Rose City there has been this chocolate fudge stall thing, that sells 1 pound blocks of fudge for 50 dollars, or six pieces of high quality chocolate for 25 dollars. The latter may feel a little scammy but still good. And by the video game gods, whoever decided to put chocolate in the middle of the floor is a genius, because a friend of mine bought some and it just keeps you up, even more so than a Coke or full night’s rest. This really needs to be expanded on, they should open McDonalds Pop ups inside conventions, where they announce new toys or meals. But that may just be me.

Now, Rose City, what do you think of? Cosplay? Meet and Greets? Teasers and Trailers? New announcements for phase 6 of the Feige Extended Universe? No, that’s not what a lot of people think of, Surprisingly it’s posters. Now I may sound like one of those weird young ruffians who really wants his comic posters. That’s because this is a landmark year, I got a bank card. And when you have access to theoretically unlimited funds what’s the first thing you would do? Would it be buying ~200 dollars of comic-related posters for no reason other than aesthetics? Because that’s what I did. The first poster is 25 dollars and every successive poster is 10 dollars. When you get a deal like that it’s hard not to spend money. During this period of rampant purchasing power, I got to meet a lot of artists, who told me about the future of Marvel projects, most notably the X-men. Apparently, Marvel just brought on the quote ‘Avengers-guy’ unquote to help revamp X-men, This is only coming 4-ish years I think from the last revamp which was Krakoa itself, So if you keep track of that, so watch out for that next comic rotation. I bought probably 15 posters, about a quarter of which were X-men and the others were miscellaneous.

As I age as a person and begin to develop a more thorough and deep understanding of cosplays, booths, or even signs, jokes, and stories I was told as a child, this piggy going to market just clicking a few months ago, I begin to really start appreciating or at the very least finding comfort in the goofiness. One such goofiness is the scantily dressed women dressed as anime characters walking around with signs that say “Will step on you for 15 dollars,” proudly walking everywhere except the actual convention and exhibit halls. I don’t know if this is a Portland thing or a side effect of a culture that incentivizes debauchery, but it’s very funny, and that’s what matters.

Other such goofiness often takes the form of Cosplay, dressing up as characters, and acting like characters. And if we look at life like video games, then cosplayers put all their skill points into the tailoring skill tree. The cosplayers were a bit fewer and more far between than last year, probably due to the lack of major releases. There were more group cosplays – think Marvel, One Piece, and Umbrella Corporation from Resident Evil. There was a notable decrease in individual cosplayers, but those who did do individual cosplays were on point. I saw an absolutely fantastic Ganondorf and a fantastic homemade Death-Stranding cosplay. In terms of group cosplays, there was a President Loki and his alligators alongside a cute father-son Kratos/god of war cosplay.

Comic cons have always sorta been shameless with marketing, everyone knows this, Big Bang Theory, and now that Sheldon bloke usually has a booth in San Diego. But being in the elevated city of Portland, Oregon, where we have evolved beyond mere promotion, and are now shamelessly shilling the most fantastic products known to nerd kind. The streamer owner of Gamer-supps company which sells energy powder drinks had a stall at Comic-Con, which was quite the crowd gatherer, with a constant buzz of activity around it, handing out free samples and selling something called ‘guacamole gamer fart 9000’, which, gotta say, tastes exactly like how you’d think. This was across the way from a stall promoting the brand new Chucky show, which I just learned existed today. I guess Don Manchini got creative control back, and now we have a sociopathic doll as president of the free world.

This was just a really surprising year, and Rose City Comic Con just appeared out of the blue one day, and honestly, it just gave everyone a minute to unwind and enjoy things. Gotta give it a high score, not because it’s the biggest, or the most impressive, or even the most fun convention I’ve been to, but it was chill. And that’s probably the best thing I can say about it. 8.7/10


The author is about to be exterminated for not being Kenough

Ganondorf prepares to unleash his potent power upon the Portland Convention Center

Kratos takes a break from battling Jormungandr to spend quality time with the boy

POTUS and his crocodile on the campaign trail, courting the Comic vote

Spaceballs 2: The quest for more Cosplay

Norman Reedus and his freaky fetus play Irl walking simulator

Killer Klowns 2: Clowns Kill Cosplayers

Cybernetic man and the quest for more Double A batteries


Cyberpunk Samurai Mercenary realizes his costume has too many Nouns in the title


(I spent way too much money this was a mistake)

x-men posters

Top left to bottom right: Magik, Wolverine and X-23, Mystique, X-23 (Thank you Daniele Torres)

Berserk, Mandalorian, Eduardo Scissorhands, Bender


Top left to bottom right: Berserk, Mandalorian, Eduardo Scissorhands, Bender

daft punkImage: Daft Punk


robo marilyn

Poster: Marilyn Mon-Zombie