This PAST weekend saw the Rose City Comic Con in Portland, OR, which was notable as the first show since it teamed up with its huge brother up north, Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con. PDX is a troublesome spot on the convention calendar—despite being home to most of the cartoonists in North America, the comics shows tend to underperform, perhaps because you can see a cartoonist hanging around every local coffee shop and food cart and don’t need to go to the Convention Center to catch one.

Nonetheless, this show seemed to have been a success. There were the required local news stories with kids dressed as Finn and Jake, a cosplay gallery, including a Poison Ivy, and so on. Here’s a con report by two non-comics experts. They seemed to have a good time.

The fairly sedate crowds in the photos and lack of an “OMG THE FIRE MARSHAL CAME!” news story suggests it was a regular sized show and not a megalith; but like we said, PDX is a strange town.

Did you go? Did you have a good time? Sound off in the comments as always.



  1. RCCC grew about 4 times in size from last year. Overall, it was a lot of fun, well-produced besides a few missteps with things like the panels having no inbetween time for the speakers to set up.

    The thing that surprised me was the cosplay, it seemed like there were almost more people dressed up than not on Saturday when I was there.

  2. RCC utilized the exact same floor space at the convention center as the recent Wizard World Portland (as near as I could tell), but occupied more of it… with a much larger artist alley, and comic book presence/skew (naturally). Attendance felt similar too, if perhaps a touch lower, but sales were certainly lower then Wizard, but still good.
    It was by all accounts a well run and fully formed show, that will hopefully grow and thrive!

  3. I really enjoyed this show. My only other datapoint is Stumptown Comics Festival which is fun, also. However, this show was definitely more superhero oriented and seemed friendlier to sci-fi and fantasy genres while Stumptown seems more of a home to slice-of-life autobiographical flannel wearing books. If you want to see cosplayers go to Rose City. If you want to hang out with the hipsters, see you at Stumptown.

  4. I exhibited at this year’s show (I didn’t attend last year) and I was very impressed with the size and scope. The floor for both the retail and artist alley was huge and the aisles were wide enough to easily navigate. The crowd was good natured and open to discover new material. My booth did well. I was located in the retailer section and I was pleased with the traffic. The entire floor was big but not so huge that you’d get lost. For a two day show you saw the same people circulate the aisles quite a bit.

    Hotels were directly across the street and very cheap, public transit ran along the street of the convention center, eateries were along the same block and even the food inside the convention center was a good step up from the usual fare. Loading and setting up the booth the day before and even the day of the show was painless. Plenty of personnel was there to help and solve problems.

    The artist alley was humming with a diverse array of products everything from comics, to crafts, to actual pet adoption services. I kid you not. People were walking about the show with 9 week old puppies that would melt your typical, jaded, and hardened cynical con-goer. I would gladly come back to this show in 2014 to see how well it expands and improves.

  5. The first year, 750 was the break-even point on attendance. They had 4,100 show up.

    This year? The convention organizer expected 16,000.
    Which, while not as crazy as Denver, TCAF, or SLC, is a HUGE increase.

  6. I would say attendance was about right for a show floor this size though not sure on the final count. Good amount of people constantly on aisles but you didn’t have to bump into people to get around.

    I was in artist alley and my area most people reported sales as being a bit lighter than other shows (though there’s always some winners and losers at every convention). Though comic book dealers say it was good for them, similar to individual day sales at Emerald City (maybe a little less).

    The Portland crowd is always friendly, l look forward to seeing grow.

  7. I was able to take a “busman’s holiday”, and attend Rose City Comic-Con on Sunday. The show has continued to evolve; the exhibit hall was lively and attendance seemed good.

    I took in the artist’s panel, which had a great line-up: Paul Guinan, Joelle Jones, Adam Hughes, Dustin Nguyen and Whilce Portacio. A stellar panel for any show, with insightful commentary, particularly on the different approaches to working with a script.

    While traffic at the tables was brisk, it was still mellow enough to touch base with various talents and have a chat. Highlights for me were saying hello to the aforementioned Adam Hughes, Paul Guinan and Whilce Portacio, along with folks like Chrissie Zullo. Phil and Linda Yeh, Ken Meyer, Jr., Ron Randall.

    Baby Tattoo publisher Bob Self held forth, and was presenting a new book by talented and delightful artist Brandi Milne, who was a pleasure to meet and get a book from.

    Business seemed good as far as I could tell. The Dark Horse stand was always crowded. It’s nice to see the company throw some sponsorship to Rose City.

    The vibe was mellow-but-engaged, and even the rainy weather seemed to fit.

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