Baltimore Comic Con Wrap-Up

This past weekend, I took the family (and Philip) up to Baltimore for the Baltimore Comic Con! Those of you who listen to Relative Dimensions have heard some of this on this week's episode, but for everyone else I wanted to put up a blog post about it as well. Read onwards to hear what I thought.

Ever since I have gotten into comic books, I have looked forward to the Baltimore Comic Con every year. It is probably my favorite comic convention that I have been to (New York ranks up there as well, but the distance and money involved make it second best). The first year I went, Ashley and I even dressed up and participated in the first annual costume contest that they held.

So how did this year rank up? First of all, I tried to fix many mistakes that I had made in the past. Starting off - I tried to park a little ways away from the convention center, but not TOO far away. My reasoning for this - I didn't want to have a long walk, but I didn't want to waste $15-20 of valuable comic con money to pay for parking. I still ended up paying $10, which is not as good as I would have liked, but I think to get any cheaper I would have had a long hike.

Secondly, I made sure to get there as soon as I could. We got to the convention center right around when the con started, and aside from some issues checking in (more on that in a second), we still were able to get in not too long after the doors opened. Given that most of the vendors do not change between years, Ashley led the way to one side of the dealers and started looking for good deals -- which she succeeded at. She found some of the World of Warcraft Premium series of action figures for only $5 a pop (normally they are like $30+), which we quickly snatched up. At the same booth, I even found the Caveman Batman and Colonial Batman figures from the Return of Bruce Wayne series (didn't really care to get them at $15+, but at $5? Sure!).

Normally, I use Baltimore Comic Con as an excuse to stock up on $5 trade paperbacks, but this year I didn't see a lot of them that I wanted. Ashley and Chloe sure stocked up though; they found lots of them that they wanted to read. I'm not going to complain, anything to get Chloe reading is a plus in my book. What I *did* find though were a lot of retailers selling $1 single issues - INCLUDING new releases! I immediately took to those bins, digging for any New 52 Batman titles. See, I haven't been following that many comics recently due to the wedding/new house. While I've stayed up to date with at least Batman and Justice League, a lot of the other Bat-titles (Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Detective Comics) I've gotten behind on. However, at $1 an issue, I quickly caught up on many of those titles, which I'm excited about.

My only beef with Baltimore Comic Con is that if you show up to the event having not bought a ticket, it can be kind of hard to understand what you need to do. Ashley and I had already got tickets in advance, so we were good; but Philip didn't. We spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what line he needed to be in and where to go for tickets. At one point, someone made us believe that he had to get his ticket and then leave the convention center to get his wristband, but that turned out not to be the case. The other downside to the convention wasn't the convention's fault, it was my lack of keeping up with the comic book world. I normally like to cruise around artist alley and interview a couple of comics peoples, but having not that much time to spend at the con and not being as up to date on what people are working on, I chose to spend my time going through the rest of the floor.

All in all, Baltimore is a great convention that I look forward to going to with the family every year. Just as in years before, I'll take lessons from this year and apply them to my experience next year. Heck - hopefully next year or the year afterwards I'll be able to afford a table at the con and be there both days to enjoy the event to the fullest. If you live in the DC/MD/VA/PA area, then I highly suggest that you attend next year.

Did you go to the convention? What did you enjoy about it? Leave me a note in the comments.

 

Comic Review: Red Hood And The Outlaws #1 (DC Comics)

With everyone in the Batman mood, I thought that I would continue the Bat-theme of this week with a Batman comic that some of you may not have heard of. It's Red Hood And The Outlaws #1 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort, which came out last year in September with The New 52 initiative that DC has going. Jump past the break to see what I thought about this comic.

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With DC's new 52, I was trying to limit which comics I read and which ones I passed on. Honestly, if I had the money, I would have read them all. Even though it is a Batman related property, I haven't been a big fan of Jason Todd, so I passed on it for now. Yet, today I was browsing through comics on Comixology and this comic along with its $0.99 price tag convinced me to try it out.

In this comic, we have Jason Todd, who was once Robin but is now parading around as Red Hood. Joining him is Green Arrow's former sidekick Roy Harper and the alien princess Starfire. Together, these misfits band together to form a team that specializes in the tasks that lie in the morally gray area. I remember when this comic came out it got a lot of bad press for its portrayal of Starfire. It is not the cartoony Starfire shown in Teen Titans, that is for sure. While there are a few moments where I wish she was more of a stronger woman figure, she has been given some skimpy outfits by artists for quite a long time now. So her personally does not really shock me that much. Plus, as a band of misfits, she works in this group.

I like this comic. To me, it seems to be of the same sort as the Secret Avengers title that Marvel has - the black ops group that does the deeds that the A list super heroes can't be seen doing. It isn't perfect - for instance as much as Jason Todd makes it seem that he is trying to get away from the Batman, he runs around with a big red bat on his chest. Even with its minor flaws, it is an interesting story that has captured my attention.

IN CONCLUSION: Buy this comic. The first issue is less than a buck, so what do you have to lose? I've already went ahead and bought the second issue, and I'm sure I'll be buying the third issue really soon as well.

Did you enjoy this comic? What other Batman comics should I review this week?