Alamo City Comic Con Experience 2015
Story by: David A. De La Rosa
Photographs by: Joseph Martinez & Ramon Hernandez
Alamo City Comic Con Experience 2015
I have for a full year been greatly anticipating the third installment of the Alamo City Comic Con. I’ve missed the excitement, and festival like atmosphere of this event. I was very pleased with the event as a whole, and everyone who attended I’m sure were not disappointed.
For those people who have never attended a comicon, let me reiterate for past articles I’ve written on this topic. This is an event where people are encouraged to dress up in costume as their favorite superhero or villain. For the record my observations for this year’s most worn costume was a tossup between Deadpool and Harley Quinn.
There were many celebrities that attended this event for autograph and photo-op sessions. Any comic con attendee can meet with some of their favorite TV, and film stars with certain VIP passes. Fans can go into an auditorium for a Q&A panel (i.e. Stan Lee, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, etc.), and speak with some of their favorite film or television personalities. I myself sat in on no less than six panels all of which were very informative and entertaining.
There are vendors there selling merchandise that run the gambit between inexpensive pin back buttons to high end statues of superheroes. I personally get a kick out people buying awesome looking replica light sabers. There were also many published artists selling signed prints of their artwork.
This year I was glad to see that there was a children’s area sponsored by local educational institutions (i.e. The San Antonio Public Library, The San Antonio Zoo, and The Witte Museum). Last year some of these groups were in attendance, but they didn’t have the interactive children’s activities they had for the con this year. Along with the interactive activities there were huge moon bounces, for the kids to play in; this was a great rest area. We all know sometimes the little ones get disinterested, and parents need to rest their feet.
This year had live wrestling courtesy of River City Wrestling, (an organization with no affiliation with our website), and matches were performed periodically throughout the three days of the con (https://www.facebook.com/rcwforever). I enjoyed the matches that I saw, and it reminded me of when I was a kid and went to see wrestling at the Freemen Coliseum. I hope next year’s con will have more RCW.
I enjoy many aspects of this comic con people watching, shopping for merchandise, viewing artwork. The one thing I love above all of these aspects of this show is attending Q&A panels. The panels are great for people who can afford a ticket to the con, but cannot afford a VIP pass this is their opportunity to get access to their favorite stars. As I stated before I attended no less than six panels, all were entertaining and gave me new insights on the celebrities being paneled. The one Q&A session that stood out, was the one that I half heartedly attended.
The Edward James Olmos panel blew me away, and a more in depth separate article will be posted on our website about this panel experience. Mr. Olmos was a very charismatic, animated, intelligent man; he answered every question eloquently and fully. He spoke to the panel audience about politics, his Latino experience in Hollywood, and his film career. I have been a fan of his for years, and I have much respect for him because of his leading role in the Battlestar Galactica reboot. I never expected such an authentic discussion, and that was the only reason I didn’t pay much attention too attending that panel. A little advice to the organizers of the Alamo City Comic Con who might read this piece, please invite Mr. Olmos back for next year’s con, he was awesome.
I can see that this event has grown in scope and popularity as a premier comic con destination since its inception. I like some of the changes that have been implemented in this con. There was a major improvement with announcing scheduled events and changes with a free downloadable AP. The layout of exhibition halls were more spread out with regards to the artist tables any observer can see foot traffic moved more steadily than in the past conventions. I thought this made the attendance seem smaller in number as compared to last year but that was only my perception, because of the lack of crowd clutter. To my knowledge attendance records have not been released yet.
I did have one major criticism with regards to the major Q&A panels, and that was the location. In the past two comic cons the major panels were held in the rather large Lila Cockrell Theatre stage. The major panels this year were held in ballroom B, which according to a comic con official had a seating capacity of 1,250 seats. I believe individuals like Stan Lee an American icon deserves the large stage. That same large stage is better suited to accommodate a large ensemble cast of some of our favorite television shows.
I know the reason for this switch was made to accommodate screening films for the Alamo City Film Festival which was running concurrently with the comic con. My humble suggestion is that maybe the film festival could run films everyday all week long, and the weekend the theatre stage can be used for the comic cons major panels. I think that expanding the film festival to run all week long could attract more films and stars to the comic con, as well as utilize the theatre stage for the con.
I enjoyed attending this convention and I look forward to the continual grown of this event. I think that we have much to be proud of here in San Antonio, and this event reflects well on all of us. All the visitors form different parts of country if not the world have gained a better appreciation of what San Antonio is all about, because of an event like our Alamo City Comic Con.