San Diego Comic Con 2016 Report

5 years ago, my family and I visited San Diego for the first time.  Our intentions were to see some friends and also experience the largest comic book convention in the world, the San Diego Comic Con.  We had a really great time and every year since then I’ve been trying to arrange to go back. As it turned out, 2016 was my year!

This time, for speed and cost reasons, I went by myself and was only there for a short while.  I flew into San Diego on the Wednesday afternoon, and I flew out on Friday night. For me, this trip was meant to be a buying trip, so I traveled very lightly.

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For those who have never gone, but have heard great things about the SDCC, let me tell you, the show did not disappoint.  The venue is massive; the crowds of attendees were seemingly never-ending.  The show is so heavily attended that there is even a tickets lottery to get in, and another one for parking spaces at the venue!  Once inside, there were aisles and aisles of vendors selling their toys, statues, plush dolls, pillows, t-shirts, costumes, tons of other collectibles, and of course, comic books.  The corporate displays were immense and so very well planned and organized.  It is the comic book show of all shows. If you have ever considered going to experience this show, I would highly recommend it.  There’s nothing like it anywhere else.
Comic books have become a very small part of this show.  With the attention now mostly on the celebrities, movies, toys and miscellaneous items for sale, comics are getting harder and harder to find at this “comic convention”.  Now, for the ones that were there selling comics, they sure brought the good stuff!  If you had the money, you could have bought 5 copies of Batman #1.  For me, the buying trip was successful.  I bought a number of CGC and CBCS graded comics for my shop, and a few Richie Rich comics for my personal collection.

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The highlight for me was getting to meet legendary comic book artist Russ Heath. He is 90 years old now and still very sharp.  Growing up as a huge fan of DC war comics, I was very familiar with Russ’ fantastic work and attention to detail. Being able to meet him in person was unbelievable.  I attended a war comics banquet and Russ was the guest of honour.  That was a great opportunity to have a very casual conversation with him.  The next day, he was signing comics for fans at the show.  I brought a few of my favourites and asked Russ to sign them. He was very humble and signed happily.  I even got to hang out with him poolside for a little over an hour.  What a chance of a lifetime!

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Niagara Falls Comic Con 2016 Report

2016 marked the third year of Forest City Coins participating in the Niagara Falls Comic Con – a show that I always look forward to.  Comic books aside, I mean, who doesn’t like to go to Niagara Falls?  The amusements, entertainment and attractions don’t do as much for me now as they used to when I was a kid, but I still greatly enjoy the magnificence of The Falls, itself.

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It’s a decent sized show, held in a very nice venue, the Scotia Bank Convention Centre.  It was very well attended this year, with many showing up to see the great lineup of celebrities that the organizer put together.  Just a few of the notable celebrities that come to mind are Vern Troyer (Mini Me), Henry Winkler (The Fonz), Lou Ferrigno, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob), and Peter Davison (Dr Who).  Also present, were wrestling legends Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Hillbilly Jim, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Shawn Michaels. And of course, there was lots of great cosplayers!

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A 3-day show usually equates to a 4-day show, when you take into account an extra day to drive there and set up.  After a two-hour drive and a busy morning/afternoon of setting up our booth, I was very pleased. I am mostly a comic book seller, but sometimes I will cart with me some miscellaneous items that I’d like to let someone else have a turn to own.  It’s not uncommon to see me selling toys, statues, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, as well as vintage comics.  At this show, I had also brought celebrity 8×10 photos, in case someone wanted to meet one of the guests, and also the sleeves and top loaders that these 8x10s slide into, for protection.
The sales were pretty good, and overall it was another very successful show. Some of my notable sales were as follows:
Graded:

  • Marvel Tales #96 CBCS 5.0
  • Witchcraft #3 CGC 7.5
  • Unseen #10 CGC 7.5
  • Iron Man #282 CGC 9.8
  • Iron Man #282 CGC 9.2
  • Strange Adventures #180 CGC 5.5
  • Superman #52 CBCS 4.0
  • Venom/Deadpool What If? #1 CGC 9.8.

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Raw:

  • Reid Flemming #1
  • Marvel Spotlight #32
  • Marvel Spotlight #5
  • Swamp Thing #37
  • Batman Adventures #12
  • Devil Dinosaur #1
  • Incredible Hulk #271
  • Watchmen #1
  • Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134
  • Batman #227
  • X-Factor #5
  • Amazing Adult Fantasy #12
  • Many Deadpool books
  • Many (many!) Star Wars action figure variants
  • Canadian edition comics
  • and of course our awesome solution of dollar books!

To be honest, the 8×10 photos didn’t sell that great for me this time, but I sold a record number of sleeves and top loaders to the people walking around with photos, but no holders.

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Again, it was a fun and successful show, and I’m already looking forward to next year!