9.22.2016

There And Back Again: Cincy ComiCon

A couple of years ago I went to the bathroom.

More importantly, I did so at a comic con here in town and while I was away from my table, Tony Moore, artist extraordinaire and co-creator of The Walking Dead, walked by and gave a flyer to my girlfriend (who was watching the table) and said something about "nice colors".


The flyer was for the convention that Moore shepherds, Cincy ComiCon in Cincinnati. Well, if you want to be pedantic about it... it's actually held on the northern tip of Kentucky. But a block down the street from the convention hall lies a view of the Cincinnati skyline across the river. Close enough!


Upon investigation, the guest list and show focus was enticing. A comic con actually about comics and comic creators? That's actually somewhat strange in the current climate of cons. So it went on the short list for possible cons to hit when I decided to try to expand Mayflower's reach this year. The table was affordable and it ended up being feasible to drive to and pay for, so away we went!

It's a nine hour drive from KC to Cincy, and to avoid taking more than one day off from work we left in the late afternoon Thursday, stayed in Evansville for the night, then headed up the rest of the way through Louisville and into the Cincy area the next day. Although staying at the official hotel across the street from the convention center would have been cool, I'm not ready to spend that high of expenses and elected to stay out of town near the airport and just do a little commute in each day. The cool thing about that commute was that the way into town along North 71 goes around a big hill and then dramatically reveals downtown Cincinnati to you each day like it might have been Minas Tirith.

You couldn't drive straight into the Northern Kentucky Convention Center to unload like some cons. Instead they had a series of loading docks with cargo lifts you could back your car up to. It surprised me that volunteers were there with carts ready to help me load in - I've never had that kind of help before! There was parking right across the street from the hall that wasn't too expensive which was also mighty convenient.


The show didn't start till 3pm on Friday, which seemed smart to me, not to mention a nice cushion for those driving in. The show floor itself seemed smaller and held fewer guests and vendors than I expected. That may have been because of the food and drink area being located on the level directly above it, though.

Foot traffic picked up Saturday around midday like your usual show, and there were a number of folks who picked up Mayflower on Sunday after having had a think on it for a while, but overall there was never that magical flood of attendees that you hope for. Apparently, the larger Cincinnati Comic Expo is held only two weeks after this one, so that probably explains it. It seems that there's a schism between two vying comic cons in every big city!

On the positive side, the ratio of original comics versus everything else you might see in artist alleys was great. Looking at all the pro's portfolios was lovely, too. I wasn't able to attend any of the panels but they sounded less like your usual Star Wars vs Star Trek, and more about insight into the craft of comics.

We had to leave a little early on Sunday to make the nine hour drive back in one night. Coffee and a Discworld audiobook later and we were back home at 1am. Sales were less than I had hoped but I was able to pay for the table and half of the hotel nights at least.

I wont be able to afford to go back next year but perhaps in a few years I'd try again with more comics under my belt. If I lived in the area, I'd definitely go just for the talent brought together in one place.

Creators & Creations
  • This Off Beat Town by Jake Smith. I got really excited by the skill and style that oozed from this guy's art. Like Rumble? Then check this out for sure.


My Sketches


5x7in Enterprise (Kelvin Timeline):