Post-con coverage: Comic Con Revolution 2017

The first Comic Con Revolution, put on by the Atomic Crush Events team, has come and gone and has left a huge impression on the Inland Empire. The attendance for this event was exceptional, with cosplayers, comic fans, artists, and gamers filling the aisles with excitement and fandom. Let’s get into some of the convention highlights in our post-con coverage from the first ever Comic Con Revolution. By 9:30 fans were already lining up around the block for that early access into the convention. Although there were promises that advanced ticket sales would allow you to get into the convention a half hour earlier than the official entry time (10:00 AM), the influx and amount of advanced ticket sales might have delayed that promise. Still, attendees seemed pretty calm and collected despite the lag during the entry. Once 10:00 AM hit the lines were moving and everyone waiting in line got into the con and filled the convention floors shoulder to shoulder.
Comic books were a plenty for this convention with 1/3 of their booths being dedicated to comic book retailers. The remainder of the convention was a mix between pop-culture merchandise, toys, clothing, and cosplay items. With a one day convention there are some pros and cons: one pro being that pricing for certain books were fairly reasonable. The retailers spent time bringing in their stock/merchandise and have a little over 9 hours to get those items out and into the hands of collectors and fans while trying to land in the green for their efforts. This allowed for some bargaining between attendees and booth owners but also forces collectors to make quick decisions on purchasing that key book for their collection. In terms of the comic scene the regulars, featuring silver and bronze age keys, were booth owners Elveen’s Comics and Angelo’s Comics. Although we couldn’t list every single booth regular in this article, the major ones that circulate through Southern California were here this weekend and brought some great stock in both popular books as well as those hard to find.  Bargain hunting was also a big highlight of the convention with Big Red Comics, an Orange County based comics and toy store, pulling in crowds of people to their 50 c bins. A great tag-team of staff members running the show at the booth made for a chaotic yet welcoming environment for comic fans from every genre. Red and his son featured below were as friendly as any bearded giants you’d run into on the battle field of a convention floor so be sure to check them out the next time you are in Orange County or at another local comic convention.Artist alley brought in a variety of artists, writers, and creators. Any convention attendee had no problems interacting with their favorite artists or even discovering new creators. Sometimes it can feel like artist alley is a place where one might feel guilty for passing up one booth versus another but most of the talent that showed up that day were just happy to be there regardless of whether you were purchasing their artwork. Understand that this is their chance to showcase their work and get some what of a profit for being at the con, but some of the best artists end up just being friendly enough where having their art becomes a reminder of that interaction with them. Artists like Paolo Rivera, although fairly busy on commissions, had plenty of time and energy to interact with fans and sign books. Bringing great talent into the con is important, but talent that recognizes the fan as admirers of their work and responds to them with gratitude, humility, and openness is what makes artist alley memorable.Saving the best for last were some of the panel highlights from room 104 B; Voices From Your Favorite Games featured voice actors from the multi-national and popular video game, Overwatch. The panel included the voice actress/actors, Anjali Bhimani (Symmetra), Feodor Chin (Zenyatta), and Josh Petersdorf (Roadhog). Although fans were poking at whether the actors knew anything about new heroes or Overwatch updates, the team stayed pretty vague about any developments and seemed honest in their limited knowledge of upcoming events. The overall theme for the panel was how much the fans had really brought Overwatch to life. All the panelists, especially Anjali Bhimani, commented on just the amazing support from the Overwatch gaming community. Bhimani went on to say that one of her favorite moments was hearing about how a little girl of Indian descent was infatuated with her character because she had never seen someone of her skin tone and ethnicity in a video game, let alone as a hero. Josh Petersdorf also talked about how much his fans have created such diversity and lore behind their characters and how just voicing the character has been one of his greatest joys. Feodor Chin discussed his many voice acting jobs in video games, as well as his current work as the producer of a UCB comedy show at the Franklin theater titled Golden Hour, a comedy show featuring Asian-American comedians. Anjali Bhimani really set the tone for the panel with excerpts about how much the community had reached out to them and embraced them in all their characters’ traits and diversity, including the fact that Symmetra is on the Autism spectrum. The diversity in the game between ethnicity, disability, and age has really been an important topic for the Blizzard team and the voice actors are in line with that message. Anjali Bhimani goes on to say that the Overwatch symbolism of diversity is what makes this world worth fighting for, a message that carries more than one meaning for fans and supporters of the game. Especially in these trying times, a world built around diversity, acceptance, and tolerance is something that the Overwatch actors continually addressed and it shows in their message to their fans. Check out what Anjali Bhimani had to say to fans below!

Between running through the many comic booths for bargain books to the great panels featuring some of the industries biggest professionals, Comic Con Revolution has re-kindled the comic convention scene for the Ontario community. Even fans and families, from beyond the area, drove upwards of a few hours just to get into the convention. We spoke to plenty of people that admitted that this was their first convention and that they loved the hustle and bustle of a con floor but also felt welcomed and appreciated as fans. Most notable was the diversity in ages, cosplayers, and interests. Fans that were into comic collecting got their hands on those key books while gamers got to interact with their favorite characters and voice actors. Definitely a family friendly environment, Comic Con Revolution adhered to the code of creating a safe and fun convention while setting the bar high for future events. Be sure to come back next year from May 19th-20th, 2018 as the convention organizers promise to bring back an even better experience for the upcoming revolution.

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