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Alamo City Comic Con 2015 Review

2015 has to  be the largest year for Alamo City Comic Con and it has only been around for three years. With an estimated 90 to 100 thousand geeks, nerds,  and cosplayers galore, Alamo City Comic Con has gone from just another convention in the city of San Antonio to the 7th largest convention in the United States. Again, in just only three years.So let’s see what has changed this year that garnered such a attendance boom and what could be improved on for next year.

 

Canon

 

More, more and more- It’s hard to say what I loved about ACCC this year without repeating what I said last year. Last year I mentioned that there was a wide variety of artists, guests, panels and vendors that came from outside of the Texas convention circuit which is great. This year there was more of everything: more guests, more artists, more vendors….just more of everything.

 

Alamo City Film Festival- In addition to ACCC going on, there was a film festival that is also under the ACCC banner called the Alamo City Film Festival. While I did not partake in any of the festival’s film offerings, I heard great things about it. From documentaries about poverty and the war on drugs to sci-fi, horror and even one guy’s quest to make the ultimate omelet, ACFF had all types of films for everyone. While it might not be the monster that is SXSW, this is a great first step forward in establishing San Antonio as a creative center for film.

 

Tabletop gaming area- Last year the tabletop gaming guys were in the same area as the Red Bull video game room. I mentioned in my review last year that tabletop needs its own area away from the video gaming section so that Game Masters (GMs) can teach people how to play different games without having to shout over the noise. This year, thanks in part to Heroes & Fantasies, tabletop gaming has it own section. It was a tight fitting section, but a good start. Hopefully they’ll be able to expand even more.

Adoption of GuideBook- Whoever invented the app GuideBook is a genius and a live saver. No longer will I have to stand in line for hours for an autograph, to only learn that the person will not be able to make it. No longer will I have to ask when is the next signing, or even ask for directions as everything is in the app.

Retcon

Lack of video game arcade presence- I’ve made this comment before at previous San Japan’s and always been told by some this, “But this is supposed to be a celebration of Japanese culture, anime and other related things”. To which I counter with this: “Yes which is way video games need to be represented, at least in arcade form. The arcade is a big part of Japanese culture and some of the best video games come from Japan.” Last year I mentioned that ACCC shouldn’t have two areas for game but just one. This year there was only a small set of cabinets provided by Ultra Arcade. And as I said last year, yeas I know that this is a comic con and is filled with pop culture. So why leave out video games, especially the arcades? Arcades where a definitive part of out childhood growing up side by side with movies and comics. There are arcade games that were based on comics and movies out there. Why not make room for them. Imagine seeing a group of X-Men cosplayers playing the 90’s six person X-Men arcade game, or seeing members of the Foot Clan playing Turtles in Time? How cool would that be?

 

Wristbands- I’ll keep this short: I do not like it when cons use wristbands to confirm who is allowed into various parts of the convention. They are obtrusive to those who are in cosplay, can irritate those who have sensitive skin and could possibly be a health hazard. How? Restrooms. Nuff’ said. As I mentioned before, please invest more money in proper badges from those who buy tickets day of the con.

 

Post prices for autographs- I mentioned this last year because it was hard to estimate how much I have to limit myself when spending money at comic cons. Most cons, like Wizard World for example, post up the prices of autographs and photo ops ahead of time and update as needed. Other cons, like San Japan, try to keep autographs free for the most part but when there is a fee for a signature, San Japan will work with the guest to keep it low as possible and let attendees know about the fee. At ACCC, prices of autographs are up to the guests. I understand that some of the guests charge for autographs to make up for the work they are missing out on, some even charge to dissuade re-sellers. Regardless what their reason is, they should at least inform fans if they are going to charge and how much.

 

Alamo City Comic Con is easily San Antonio’s largest fan convention and is on the path into becoming one of the largest cons in the US, joining the likes of SDCC, NYCC, Wonderfest and other conventions. As I mentioned before, just like last year ACCC hit on ton of positive point and even saw major improvement. However while focusing on improving the con, the organizers may have looked over a few things that I mentioned in last year’s review. At the rate ACCC is going, pretty soon parts of downtown will be closed just to cater to ACCC. I’m really excited to see what next year has to offer and hoping that San Antonio continues to be a hub for all things geeky and nerdy.

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