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Review: Rose City Comic Con

Friday, October 03, 2014


Just over a week ago, some of the most powerful heroes in the universe descended upon the Rose City to defend Portland's weirdness from invading foodies.

Everyone from Guardians of the Galaxy's baby Groot to Clark Kent to Chewbacca showed up to prove that in Portland, even comic book readers keep it local. Home to such big names as publisher Dark Horse Comics and writers Kelly Sue De Connick (Captain Marvel, Pretty Deadly) and Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Sex Criminals), Portland has cultivated one of the brightest up-and-coming conventions in the country.

And while this was just the third year for Rose City Comic Con, it attracted 23,000 attendees and affirmed the city’s place on the comic lover’s map. 

Compared to San Diego's four-day extravaganza and Seattle's weekend-long celebration, Portland's two-day party is both short enough to be manageable for non-professionals yet high-quality enough to pull great talent not only from hometown heroes such as award-winning Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman,Wolverine), but also from all over the country.

In a time when many believe comic book conventions are increasingly straying from their prime directive by focusing on pop culture and celebrity sightings, Rose City Comic Con is a breath of fresh air where writers and artists come first.

And then there were the costumes. Sure, we all know that comic book conventions aren't only about the costumes, but there is nothing quite like running into an 8-foot wookie while you're navigating an unfamiliar convention center.

But Rose City Comic Con offered more than just costumes. After dodging that Happy Mask Salesman who has been creeping everyone out since Ocarina of Time came out in 1998, convention-goers were free to attend interviews and panels with industry experts such as University of Oregon Professor Ben Saunders, writers and artists.

The expertly curated list of events included everything from professional development for aspiring comics creators to meet-ups where attendees could celebrate their fandom—sometimes even with the actors from their favorite shows or movies!

Ever wonder what it was like riding shotgun with Buffy on her patrols? Well, none other than Xander (Nicholas Brendon) himself was there this year to fill you in!

Curious what it was like to carry Elijah Wood around the wastes of Mordor? Sean Astin would have been happy to tell you all about it!

If meeting your favorite hobbit in real life got you too excited, you could wind down by strolling through a lively artists' alley where you can commission personalized pieces, browse new works, or search for your favorite author's/artist's booth for an autograph.

Vendors, artists, and writers came from all over the Pacific NW to create the perfect mix of festival and market place filled with some rare finds.

In short, the Rose City Comic Convention hit all the right buttons and still has comic fans spinning in post-convention excitement.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get your costume ready for next year!

Amy Wolfenberger is a rowdy Texan chasing the nerd dream from comic con to comic con along the West Coast. Will write for drinks. Formerly @drink_portland, now wolfenwriter.com


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