After several rainy, gloomy days in South Jersey, the clouds parted and the sun beamed brightly, just in time for Camden Comic Con 2017. It was a day filled with comics, cosplay, and fandom camaraderie.
Camden Comic Con takes place on the campus of Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey.
There are no wallet draining television/film celebrity photos and signings. Camden Comic Con celebrates comic book writers and artists, and their fans. You won’t find countless acres of aisles to traverse. Camden Comic Con is an intimate event. An event where you will be able to see every exhibitor, and even talk to them and ask them questions. The panels, talks, and workshops are geared towards education. Those running the event are impressively organized, and at least in my case, every attendee I encountered was friendly and enthusiastic.
I’m usually not that into shopping, but when I’m at a comic con, my hunger for geeky merchandise surfaces. There were plenty of vendors to satiate me. They had everything from hair bows, to pillow swords, to books.
All Things Fun! was there selling board games and other items of geekery, and of course there were comics for sale. Lots and lots of comics.
One of the main reasons I love comic cons, is that they offer an acceptable reason to dress up in a costume as an adult.
Over the past two years, I’ve been writing about all things Studio Ghibli on Creations of Chaos here on this site. For this comic con season, I decided to dress as Studio Ghibli’s most iconic character, Totoro.
There were lots of fun cosplayers at Camden Comic Con. Seeing what everyone else is wearing is one of my favorite activities. I did end up having a few favorites.
There were many great talks, panels, and workshops offered this year. There were talks on Orphan Black, Stranger Things, and Beowulf. There were workshops on drawing and puppetry. I encountered several people who were conflicted on which activities they wanted to attend, because they wanted to do them all.
I attended a panel entitled, How to Become a Professional Geek and Do What You Love.
I can’t necessarily say what I was expecting, but this panel exceeded any expectations that I did have. I thought that it would probably be just surface information, but they went into depth, or at least as in depth as they could with only an hour to impart their information and experience. I came away inspired and with several new ideas. If they expanded this into a half-day conference, I would attend.
Of course Camden Comic Con wouldn’t be Camden Comic Con without the Biff Bam Pop! Podcast Network’s The GAR! Podcast recording right there amidst all of the action.
Glenn Walker and Ray Cornwall may have been the hardest working people at Camden Comic Con, aside from the organizers. They conducted interviews with Library Director David Lisa, and Philadelphia Club DJ, DJ Kiltboy (Eric Carter). They spoke with writers/members of South Jersey Writers’ Group, Janel Miller, Robert Repici, and me. Bryan J.L. Glass, creator of the Mice Templar and Furious comics, sat down to chat with the dynamic podcasting duo. Keep an eye out for GAR!’s new episodes covering Camden Comic Con 2017 coming soon.
I think Camden Comic Con gets better every year. Despite the event and parking being free, the crowds haven’t become unbearable. The organizers continue to keep the focus on education, art, and creativity. The atmosphere is consistently intimate and friendly. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make Camden Comic Con 2017 a great event.
Mark your calendars. Camden Comic Con 2018 will be Saturday April 7th.