I think I’ve actually been to the VA Comicon before. Or at least, I’m pretty certain I’ve been to some comic book show in this very hotel (but that was at least 15 years ago, if not longer). It all seemed very familiar.
I wouldn’t really define this as a con, personally, but I suppose they can call it whatever they want. It’s one room of people selling comics — mostly back-issue type stuff, but a few small press people.
Small press people including, of course, AdHouse Books, which is mostly why I went (I figured if I wasn’t going to MoCCA — I couldn’t exactly afford it and it seemed like a hassle — I should still get to have some comics-related fun). I make no secret of my love for AdHouse. I love the diversity of books AdHouse publishes — even if they’re not all going to be to my taste, I know they’re going to be intriguing and original. Publisher Chris Pitzer just obviously loves comics and that shows in the books he releases.
So yeah, I basically just went there to see Pitzer and pick up some AdHouse books and to drop off some copies of Magic Bullet #2 for distribution in Richmond (the people behind the registration table looked at me a bit strangely when I asked if there was a freebie table, then eyed the copies suspiciously. It’s a comic newspaper! It’s cool!).
I tried to hand-sell Remake to two different people. The first young teenage boy wearing a Nightmare Before Christmas hoodie, so I figured he was the target audience for this comic. But he seemed a little put-off by my insistence and ran off with his friend. Then we tried to sell it to a young woman by telling her “It’s like Scott Pilgrim!” After she informed us she didn’t like Scott Pilgrim, I said “It’s better than Scott Pilgrim!” I failed there, too. (It’s not like there was anything in it for me — it’s not my comic. I just like Remake. Sadly, Remake Special wasn’t ready for this show).
I wandered the rest of the show a bit, but it wasn’t that big (about what I expected) and mostly various back issues. Since I just cleaned out a bunch of comics and I’m not a collector anymore, there wasn’t anything in particular I was looking for. But I like shows like this. I liked the few people who actually came in costume. After all, I grew up here, and while Richmond is a different and cooler place than it used to be (or at least, that’s my sense of it), I also know it’s not always easy to find where you fit. If there’s a sense that other people like what you do, that can go along way.
Would I go out of my way to go to this show again? Probably not, but it worked out nicely that I got to go.