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Monday, September 25, 2023

Rose City Comic Con 2023 - My Experiences

September 22-24, 2023
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon

Another year and I have been blessed by the comic con gods to be able to cover Rose City Comic Con again. I am so thankful for the opportunity to come back every year and provide my loyal readers with my thoughts and experiences. This will make 8 years of being able to cover Rose City Comic Con for this blog.

Day 1 - Fortunately, we arrived at the convention center early enough to score a parking spot in the underground parking area. I remember last year we had to park at the Rose Garden parking and walk-in. For my aging body, that wasn't the greatest of starts, but as you can tell from that posting, I was able to make it through the event just fine. And, either as a testament to my endurance, stuborness or masochism, I am here again this year.

Last year, they had us go to the main registration/will call area to receive our badges. Without any information to the contrary, we made our way to the opposite side of the venue to get our badges. Unfortunately, we were informed that there was a special "press room" where we needed to go for our badges.

So we headed about halfway back to where we started after taking the elevator up from the parking, and were met with a dark and empty room that was labeled "Press Room". There were a couple of stacks of press badges, a pile of the standard-fare lanyards, but absolutely no staff pressence.

I took the initiative to stop a member of staff that was escorting a group of volunteers to see if she could help. She was able to radio in to let someone know that there wasn't anyone tending to the Press Room and left one of the volunteers to stay behind in the room with us. At that time, there were 2 other member of the press also waiting for their badges.

I think it took about 20 minutes before someone "official" arrived from the PR team to pass-out badges. Even though we had been provided emails with QR codes so we could confirm our identity, we were simply asked who we were and what outlet we were with. So with that, we go our badges and made our way to wait for the doors to open.

Getting into the con floor was easy and I appreciated that there wasn't a queue we were forced to stand in prior. I remember having to stand for a very long time at a few other events and if that happened here, that would have easily put a damper on my experience.

The first order of the day was to find the CBCS Comics booth because I had decided to bring a couple of comics to be graded. When we arrived, it seems that the electricity to their booth had not been plugged-in yet, so there was a short wait while that was fixed and their computers were had a chance to boot-up. Unfortunately, due to the wi-fi they were using, they weren't able to access their site to be able to check-in my order, but they provided me with a receipt and the process has now begun. I look forward to seeing how the comics grade because they are both grails in my G.I. Joe collection.

The rest of the first day was primarily spent getting the lay of the land. I didn't have anything to get signed by anyone, but was eager to see if there were any vendors who had anything I was looking for. Truth be told, that list is fairly small these days. This past year I have purchased 2 of comics on my grail list, 1 Funko Pop from that grail list, and flew to Georgia to get some of my G.I. Joe comics signed by Larry Hama, Sgt. Slaughter and a couple other voice actors from the cartoons.

As I am writing this portion on the 2nd day, I think that my primary focus for things I want to purchase are some carded action figures (AEW, Star Wars & G.I. Joe specifically), but I didn't see any of the vendors who had what I was looking for. There was 1 vendor that did have some of the Super7 G.I. Joe figures, but unfortunately I had all of the figures that had to offer. Last year, I remember seeing several vendors with these types of figures, but unfortunately didn't have the budget to affor to purchase what I would have liked. This year, I have a larger budget, but the supply is all dried-up. Such is life, I guess.

I did start looking for cheap graphic novels & trades to add to my collection. My "to read" pile is starting to dwindle, and I need to add more variety. While I didn't see too many vendors offering cheap trades, I will make another effort to look on day 2.

Day 2- We got here early so my photographer could get in line for Karen Gillian and Arthur Darvill autographs as he is a HUGE Dr. Who fan and has been collection autographs from several of the key cast on their related Funko Pops. Fortunately, he was able to get in queue early, but the line for Karen was enormous. He got it line just before 10am, and at 11:30am I received the text that he had accomplished the first of his 2 autographs.

After doing a little writing, I decided that I wanted to hunt-down at least 1 of the items I saw yesterday that caught my eye. After a few minutes of searching, I finally found the booth for Modern Artifice. They had a bunch of great dice sets and several of the new World of Darkness books for the 5th editions. They also has some wonderful looking blank journals with clan/sect symbols on the covers. Though I am a die-hard Tzimisce fan for Vampire: The Masquerade, this Tremere tome felt like it needed to be in my collection.

I did come with a couple of trades to get signed by Kelly Sue DeConnick, but she seems to be elusive to find at her table.

Between when I first sat down to write earlier today, and now, there has been a HUGE influx of people. I am extremely thankful to the con for providing several places in order to sit and relax from the vicissitudes of the day. If every event had available seating like this, I think I may take more intiative to attend more of them.

As in years past, Wild Bill's Olde Fashioned Soda Pop has a presence. This year, they have 2 areas and they are places strategically in a couple corners of the venue. I remember that when they were located on a more main aisle that this caused a huge traffic jam around their area. The areas they are in this year are also where the concentration of tables and chairs are.

I took another walkabout to see if Kelly Sue was at her table and in doing so, came across Cosmic Money Comics where they have 50% off trades. I thought I had checked them out on day 1, but found the remaining volumes of The Walking Dead that I needed to complete my collection. 7 volumes for under $60 was a deal I could not pass-up. Due to this sidetrack, I failed to get back to Kelly Sue's area before I needed to sit, relax and write some more.

I started feeling hungry, so in my search for a place to sit, I decided to see if I could find somewhere to get food that didn't have a large line. Unfortunately, that ended in failure before I found a place to sit. The smell of sausages are making my stomach churn with hunger, but I needed to sit before other parts of my body decided to start letting me know how they felt.

In past years, I also remember seeing a large area devoted to Lego creations. This year, nothing. This may be due to expanding their exhibitor area. Not sure, but it is missed. I was also thinking that I didn't hear or see the Unipiper on day 1. In my walkabout after hitting Cosmic Monkey, I happened to hear his piping.

All in all, I enjoyed the event like I do every year. I'm looking forward to next year.

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