Letâ€™s start in the main hall â€“ hereâ€™s where most of the bigger publishers setup shop â€“ theyâ€™ll sell you exclusives and hold signings and sometimes Q&A sessions too. There are also a bunch of comic vendors selling back issues, variants, supplies and more.
Check out the displays from Valiant, Dark Horse, IDW, Archie, Oni and Avatar (selling CGC graded perfect â€˜10â€™ copies of some of their own books?)â€¦
â€¦along with booths for Image, Titan and Dynamite.
J. Scott Campbell even sets up his own booth at the con!
The vendors are always interesting to see â€“ a lot of the same guys and gals exhibit here every year but there are sometimes some new ones too. Original artwork, vintage comics from the golden age early days to last weekâ€™s books, toys, variants, sketch covers â€“ anything comic related, itâ€™s here.
Anyone familiar with comic conventions knows, however, that the real â€˜heart and soulâ€™ of any convention worth its salt is the â€˜Artistâ€™s Alleyâ€™ area. Here the creators setup to sign and sketch for fans, talk shop, socialize and generally just â€˜be with their people.â€™ This section always draws a good crowd but 2015â€™s showing seemed, from my experience at least, to be much stronger than years past.
Kyle Strahm, currently kicking all kinds of ass on The Spread for Image was hereâ€¦
..as were Strangers In Paradiseâ€™s Terry Moore, artist extraordinaire Humberto Ramos, Deadpool creator Fabien Nicieza and Scott Hampton.
The Frazetta table that has been a mainstay at the con was back again, as were Joe Infurnari and Gregory Benton, Geoff Darrow, Chris Claremont (who was just about to be interviewed when we walked by) and Andrew Maclean of Headlopper fame!
Spider-Man artist Alex Saviuk was on hand, the legendary Michael Golden was sketching and signing away, famed Daredevil artist Lee Weeks had a pretty consistent line (the popularity of the new show on Netflix probably helps here!) and Mad Magazine artist Tom Richmond showed up too.
Billy Tucciâ€™s of Shi fame was here, not too far down the hall from Brian Pulido, the man behind Lady Death and Chaos Comics.
The great Arthur Adams mad an appearance, as did V For Vendettaâ€™s David Lloyd, Southern Bastardsâ€™ Jason Latour, The Savage Dragonâ€™s Eric Larsen and artist Sean Murphy.
Itâ€™s easy at cons like this for the real reason they exist â€“ comic books â€“ to get lost amongst the celebrity guests, the TV and movie previews and the cosplay but 2015 proved that comics are not only as popular as ever but that their audience is more diverse than ever before. Thatâ€™s a good thing not only for the quality and variety of the books but for the industry as a whole.