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Old 07-05-16, 12:58 PM   #1
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Never been to a convention. Looking for advice/info.

So despite being a comic reader on and off for 25 years, I've never been to a convention. Either I didn't have access to them, or when I did, I didn't have the interest. Long story short, I've gotten really interested in original art over the last year or so and there's a decent convention coming up in August (Terrificon in CT) about an hour away from where I live and I was hoping people could offer up some insight/advice.

- First off, generally speaking, what's the payment situation like at these things? Do most vendors accept credit cards at this point in time? What about artists? Like I said, I'm interested in picking up some art (published, commissions, sketches, etc.), but I don't really want to carry around hundreds of dollars in cash. Are checks still a thing?

- How do convention sketches usually work? I know different artists handle things differently, but is there like a mad dash to the various artists' tables as soon as the doors are open to get in line? If you do get your name on a list do you usually have to wait around all day (or even show up the next day) to get your piece?

- Finally, I'm still trying to figure which day I want to go, but schedule wise the opening Friday would work best. The problem is that doors don't open until 2:00 and I'd need to be out of there by 4:30. My biggest reason for going is that Scott Kolins will be there and I really want to pick up some of his original art. Honestly, the price of the ticket would be worth it if I came home with a nice page from him. I wouldn't care if I didn't get the chance to see anything else. However, I'm not 100% sure what he's going to have available, so if I strike out with him, I don't want to feel like I wasted my day. So I guess what I'm asking, all things being equal, is 2 hours at what I assume to be a mid-size con even worth doing? Or would I more or less have to turn around and leave the second I got my feet in the door? I could go longer on Saturday or Sunday, but I'd most likely have to bring my 2 year old with me and I'm not sure that's a great idea.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 07-05-16, 04:16 PM   #2
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Re: Never been to a convention. Looking for advice/info.

I can answer some of this based on the last convention I attended:

-I think the vendors I bought books from accepted credit, but the artists wanted cash. Fortunately there was an ATM at the site. I mostly wanted prepared pieces by Don Rosa which I think were ~$40, but Bruce Timm was asking $100 for a sketch and I balked at that, though I'm sure it was a fair price.

-Depends on the artist. There was one huge line for someone, but Charlie Adlard and Bruce Timm were just sitting there.

-I think you could see a lot in a couple hours, but of course it depends on whether you have to wait for your piece. You wouldn't be able to browse a lot of merchandise or sit in on panels, but you could see a lot of booths, buy some things, take pictures of crazy costumes, etc.

There's fair amount of info here:

Comic Conventions
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Old 07-05-16, 04:51 PM   #3
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Re: Never been to a convention. Looking for advice/info.

In my experience, artists prefer cash but even the smaller vendors have phones or tablets hooked up for card payments.

If you are getting a custom sketch, you'll want to get a weekend pass so you can place your order on Friday and pick it up on Sunday. Fridays tend to be less crowded and you get first crack at things, but you can get great deals on Sundays (especially if you don't mind haggling) as most folks would rather sell for less than lug stuff back home.
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Old 07-05-16, 05:08 PM   #4
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Re: Never been to a convention. Looking for advice/info.

There was one a few months ago and Gris Grimly was there and he was charging $100 per sketch of anything. I found out about it after the fact, though.
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Old 07-06-16, 11:11 AM   #5
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Re: Never been to a convention. Looking for advice/info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
I think you could see a lot in a couple hours, but of course it depends on whether you have to wait for your piece. You wouldn't be able to browse a lot of merchandise or sit in on panels, but you could see a lot of booths, buy some things, take pictures of crazy costumes, etc.
Thanks for the input. I'm thinking I'm going to end up going Friday afternoon. I really just want to hit up the various artists and art vendors. Generally speaking I couldn't care less about the celebrity guests or the costumes or even a lot of the merchandise. I can spend hours looking through long boxes of old comics, but there are plenty of opportunities to do that elsewhere. There are probably some panels I'd be interested to check out, but even if I were to go on Saturday or Sunday with my 2 year-old, something tells me I wouldn't be able to get him to sit though one of those.
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Old 04-27-17, 03:41 PM   #6
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Re: Never been to a convention. Looking for advice/info.

Has anyone gone to the Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con? Thinking of going this year, which falls on June 1 - June 4. Looked at hotels and they seem to be super expensive for the weekend, so I was wondering if it would be feasible to get a hotel near the airport and then just commute to the convention center. Would parking be available at the convention center or will it be a hassle and cost as much as a hotel room? Is there a subway system that connects the airport to the convention center?
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Old 04-27-17, 04:01 PM   #7
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Re: Never been to a convention. Looking for advice/info.

Definitely bring cash for sketches. Artists don't want payments that the IRS can track.

The convention scene has changed over the years. Most ones these days are nothing like the dingy affairs of 25 years ago.
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Old 04-27-17, 04:24 PM   #8
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Re: Never been to a convention. Looking for advice/info.

$100 for a sketch? LMFAO.
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