Texas International Comicpalooza 2014
Houston George Brown Convention Center
May 24, 2014 — The streets outside the George Brown Convention Center were bustling with civilians, heroes, aliens and obscure sci-fi characters alike. All of us on our way to Comicpalooza shared a common energy of excitement, anticipation and utter disbelief when we reached the entrance doors to find impossibly long lines for the box-office and will call. Clearly the popularity of comic conventions has grown out of a niche to be more mainstream. On Saturday the 24th lines grew from a one hour wait to a four hour or more wait time by the afternoon. The spirit of comic-con tricked into the line up ‘people watching’ the Cosplayers became a pastime and amazingly crafted Predator and Iron Man entertained by walking around posing for pictures with excited kids and adults.
Immediately inside you are on sensory overload trying to take in all the different happenings: excellent, sometimes scary costumes, colorful booths of art work, velvet roped off “Batmobile” and lots of people. Coming across Batman and the Joker you aren’t sure if they are Con goers trying to enjoy the events or if they are part of some booth or event. The main floor of the convention center is organized into three sections. The right section dedicated to celebrity meet and greets where $40 got you a signed photo a photo opt with the celeb and maybe a hug. The big celeb draw was Stan Lee, former president of Marvel Comics and creator of the modern comic era. The guest list over the four day span was substantial including Cary Elwes from Princess Bride and Robin Hood Men in Tights, beauty Tricia Helfer from Battlestar Galactic, The Comic Book Men and the cast of Agents of S. H. E. I. L. D to name a few.
The centre of the floor was filled with vendor booths, hundreds of them, displaying and selling everything from original Spiderman artwork and mint condition Star Wars figures in the original packaging to Tentacle Kitty plush toys, Steampunk gear and comic books you’d never heard of. Comic enthusiasts poured over boxes of old and new comics for sale or trade hoping to add to their collection or strike gold with a rare find. The rest of the floor was dedicated to gaming.
Fun events were scheduled throughout the convention like Clone vs. Texas Cheerleader Lazer Tag and Daleks racing while the main stage housed Q&A’s, musical performances and cosplay costume contests. Panels, discussions and other events took place simultaneously in different rooms with different themes and hosts. Comicpalooza is one of those places that even after a full day of fun you leave wanting more (and probably with too many souvenirs).