Pasadena Rock'n Comic-Con 2010
Is there room for another summer convention in Southern California?
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Pasadena, California, located in sunny Southern California is just a stone's throw away from Los Angeles and Hollywood. It is home to the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Rose Bowl, and... ROCK'N COMIC-CON?
That's right; Memorial Day weekend was when the first comic-book convention took over the halls of Pasadena; the very same convention center that housed the Transformers Bot-Con many years ago. Pasadena is certainly a prime location to house a convention, that's for sure. It's situated at the edge of Old Town Pasadena where you can find a great number of fine restaurants, shops, and movie theaters (including the new Arclight and Gold Class Cinemas). But with Southern California already calling San Diego Comic-Con and Wizard World Comic-Con home, is there room for another one?
The timing of this event might not have been chosen wisely, for the Phoenix Comic-Con in Arizona was the exact same time and boasted a lot more artists, celebrities, and most importantly... a lot more people. Southern California is also home to hundreds of vendors and exhibitors, many of which traveled to Phoenix to make some extra cash. With Frank & Sons Toy & Collectible Show held every Wednesday and Saturday not too far away, spending the money to attend another local convention isn't practical.
The Rock'n Comic-Con definitely did try to do things differently than your standard convention. They held parties both Friday and Saturday with drinks and entertainment. But it required an extra ticket and being Memorial Day weekend, even comic book geeks have other plans.
Still, there were a few neat things I hadn't seen before. The pirate and leather memorabilia was interesting and, of course, the biggest draw for me was the legendary Stan Lee. Due to the light crowds, this was the shortest line I've ever seen for Stan, who only appeared on Saturday. I've seen him at other conventions but the lines for tickets were always impossible. And that's where the smaller conventions do serve their greater purpose.
Pasadena Rock'n Comic-Con is off to an okay start but has a ways to go to before it becomes the premiere Media Entertainment Convention. Earlier I asked if Southern California had too many conventions. I personally don't think so. Especially with San Diego becoming the massive black-hole for all things Hollywood, I think it's time that more comic book artists go back to their roots at smaller conventions that celebrate the comic book first and foremost.
Words and Photography by David Yeh