Sunday, May 15, 2016

By Stephen M. (Photos by Cynthia M.)

Here's a look at Atlantic City Boardwalk Con 2016 which was its second year.  The con was besieged with talent cancellations and a lack of foot traffic that was noticeable in the otherwise spacious Atlantic City Convention Center.  Here's the good with the bad of our weekend.


1. Wonder Woman Museum courtesy of the Marston Family

Just an amazing assortment of peices from the Marston Family with the permanent collection in the Marston's estate in Connecticut which you can also tour.  This to me was the true highlight of the show.

2. Cosplayers by the fans

There was an abundance of fans in costumes which is always an enjoyment to see passionate fans dress up as their favorite characters.

3. Panels (at least the three we were able to cover)

We were able to attend the Wonder Woman as well as Ben MacKenzie and Teddy Sears panels and all three were well run and entertaining.


1. Lack of A level stars and creators

Not all cons are gonna get the Chris Hemsworth and Stan Lee level of stars and creators for their cons.  And all in all, the stars they did announced was good, even if not awesome.  But when you run into cancellations which of course a lot of times is out of the hands of the convention, than you start to have problems.  Especially when your line up is not strong to begin with.  This I think is the biggest problem that ACBC encountered.

2. Lack of comic book vendors and more of an assortment of other things like cupcakes in a glass jar, laser tag, psychic readings, etc.

When you have all that awesome space that is Atlantic City Boardwalk Convention Center which is easy to get to, close to attractions (not counting the homeless shelter behind the Center), you have to fill it up.  Unfortunately, they just couldn't fill it up with enough comic book or pop culture related vendors so they start opening up to other stuff.  Like travel sites, cell phone companies and psychics.  Some stuff you can understand like the gladiator fight and pirate ship will add to the fun factor for the whole family.  But those should be an after thought after filling up the cons with COMIC related exhibitors when you're calling yourself a "comic con."

While this is only their second year, and they're still learning and trying to see what works and what doesn't, I can only imagine that they don't want the bank to bleed dry.  They have mentioned that a 3rd year is on, and that the focus will be on Golden Age and Silver Age creators.  That will indeed attract the comic book fans that they want hopefully.  And knock on wood, if they can avoid the cancellations that has plague them the first two years.  They have an amazing space, they just now need to fill it up with enough substance to get the fans to come.

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