NOT AT COMIC-CON 2013 – Sponsored by TATE’s Comics and Games
Event Review – by Chris Ferrarelli
Once every year, fans of comic-books, science-fiction, video games and cosplay contests come to experience a popular themed convention for several days……but what if you don’t have enough finances to go to San Diego or New York to experience the event that is Comic-Con. For one local comic book shop that has been in existence for twenty years, they tried to do the next best thing…..have an event that has the fun and excitement of Comic-Con, but to entertain those who could not go to Comic-Con. Thus, “NOT at Comic-Con” was created.
TATE’s Comics & Games, one of the most revered and respected comic book shops in the Fort Lauderdale area, has staged these themed events for the past several years. The 2013 incarnation of this signature event was quite good and a lot of fun was had by those attended, myself included.
To being the event, one of the first events that took place was “The Line to Nowhere”. For most events, you have long lines that are meant to take you somewhere. In this experience, depending on where you are in this line, if you get a chance you may be treated to one of several “Snappy Soapbox Shows” hosted by selected staff members of TATE’s, as well as receive special “swag” brought back from the San Diego Comic-Con, along with new “swag” being offered by TATE’s and by local comic-book artists. For those who are fans of costume-play, or cosplay as its called, if you show up in costume or wear a cape to this event, you received 10% off of your purchase from TATE’s
Other features of this year’s event was a special comic trivia challenge where fans could get a chance to win some cool comic-book surprises, there were opportunities to win and receive some free comic-book art by accomplished local artists, and there was the yearly “Cosplayrade”; which is those who show up in costume have a chance to sign up and take part in this contest which is part parade/part competition. If you sign up to compete, you are required to meet at a certain spot by 2:30p.m. At 2:45, the entrants appear in a short parade that runs from TATE’s Comic Store to their neighboring Gaming Store. At the end, awards were passed out for those who competed, with awards that ranged from “Most Original” to “Most Sexy”; and each award came with a prize that was sponsored by TATE’s.
One addition to this year’s event, was the appearance of SoFloRadio.Com’s popular comic-book themed radio show: “The Pow Wow Show”; hosted by Luis “The Artist” Amado, and co-starring Kevin “The Pirate Jew” Siegelbaum. This show is a long-time supporter of comic-stores like TATE’s, and they were there to add to the festivity by promoting their style of humor, while talking about what is currently happening in the comic-book world. They also had their prize wheel, which gave those who spun the wheel a chance to win small prizes that ranged from small candies for children, some of their local art work, and a big chance to win……..the new TWINKIE…..In my opinion, they were a big part of the success of this event.
This event was really a lot of fun. It brought the experience of the comic-convention to those who have not had the experience of an event like the actual Comic-Con. It proves that you don’t have to be big, you just have to be able to please your fans, treat them to some fun. If they had fun, they’ll come back for next year’s event. I attended the previous year in 2012, and it was a memorable experience that I came back this year, I can safely say that when the next announcement is made for “Not At Comic-Con: 2014”; I’ll be back for that event, too.