With the news that Image Comics is moving to Portland, Oregon, the Rose City Comic Con probably just shot up in importance another few notches. The show, now it its fifth year, is the premiere comics and media show in a city that will soon contain three major comics companies (Dark Horse and Oni are already here). Even before the announcement, the show was set to be amazing. Given this is the home city for so many comics creators, the show is always packed with people that everyone from fans of the Big Two to smaller, independent work (like the award-winning Beyond anthology) can find something to interest them.
While not as large as its cousin to the north, Emerald City, Rose City Comic Con is a great way to spend your weekend, especially if you are both a comics fan and a geek entertainment one. They do a great job of bringing in media guests, but their placement is designed so as not to disrupt those of us who are more interested in finding a new comic creator to enjoy instead of an autograph. Similarly, while there are plenty of media-focused panels, this year's lineup of comics-themed talks is spectacular.
As time permits this week, we'll try to spotlight a few creators you should see at the show. And not the obvious ones. (I better not need to tell you go to see Kelly Sue DeConnick!) However, to entice you to go to the Oregon Convention Center this Saturday and Sunday, here are a few things to look forward to:
- A great lineup of publishers, ready to talk to you about their newest comics and give you a chance to meet their spotlight creators. Dark Horse always has a huge booth and signings with their creators who are at the show. Oni Press will have their setup, too, and have quite a few good comics you should check out that I can recommend, like the Fresh Romance (yes really) collection or the re-imagining of Robin Hood with queer characters, Merry Men. Valiant continues their road tour, bringing rising star (and my personal friend) Rafer Roberts with them.
- A chance to meet some of the bigger names in comics, at a show that's not as insanely big. Just a few of the people scheduled to be at the show include Brian Michael Bendis, Cullen Bunn, Kurt Busiek, Amanda Conner. Kelly Sue, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, Matt Kindt, Mike Mignola, Grek Pak, Jeff Parker, Eric Powell, Chris Roberson, Greg Rucka, Stan Sakai(!!), Nicola Scott, Gail Simone, David Walker, and Jim Zub. Holy hell, that's a lot of people!
- A chance to find great comics you didn't hear about yet. As you know, Panel Patter's mission is to help you find great people who might not be on the radar. Here's your chance! Like strong women in your comics? There's Amelia Cole, now complete in five volumes, for you. Or maybe illustrated fairy tales and urban fantasy is your angle? Kel McDonald has you covered. Rose City isn't huge for indie comics, but make sure you run through Artist's Alley--you never know when there'll be a comic that's perfect for you but isn't making it into your local comic shop.
- A huge set of vendors with back issues. If you like searching through longboxes, Rose City is a great show for you! Many of the local comic shops bring their back issues with them, often for a deep discount. There'll also be $5 trades and a few rarities. For those who want to start their singles collection--or just really want that 15th issue of Orion (that was me for about a decade), this is the show for you!
- Amazing Costumes. While I'm not the type to spend months working on an outfit for the show (last year, my big addition was a gold hat), tons of people around the community come together at Rose City to show off their hard work. Whether its your own personal take on the Joker (pick a Joker, any Joker), a horde of Whos, or anime characters, I am always so impressed by the work people young and old put into their creations each year. My favorites are the people who go for the obscure, like a person last year who was done up as Spider-Man after Reed removed the Secret Wars Suit. (Imagine poor Peter in an old FF costume with a bag on his head. Johnny's idea, of course!) Make sure your cell phone has plenty of charge and always, ALWAYS, make sure the person is okay with being photographed. Remember that cosplay isn't consent.
That's just a few of the things to look forward to at Rose City this year. Stop by Panel Patter this week for more on the show, and I hope to see you there!