It isn’t a surprise when a comic convention comes along with a boasting name that it has to live up to. “Greatest”, “American”, “World”, “Phenomenal” and, of course, “Amazing” are just a few of the adjectives used to describe them and, when they are starting out it sometimes just seems like wishful thinking. Then there is the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con, one that has had every right to boast over the years for the talent and exhibitors it pulls in.
I had recently transplanted myself to the Las Vegas valley when I first heard about Amazing Con during its inaugural year. I knew better than to be impressed by a convention’s name and to turn a skeptical eye towards the list of expected celebrities because everyone of us has had something come along and at the last minute we go “nah I would rather stay home.” In the case of Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con though that hardly ever happens, maybe one or two people but usually not the top draws. It may have something to do with the chance to hang out in Las Vegas with a free room for a weekend, maybe it is because when it comes to people who do the convention circuit there is a certain fraternity getting to see one another again. It’s not very often that you see people arrive at the bigger conventions here without heading over to another booth to give someone a hug. The time I saw Stan Lee come over and give Todd McFarland a big hug and smile will be something I remember forever.
Those are the kind of moments you might see at the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con because the convention really is amazing and not only does it draw massive numbers of fans it brings together the industry and I wouldn’t be shocked if many collaborations started at its tables. The headlining anchor has been year after year Rob Liefeld who brings a level of excited energy that you hardly see in any other human let alone a comic book legend. He has done so much, starting with comics and pushing properties towards films and television that most people would have burned out long ago but he is still a fanboy when he meets other stars and if you ask him a question it never feels like he is brushing you off. You have his attention and he really wants you to leave the conversation happy. It may sound like I am gushing a bit about the guy, maybe I am, but few people shine so bright that you find yourself glowing a bit for being around them.
The celebrities are always well rounded, especially when you consider the convention has “comic” in its name. Movie stars, TV heroes and voice over artists all find a place at the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con. Charlie Cox, Daredevil in the show by the same name, was the television anchor while Jason David Frank, the Green Power Ranger and all around cool guy plus adrenaline junkie (ask him some time), is another anchor in the sense that he is good about showing up and supporting cons he commits to doing in a big way. A couple of relative new comers to the Vegas conventions scene were Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead) and Lewis Tan (Shatterstar) of Deadpool fame. They brought on their fresh look at being movie stars and how that has change things for them at conventions and life in general.
As for comics the convention could have gotten away with calling itself the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Legends Con with the line-up, many of which come back year after year. Rob Liefeld, Jason Aaron, Tyler Kirkham, and Jim Starlin just to name a few. Attendance showed that the names were appreciated too since the convention was packed starting Friday and had people still looking around right up until close on Sunday.
It is also nice to say that the non-profits got places at the convention too showing just how much the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con is part of the community. The United Blood Services had a table and a mobile blood lab, the Critical Care Comics of Las Vegas was there collecting funds to visit children’s critical care wards and deliver comics while in super hero costumes and the Very Awesome Girls were there having a silly game of Family Feud with heroes versus villains while collecting money for charity the whole weekend.
The biggest show of support was in the form of Where We Live, a graphic novel that was on sale throughout the con that donated 100% of it’s proceeds to one of the October 1st shooting charities. They even had a panel on Sunday where 16 of the over 100 contributors came to tell their experiences and why they chose to contribute to this book which shows the terror and community that the mass shooting brought to our home.
Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con is one of the best comic convention to hit the Vegas Valley every year and one of the top couple to hit the state every year. While still sore from this one we are already looking forward to next year’s.