“The biggest show in the smallest state” that tagline is an understatement. The Rhode Island Comic Con in Providence, RI held from November 6th through the 8th 2015 was definitely a sight to be seen. Spanning two buildings and four floors Rhode Island may need a bigger convention center for next year. I have to say of all the conventions I have attended I really enjoyed this one. Here’s the breakdown I know you all have been waiting for!!!
The weekend started at 5 am on Friday when I caught my flight to Rhode Island, checked into my hotel and had lunch. The convention started at 3 that day so I figured I had a little time. Boy was I wrong. I got to the convention center at 12:30pm and I couldn’t believe my eyes. The main entrance line was so long I couldn’t see the front to the end. The VIP line was pretty long as well ( a good 100 plus people). I walk in the press entrance to the Dunkin Donuts Center and to my surprise without attendees the place was already full. Wall to wall vendors on the main walk around the stadium. So I head down stairs to the stadium floor the main floor is filled with vendors frantically setting up in anticipation for the mad rush that is to come. Around in the “backstage” halls staff are setting up for some of the special guests like Michael Rooker, Jason Momoa, Ron Pearlman, and Scott Wilson plus many, many more.
After a quick look around I headed out to the special guest parking lot and up to the loading dock of the adjoining convention center, and too my great surprise there was more of the same (how big is this thing) I asked myself. The main convention floor was abuzz with vendors, artists, and celebrity guests that had already showed up before the convention had even started. My first stop……
The SUPERHEROSTUFF.COM booth. I was greeted by one of the most lovely women I have ever met (Melissa G.) We struck up a conversation and I found out that this was unfortunately her last con with the company due to some life stuff. The rest of the staff was also friendly and helpful and all I really wanted was a backpack since I forgot to pack one!
Walking through and getting my bearings of this huge space I ran into a few familiar faces Daniel Logan, John Morton, Dickie Beers, to name a few. Always the nicest guys and always early. So before the con started and the isles were teaming with fan boys and fan girls I was on a mission. A few more Star Wars autographs to get to fill my book in. David Prowse, Michael Carter, Garrick Hagan, and Dermot Crowley. And wouldn’t you know it they were all gracious enough to sign my book before the mad rush started.
Alright now I get to do some work, lol. Friday was nice no big panels to rush to and a good amount of people walking around, so I took advantage and spoke to some artists and vendors. Some really great art and items for sale all around. Prints, metal prints, books, action figures, props, and just about anything else you could think of. The night ended at around 8:30 to 9 pm and at the close I headed back to my hotel to soak my feet from all the walking.
Day two was much the same as day one with a few big exceptions. Probably 30,000 people roaming through these block mapped halls. A few vendors, artists, and celebrities moved, and they opened up a huge wall to make more room and boy did they need it. This is where the only issue I had with the con came in (lots of people, two buildings, and still not enough room) People were in line outside at least 2 hours into the start of the day still waiting to get in, not to mention the crowds inside. I think next year they need to spread out even more space/floors.
Some good panels with the celebrity guests including Henry Winkler, The cast of SOA, and The Power Rangers including Amy Jo Johnson. Other than the panels they had a few neat events including the ever popular Sci Fi Speed Dating. I have to say with all the crowds and craziness the staff and security (including the fire marshal) were helpful and courteous. Even when I needed to leave the convention to buy a pack of smokes (we at thegeektable.com do not condone or even enjoy smoking) sending me in the right direction out of the building and downtown.
Alright it’s day three and man am I sore. It has been a long couple of days with tons to see and do. I decide to take my roller luggage bag with me to the con so I can go directly to the airport to catch my flight in a few hours, that might have been a mistake. The con was full again on the third day! I have never been to a con that was more full on Sunday than on Friday. Luckily my good friends at SUPERHEROSTUFF.com offered to let me leave my roller in their back room. (crazy awesome people in that booth) So in turn I decided to buy a bunch of merchandise from them to leave in said roller bag. I got a new T-shirt, lounge pants, beanie, and ball cap (all Star Wars of course). I spent the rest of my time in Rhode Island making sure to say good morning and have a good one to all the amazing people I had met and/or had known at the con. (Daniel Logan the young Boba Fett, John Morton Boba Fett, Jen from the rechargeable cell battery booth, Melissa from SUPERHEROSTUFF.com booth, Lou Ferigno the Hulk, ASJ the Red Ranger, A.J. Lee, Riddle from Heroes of Cosplay, and of course Henry Winker the Fonz)
All in all a wonderful con full of great people. I can’t wait till next year.