The Camden Comic Con really distinguishes itself by being about the comic book industry and associated media and not bogged down with being a celebrity autograph and photo-op type of convention experience. You won’t find the litany of voice actors, pro wrestlers and Hollywood wannabes that have permeated and taken over other so-called “comic” conventions while pushing comic creators aside. Instead fans can expect to find a very well-organized comic-focused convention that truly celebrates the medium and the people who make it happen.
Much like the bigger shows there are going to be plenty of cosplayers, collectibles and back issues. But what really has resonated with fans and creators in the first two years — and seems to have continued this year as well — is the professionalism and passion among the people who organize the show every year, particularly Miranda Powell, Bill Haas, JT Holtaway and the rest of the Rutgers Camden student and alumni volunteers who make up the Camden Comic Con team.
Camden Comic Con bills itself as “an annual comic convention that celebrates the artistry and cultural phenomenon of comic books” and plainly states that the goal of the convention is “to provide a free, all-ages event that links and introduces the community of Camden and South Jersey to comic creators, writers, artists, dealers, and fellow enthusiasts.” And from my experience, it delivers exactly as advertised.
Headlining the show this year is legendary X-MEN writer and NEW MUTANTS creator Chris Claremont, who will make a limited appearance at his table (signing from 1pm to 3pm) and will be hosting a Q&A session from from 4-5pm. Joining Claremont at the show is artist and fellow NEW MUTANTS creator Bob McLeod. Larry Hama (of G.I. JOE and WOLVERINE fame) and Jamal Igle (artist/writer/creator of Action Lab’s MOLLY DANGER and former artist on SUPERGIRL) are also going to be in attendance, giving some superb legitimacy to the top level names and talent at the show.
In addition, other creators at the convention will include Adam McGovern (Image Comics’ NIGHTWORLD), Neil D. Vokes (SUPERMAN ADVENTURES), Mark Poulton (SAVAGE HAWKMAN, AVENGELYNE), Diana Leto (Dark Horse’s THE HALLOWEEN LEGION), Jeff Shultz (Archie Comics) and more than four dozen other artists and comic creators for major, independent and small press publishers. There will also be plenty of dealers selling comics, toys and pop culture related merchandise — 120 tables in all — at a comic con that is like a party that was bitten by a radioactive Artists Alley.
There will be a cosplay contest, a tabletop gaming zone hosted by All Things Fun! (a New Jersey comic and games shop) and programming that runs the gamut of panels and artist talks to creator workshops and lectures – and even includes a Movie Buff Quiz Show.
Did I mention that admission to the Camden Comic Con is 100% FREE? It is, and that means that fans can spend their well-earned dollars on comics, artwork and merchandise instead of a costly entry fee, which is a wonderful change of pace, especially for a show of this size. This is another reason that more and more creators are appreciating the experience of the Camden Comic Con.
If you can’t make it to the convention but want to stay abreast of all of the happenings, be sure to check out the hashtag #CamdenComicCon on social media platforms on Saturday.
For more information on the convention, as well as directions and other helpful resources, check out the Camden Comic Con website.