Monday, May 12, 2014

Cherry City Comic Con - My Experiences

When it was originally announced that Salem was going to be holding its very own comic con, I was incredibly excited. I bought my tickets as soon as I could, and threw my support in anywhere I could. Even though there was a bit of a hiccup before the con opened, I was not disappointed.

As most of my regular readers already know, while I like taking pictures, when I take pictures of people, they turn-out horribly. Needless to say, I don't have any good vendor, artist or cosplay pictures. Sorry for that.

The first ever Cherry City Comic Con was billed as family friendly, and I feel it lived-up to that. It was a good atmosphere and I could feel positive energy throughout the entire venue. A larger space than the first Rose City Comic Con, and for that I am thankful.

Here's my list of the Pro's and Con's for this con:

  • Large space with plenty of room to move around. This also helps keep the venue from becoming stuffy.
  • So many people showed-up. This tells me that Salem is very welcoming to having events of this nature. This means look forward to 2015 and beyond!
  • Parking was only $4!
  • MBC Gaming (being transitioned to Haven Gaming) brought some of their large game tables that they use in their store to provide space for game demo's.
  • There were several areas where people could sit, and I was incredibly grateful for that. Most of the other con's I've been to didn't have much (if any) places to sit.
  • Free wifi helped me be able to promote my artist and vendor friends as well as the con itself. I don't know how many times I posted #cherrycitycomiccon and either Twitter or Facebook.
  • As mentioned above, the positive energy flowed all over. I'm happy to have been a part of this comic con, and I look forward to what comes. I'm thinking that next time around I would work to purchase a table in order to promote Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer.
  • Plenty of great costumes!
  • With the space available, there could have been more vendor/artist spaces. This may have been due to the contract agreement and not something the coordinator Mark could change.
  • The Coin Jam, Salem's first arcade bar, was announced as a sponsor early on and that they were going to bring in some arcade games. It's my understanding that they decided to pull their support at the last minute.
  • Jesse Lagers, a cosplayer from the Portland area, was originally announced to be attending. Not sure what happened, but I didn't see him or his booth.
  • The single area for panels was open-air and it was occasionally disrupted by loud noises from the con floor. There was someone who had a great Animal from the Muppets costume, and had a snare drum attached at the hip. When they beat the drum, it resonated all over the venue.
I did put an All Call out to others who attended Chery City to share their thoughts and experiences and I would post them here on my blog. I hope people will take me up on that offer because I believe that constructive feedback will help everyone know what changes to make for future events.

All-in-all, I think the first every Cherry City Comic Con was great! Sure, there's room for improvement... but the same can be said for just about everything for the first time. When was the last time you "knocked it out of the park" the first time you tried something? :)


  1. I had an awesome time there too :) though I think next year the events need to be in another location than the huge room with all the artists and vendors. This way the people attending to them can actually hear them and there wont be distractions from the person on stage. It was also hard to hear the panelists because of echoing in the building (bouncing off walls). As an artist with a table (Kawaii Factor) I can say I did very well at the con and would love to go again next year, and I went around to other vendors and majority also did very well.

  2. Many thanks to mark and those involved in putting this successful con together. As a Salem native, I was excited that we were going to have our very first con. I participated as a comic book creator and the turnout was beyond what I expected. For many this was a learning experience, as an inaugural con typically is. I look forward to doing this again next year. Id like to share a personally experience I had at the con that tells how the a single, unexpected encounter with someone you wouldn't expect can change your life and motivate you more than you thought you can be. "Cherry City Comic Con was an amazing experience. Thank you Mark for putting this con on. I would like to take a minute and tell a quick positive life experience from the con. Now, though this book is for "mature audiences," it does not mean it does not appeal to a young audience as well. An 8 year old girl came up to my table and looked at the cool pics I had. I asked her if she likes vampires and to that she said yes. This girl loooves vampires and I said "well this book is about vampires." She lit up happy. Her adult chauffer told me she loves watching Blade but loves Deacon Frost, the villain, even more. I thought this girl was awesome off the bat. Well towards the end of the con, she comes up to the table with her mom in tow. The girl says "yes I finally get to get the book!" Her mom said she talked about it all day. All day! Well she got the book, I signed it and she was soo happy. She walks off and I see her actually reading it in the midst of other bright happy things going on. She was into this book. As a creator that puts everything into this book, I just want someone else to share my love for this book. I think I found that someone else in the form of this 8 year old vampire enthusiast. She motivated me big time to finish this book and make it awesome. Thank you so much! Made doing this book so worthwhile!"