Rose City Comic Con 2015 Recap

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RCCC-programThe fourth annual Rose City Comic Con was held last month in Portland, Oregon. This was my first time attending, and I unfortunately was only attend Sunday, but I’ll definitely be back next year.

RCCC-pendulumContinuing in the vein of my recent post about GeekGirlCon and Jamie Greene’s post about NYCC, Rose City is another great example of a smaller local con. Despite being a fairly small con, RCCC pulls its fair share of high-profile industry celebs which shouldn’t be surprising when it’s in the backyard of fan-favorites Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction.

The very first thing that struck me when arriving at RCCC was that parking at the convention center was only $10 for the whole day. I’ve paid more than that for parking at a mall!

RCCC-scheduleThe first thing I noticed once I actually got into the convention center was that there were these great standups everywhere that had the full program schedule and maps of everything. This was a lifesaver since I didn’t have the app yet and, of course, did not yet have my program. I was able to easily figure out where to go get my badge and where my first stop was going to be.

RCCC-badgeMedia members had special badges featuring He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. It’s nice when different types of guests have visually different badges so that it’s easier to quickly figure out who you might be seeing or talking to without trying to read the small type on someone’s badge.

RCCC-wheatonThe Wil Wheaton panel was my big goal of the con, and I went straight there after getting my badge. Luckily, I got close enough to the start of the line that I had a great seat.

The panel started off with Wheaton telling us about all of his current projects. His is currently doing the TV Crimes podcast with Mikey Neumann. They take old TV shows and put them on essentially rip them apart for their crimes. It sounds hilarious, and I’ve already subscribed and downloaded all the episodes.

There are also three things he’s working on for Geek & Sundry–Titansgrave Season 2, TableTop Season 4, and some unannounced scripted fiction programming. I haven’t watched Titansgrave yet due to lack of free-time, but I am definitely looking forward to more TableTop and more good scripted programming from Geek & Sundry.

The last thing he mentioned that is currently on his plate is The Foundation to Increase Awesome where he and his wife, Anne, auction awesome stuff to support awesome causes. This year they are raising money for the Pasadena Humane Society with A Guide To Being A Dog, by Seamus Wheaton. They also continue to raise money by auctioning off tabletop games signed by players on the show.

The audience got to ask a ton of questions as well. When asked for suggestions for good two-player games, Wheaton mentioned Agricola All Creatures Big and Small, Takenoko, and Carcassone. My wife and I love Takenoko, so I highly second that recommendation. We’ve only played Agricola once and we were in a rush, but we want to try it again. Carcassone has been on my list of games to try forever, and this was just one more recommendation on the pile for it.

Wheaton’s “which super hero would you like to be” was Dr. Strange from Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602 series. I think he was going for a non-expected answer, but choosing anyone from that Gaiman series is a brilliant choice in my mind. I really loved that series and hope they do more with that world.

The final question and response that really stood out to me was when a fan asked for advice on keeping a strong loving relationship going for so long (Wheaton and his wife have been married since 1999). Wheaton said that you need to earn and continue to earn the respect of the other person and that “a relationship is never given, it is earned.”

If you want more Wil Wheaton, check out the preview of Jamie Greene’s interview and look for the rest later this week.

RCCC-lunchAfter the panel, I decided to run out and grab some food before heading onto the show floor. I only mention this because I’d never been to Sizzle Pie and it was, quite literally, the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. I can’t wait to go back to Portland just for more pizza!

I then headed back to the show floor to check out the vendors and artist’s alley. There were plenty of vendors, artists, and celebs on the show floor, along with some great cosplay. One thing that stood out from other conventions though is that there was a fairly large “Kids Area!” I wasn’t able to go in and check it out since I didn’t have a kid (which is a good rule to have in place), but it looked like there were a lot of fun activities and games available for kids of all ages away from the crowds. I love it when a convention goes above and beyond to make families feel welcome. How else can we raise the next generation of geeks?

Next on my list was the Ask a Game Designer panel with Mike Selinker and Paul Peterson. This panel was a really fun, casual conversation with Selinker and Peterson answering audience questions and sharing a lot of behind the scenes details about making games for both big and independent companies. If you’re at all interested in making games and can bend their ear, I highly recommend you do so as these guys have a ton of experience in gaming.

RCCC-cosplaypanelThe last stop of the day for me was the Cosplay to Cospro panel with Ani-Mia, Nicole Marie Jean, and Kristen Hughey. These cosplayers all shared their stories of getting into cosplay, how it’s helped all of them become more extroverted and confident in their daily lives, and their trials and tribulations. I’ve implemented a new tip I learned from these ladies–have a small bag near your sewing machine and put every cut thread and trash piece of fabric directly into the bag. It’s amazing how much cleaner your entire workspace will become from that small tip!

I was disappointed that I only got to attend Sunday, especially because Sunday was a short day. I’d love to have spent more time at Rose City Comic Con. Next year’s con will be September 10-11 which should make it easy for me to go the whole weekend without conflicting with my annual Crystal Mountain Sky Marathon (which I did the day before). I highly recommend RCCC for any con-going family. Portland is a great city with a lot to see and do, tons of great food, and the convention is super family friendly and still has that small con feel with a lot of focus on comics.

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