In a few weekends, this coming October 2, 3 and 4 will be XCon in Myrtle Beach. This is the second year for this con. I was only able to attend for a few hours on the Friday last year but was surprised how much fun it was. I expect better things from this year. It will be held at the Springmaid Resort right on the beach.
I’ve been working on getting my collection filed and bagged and tamed anyway, so I’ll be bringing out some of my old issues with me. Long time comics creators like Joe Staton (E-man! Green Lantern!), Roy Thomas (JSA! Infinity Inc! Conan!) and Frank Brunner (Warp! Howard the Duck!) will be there, and I’ll be getting stuff signed. Newer talents like Ethan Van Sciver and Jonathan Hickman will also be there, and I’ll also be getting work signed by them. It’s just that the scotch tape on the comic bags won’t have disintegrated into goo. The best part of a smallish regional con in its early years is that you have an amazing amount of access to the creators. Several of these people were also at Heroes Con but I never was willing to stand in line long enough to talk to them and get an autograph. I guarantee it will be a lot easier here.
I still haven’t figured out my approach to the whole thing. I might be willing to get the VIP tickets and go to the Friday party and all. I’m sure I won’t be there every minute of all three days. The dog park is only a few blocks away so I might take a real life break to go meet my wife and dog there at some point. It’s actually harder to attend things like this in your own town. When I go to Heroes Con or Dragon*Con, I’m in a hotel away from home and don’t have my normal life to deal with. I’m in the room, a restaurant or the con which is generally an easy decision. When it is the same place where you live, you don’t generally get to shut off your real life and responsibilities for three days.
At both Heroes Con and Dragon*Con, I did a fair amount of digging through the 2/$1 and 3/$1 long boxes. If I’ve got all weekend to do some wishlist hunting, I might do it in smaller chunks. I found out at last year’s XCon that my old knees and back prevent me from hunching over boxes under tables for long stretches of time. I think my strategy will be to make multiple smaller purchases at more frequent intervals. That’s my favorite part of cons like this, looking for cheap back issues. Happiness is finding a book in the bargain bin that was already on your list.
I’d love to see this con be successful and continue to grow because I like having it right here, easily accessible and right by the beach. If you are a comic book fan within driving distance, come and check it out. It will be a good time.