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Nolan's Pop Culture ReviewThe Tampa Bay Comic Con For February 2011
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, February 24, 2011    Share

The Tampa Bay Comic Con
February 20, 2011
Airport DoubleTree Inn Hotel
4500 West Cypress Street
Tampa, FL

Tampa welcomes back the venerable Tampa Giant Comic Con and Toy Show, now re-titled simply The Tampa Bay Comic Con, to the equally venerable DoubleTree Inn on Cyprus Ave., its original home. Having temporarily moved to the MinnReg building in Largo for about a year proved a test of many fans' dedication as it was a longer and more confusing haul for many of us, but thankfully, whatever the problem was, it has since been rectified with the DoubleTree, where many of us found ourselves this past Sunday. I believe this is the second TBCC show under new ownership and the first back at the hotel.

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The first PCR "reunion" of sorts took place back at the Artists' table. L-to-R, Jacob Jones, Brandon Jones, Rebecca, Sierra Jones, Irma Diaz, Chris Woods, Lonnie Dohlen, and Jason Fetters.
Two of the celebrity artists featured at the Con, Alex Saviuk (Spider-Man), and Mike Perkins (Captain America, X-Men).
At left, "King of the B-Movies" Joel D. Wynkoop discusses his films with a potential customer.
Ye Olde PCR editor Nolan B. Canova at left with actor/producer Joe Davison. Joe was there filming a documentary about Joel Wynkoop.
A view of the main center aisle taken from the back of the hall. Lonnie, John, and Chris just left of center.
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Celebrity artist Arthur Suydam (Heavy Metal, Batman) seated at table (colored glasses). I've been a fan of his for decades.
An impressive modeler's collection.
Another view of the modeler's table.
A triumph, however temporary, of former PCR/Message Board adversaries in one photo. L-to-R, Brandon Jones, Terence Nuzum, and John Miller. Note Brandon's "DOB" (Desk of Brian) polo shirt, haha, ever the professional. Lonnie Dohlen at far right.
And finally, PCR (kinda sorta) meets The Desk of Brian. L-to-R, John Miller, Lisa Scherer, Bob Herriman, and Brandon Jones.
After paying the $5 entry at the door (still a very reasonable bang for the buck), the first thing I noticed upon entering was that the Con is entirely contained in the main ballroom and there are no tables in the front lobby at all. To be fair, this is how the original owner, Tim Gordon, had it for many years until the Con grew big enough to "spill over" into the front lobby about three years ago. This area was primarily reserved for independents in film and comics. Evidently, the new owners do not feel strongly enough about indies to give them lots of space so they are in short supply (but some are there). So, my regular encounters with Andrea Dean Von Scoyoc, Tony & Glenda Finklestein, Jeffrey Bresslauer, Joe Leone, and so many others appear to be relegated to the past. The few indies I did meet are new to my experience, so there may be more to that story. The 85 or so dealers' tables that were there, however, absolutely met advertised expectations and the show was brimming with comics, posters, toys, and celebrity artists. Bootleg DVD dealers, like at the MinnReg, seem to be phasing out, and in fact, I don't remember seeing any last Sunday.

Along with Marvel notables Alex Saviuk (Spider-Man) and Mike Perkins (Captain America, X-Men), the major coup, IMHO, was the appearance of Arthur Suydam (Heavy Metal, Batman). I've been a fan of his since Heavy Metal magazine's early days where, I felt, he was one of the greats with a painterly feel to his excellent line work. His later work on Batman is a natural fit.

Back next to the Marvel guys, was "King of the B-Movies", Joel D. Wynkoop, a regular at these shows (and one of the few independents represented). With him was Joe Davison, a Bay area actor/director/producer who was there filming a documentary about Wynkoop. I was supposed to be interviewed, but it never happened. I learned later it was scheduled for after lunch, but I didn't return to the Con after lunch. Nobody talked to me about it, but my mood was blown by that point anyway via something unrelated (more on that in a bit). Sorry, I digress....

Fellow PCR writer Chris Woods later recalled the only dealers selling DVDs were Wynkoop (of his own movies he acted in) and another fan selling his personal videos.

I can personally attest to an increase in classic/Golden Age/Silver Age magazines and comics dealers! That actually started back at the MinnReg and I'm delighted to see it continue full-bore here. For me, that alone guarantees my attendance well into the future.

As usual, my main regret is not having more money on me (as usual) to take advantage of these occasions, but fortunately for us Tampans, the Tampa Bay Comic Con is a three-times a year show, so if you can't get something this time, you might very well in a few months.

The attendance last Sunday was impressive, a successful show, with it getting really crowded around noon and thinning a bit before we left for lunch at 1:30pm.

Now...for a bit of an epilogue. This show was important to me also because of a carefully-planned and eagerly-awaited reunion between website members (both current and former) from Crazed Fanboy and the newer The Desk of Brian, along with the settling of some personal matters that had led to an unintended adversarial relationship over the past year. This part did not execute well at all, and impacted my participation of the Con, a very rare thing. I'm only mentioning it now because it put me off my game, affecting how well I covered this show, another rare thing (mostly in my lopsided photography subjects). This will not happen again. Note: this is no reflection on Con management, who continue to be cooperative and dedicated folks and put on a remarkably consistent event that I intend to continue supporting.

The next Convention is August 7th. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.tampabaycomiccon.com/.

"Nolan's Pop Culture Review" is ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.

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