This last weekend of June I was lucky enough to split a table with my good friend and bay area artist Casey Desilets and my girlfriend Sara Parks. I didn't really know what to expect from this convention, but the hype for it was real- a music/comedy/comics festival convention thing brought to you by Chris Hardwick.
For those of you who don't know who Chris Hardwick is, it's this guy:
He's basically everywhere hosting shows such as "The Talking Dead" and "Talking Bad" and a whole bunch of others. I believe he also has a couple of game shows, does comedy tours, and runs the Nerdist website and Podcast. So, he's a busy, busy guy. Besides doing all that, he's put together this festival, which is possibly the most fun that I've ever had at a convention, and fully expect to be a yearly event that just keeps getting better and better. So here's how it worked:
For the better part of the day (noon until 8pm) there's a tent with comedy shows going on with a pretty bad ass list of comedians performing (full list of everyone appearing is below). Outside of that tent there is a giant artist alley where some of the best artists in the biz are located. Because of the nature of the show, only some space was allocated to comics, so the artist list wasn't gigantic, but they made up for it with the artists that were there, having a surprisingly well thought out diverse group. What really surprised me wasn't the amazing artist that they had at the show, but the inclusion of industry leading inkers like MIck Gray, and colorists like Matt Wilson, which showed a real appreciation for all aspects of comic creation. In this tent you also found a stage where they held free panels you could watch and learn from all day.
Then there was the second artist alley, where we were. Things got wild there.
The main panel tent had crazy good panels like "Mystery Science Theater" and "Con Men". This tent stole my girlfriend away from me for most of the day, where she had way too much fun. She got the chance to ask Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk question about why Joss Wheddon hasn't put them in the Avengers yet, and they gave her a bunch of signed junk, like Alan's used underwear from the show, as a reward for her bravery.
Also, shops! Shops everywhere!
Then there was the electronic dance music tent, which was so slammed with people that they literally poured out of every opening the tent had, and into the areas around it. This was probably one of my favorite aspects of the convention, and here's why: I've been going to conventions for my whole life, and you start to recognize the usual- the gaslight batman cosplayer, or the guy always dressed like the xenomorph from alien. You see these people at every single show, and you get used to them being there. However, you don't often get to see them getting down to some EDM with a bunch of 20-somethings as if they've been friends for their whole lives. Let me tell you, that's a sight that will leave you enjoying life, and warm the dark recesses of your heart.
Then of course, you had your concerts. For part of the day, and extending the convention to 11pm, a bunch of amazing bands played the main stage at the shoreline theater. We saw Weezer.
So yeah, the convention was awesome. Everyone in this buisness has thrown the idea around about combining music and comic in a convention for as long as I've been alive, but Chris Hardwick went and finally did it, that beautiful bastard. Bravo, sir.