Pittsburgh Comic Con Review

I went to Pittsburgh back on Sept.  11-13 for Pittsburgh Comic Con. I don’t go to many comic book conventions and the one’s I’ve been to have been real small ones, one day in a small room. This was three day and took place in a convention center.

This con is usually held in April, but there was construction going on at their usual location so they moved to September and moved across the street to a new location. In fact I heard the building was only eight days old it’s and it showed. The whole place had a look-shiny and new.

The main hall of the convention center housed the guests, artists, and vendors. There was plenty of room to move around between dealers in the room. They had smaller rooms in the building for panels and other events. They were good size with plenty of room and seating. Not much of sound system in any of them though. The food at the center’s concession stand while on the high end price-wise, like most con food, though you did get a good amount for your money so not the worst I’ve seen.

I kind of liked their badge system. They had badges for VIPs (like me) who pre-reged, but wrist bands were the main identifier for con goers. Though unlike Colossalcon they had different ones for each day so you could switch them out instead of having to have the same one on the whole time. The badges were really neat cause they took your picture with a webcam and put it on the badge with your name on both sides of it so it didn’t matter if it got turned around. The problem though was while they had lanyards to attach them to they didn’t have plastic holders for them. Luckily I had thought ahead and brought some holders from previous cons just in case.

They had quite a few vendors. Though most of them were all just different comic book shops who for the most part all looked like, white comic book boxes and their more rare stuff on a display board. The prices were also all the same between a lot of them. There were also bootleg dvd dealers (boo hiss), a few anime merchandize dealers, toy sellers, and a costume shop. Plus some guys selling roasted nuts. Overall a decent blend and very nice. I just wished more of the comic guys had boxes listed better on what was in them.

They didn’t have that many panels throughout the weekend which was kind of a disappointment since they had so many neat guys it would have been fun to more hear from them. Though what they had was fun. Of course I’m not sure if they ever got their anime viewing room up or not. Which didn’t upset me since the only thing I would have liked to watch would have been over long before I even showed up to the con.

The surroundings are was very nice. Several restaurants and next to mall. There was even a zombie museum in the mall that opened for the first time on Saturday.


Most of the guests were comic creators, artisans, and webcomic guys. They did have a few actors who had been in the Day of the Dead and Living Dead movies too. Plus Conrad Brooks, who had worked with Ed Wood in a number of films, including Plan 9 from Outer Space, the Citizen Kane of bad movies. The main star of the con was tStan ‘The Man’ Lee. A whole section of the lobby had been sectioned off for Stan Lee on Saturday, looked like they were expecting long lines. Good planning on their part.   

I went to the con with my mother. When she heard that Stan was going to be there, she wanted to go as much as I did. She’s kind of a nerd sometimes.* The first few years a I went down to Dragon*Con she came to and spent her time going to see her stuff there. She’s a big Firefly/Serenity fanatic.


I spent most of my time on Friday getting familiar with the place and hunting down some autographs. Which I spent most the weekend doing. Took in some events and got the lay of the land. We had gotten there late so we missed a few things.

Went to the Friday CBLDF Quick Sketch. My first one ever. A lot of fun. If you’ve never been to one, a Quick Sketch is a where a bunch of artist draw sketches for an hour. Then at the end they raffle off the sketches. The money they raised goes to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

All of the artists they had were real nice and some were very funny. They took several suggestions on what to draw which lead to some neat sketches. A few of the artist that were taking part in it were Billy Tucci, Darryl Banks, Terry Morre, Chris Moreno, Danielle Corsetto, and several more. Some of the pics they did were a Green Lantern Spongebob, pastel Dr. Doom, a tap dancing Flash, Death from Sandman, and a ‘Television Edit’ picture of Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen with pixelation over his groin.

I won a Spider-Girl by Terry Morre, but my mom really wanted this Micky Mouse as Iron Man by Chris Moreno. So after all of them had been given out I went up to the the guy that had won it and offered him a trade. Since he already had another Iron Man, the original one, he went for it.

There were a lot less costumes on Friday than I was used to from being at Dragon*Con and so many anime cons. There was a Tinker Bell, a Batman, and a Silk Spectra from Watchmen. This picked up later in the weekend with the costume contest on Sunday.

I spent most of my time that weekend getting autographs from writers and artists who worked on comics I owned. Unfortunately some of them weren’t there and I didn’t know that, so I wasted time searching for them. Some of them were: Silver Age female artist who created Aqualad and Metamorpho for DC. I had her sign my DC Who’s Who on the Aqualad page. Got to her just before she was about to leave for the day too. Alex Saviuk, mostly know for penciling and inking the Spider-man newspaper comic strip who I got to sign one of my Marvel Essentials The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe, these got several signatures over the weekend. Talked with him a little bit about his work with the handbooks and his movie story board work.

They held a casino night to raise money for Make-a-Wish Foundation on Friday night. It was a blast. Kind of slow at the start but once it got started it went really well. Had a lot of fun playing blackjack. Our dealer, Sally, was real kind to us. Always feeling bad when she took our money, giving suggestions, and even giving us a free pass a few times when she hit Blackjack. I played a few hands of poker (went poorly), roulette a few times (had fun with that), thought about playing craps but it looked more confusing than I wanted to bother with, a few wheel spinning games, a dice game of ‘beat the dealer’ (at one point the dealer rolled 11 three times in a row), and a game of higher or lower with dice.

The band that was suppose to play were a no show which was a disappointment since they sounded like a lot of fun. The whole thing was for the Make a Wish Foundation. With the whole thing being for charity no one had problems losing always saying, “it’s for the kids.”

At the end of the night they had a raffle of number of prizes. There were several art pieces, plushies of Dream from Sandman, a Captain Picard statue, World of Darkness figures, and D&D pewter miniatures. The whole room was friendly about it with cheers for each person when they won something. My mother won an art piece of Uhura from Star Trek signed by Nichelle Nichols (with certificate of authenticity) and one of the Comedian from Watchmen. I won a model of the Batboat from the Batman Returns movie. I’m pretty sure I was the only person who put in a ticket for it.

*Notes from mom–I did not know I was that big of a nerd until I got there. I am sure there are lots of people who would want to meet Stan Lee. He is after all the god of the Marvel Universe. I figured this was an opportunity for me to spend time with my son but during the day I would end up back at the hotel in the hot tub or watching tv. Then we got there and seeing all the artists and hearing their stories was great-I was hooked. Remember these are ARTISTS most of them do more than comics and they had much of their work on display. I think just about anyone would enjoy seeing the main room with the vendors and artists but a real nerd enjoys it for three days and comes back with a box of comics and a box of original art..


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