Rob types fluff and rolls dice. Those two hobbies sparked the immeasurably original nickname, The Typing Dice. When he’s not as his desk job, he’s prepping for his insanely fun 4E Forgotten Realms campaign. But even when he is at his desk job, he’s sneaking time to do the same, and daydreaming about building the best game room ever – a lifelong goal. One day he will design a tabletop game for the gods, and when they roll dice the world will hear thunder. You can find him on Twitter @TheTypingDice or email at TheTypingDice@gmail.com.
Let me put this out there first and foremost. I am many things: GM, Writer, Gamer, and Literature Major, but not, and I repeat not an avid comic book reader. I would say I’ve read fewer than twenty comic books and five graphic novels in my entire life. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them, or appreciate the fantastic art and channel of storytelling, because I do. I’ve just never gotten into them. I wanted to lay my cards face-up on the table so you know I will be approaching this article from the standpoint of a newbie to comic conventions.
On June 3rd I drove up to Philly from the suburbs for my first Philly Comic Con. My girlfriend Christine, my friend (and fellow DM) Tom, and I, all decided to make the day trip. Tom is what you would call a comic book fanatic. He ended up spending $300 on comics that day in his old-school Flash T-shirt. I went more modern and rocked the Tyrion Lannister tee (pictured above), but we’ll get to that later. Tom carried around a checklist of comics that he needed to fill in tiny gaps of nearly-complete collections. He scouted daringly into the depths of geeks for those last three Green Lantern action figures he so utterly desired.
And I know what you’re thinking. But no, he’s not a virgin.
“I’ve had sex with two whole girls.” He said. One of which happened to be present at the convention too, go figure!
After arriving amidst the countless booths of geek paraphernalia, we got our bearings and then set out on a mission. Luckily, I had read Dread Gazebo’s article entitled “10 Things to Know Before Going to Gencon”, and while this wasn’t GenCon by any means, the tips still apply! So I was prepared with a good stack of cash in my pocket. Tom’s 11 years of Philly Comic Con wisdom had decided that the last day of the Con was the best, because:
“THE VENDORS DON’T WANNA HAUL ALL THAT CRAP BACK WITH THEM, SO THEY GIVE GOOD BARGAINS ON THE LAST DAY.”
Turned out to be true, because I got this awesome D&D graphic novel for only 12 bucks. It also comes with a prewritten adventure in the back that mimics the story of the comic, which is a definite plus for you GMs out there.
I also ended up purchasing another graphic novel, a compilation of issues on the newest version of Lady Death . And no, I’m not referring to Grandma Death from Donnie Darko. I’m referring to the beautifully toned, white-eyed, big-breasted helluva woman who lost her control of Hell and wants it back. I got the $25 book signed by the author, so that made it extra special. After getting all giddy and excited about supporting an indie publishing company, I rushed over to Tom to show it off. But he had never heard of her. This was surprising because as we learned out later with a quick iPhone search, Lady Death has been around for as long as I have. She hit her peak in 1995 but still has a devoted underground following. The collection that I purchased is a new and revamped chapter in her story, and so far I’ve only read the first chapter, but if nothing else, her pin-ups are awesome.
But even though I was happy with these finds, I had my nose in the air like a hound, sniffing for the gaming section. “There must be something related to tabletop gaming around here,” I said, anxiously. “Where are the RPG books? The board games?” I guess I had high hopes expecting to find those sorts of things at a comic convention. However, one booth had treasure hordes of pooled multi-colored dice. So, I called that a win and bought three shiny new d20s.
As I was pawing through the dice a Suicide Girl passing by saw my shirt and exclaimed, “Damn it feels good to be a Lannister.” We counted a total of 10+ comments on my shirt that day. That was most likely because the Game of Thrones Season 2 finale was premiering that night, and Tyrion had suffered a potentially life-threatening injury after leading a heroic charge in episode 9.
AFTER 4.5 HOURS, WE STILL HADN’T SEEN MELISSA JOAN HART. I’D ALSO MISSED MY OPPORTUNITY TO GET A PHOTO WITH ERIN GRAY, STAR OF SILVER SPOONS AND BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY.
What are those shows, you ask? I have no idea. I only know her because she recently had a hilarious cameo in an episode of The Guild. My girlfriend got a picture with a storm trooper and I got a picture of the bat mobile from afar, because it was a whopping $15 to get a picture sitting in it.
Overall I can say the Philly Comic Con was a unique and exciting experience, but a bit overwhelming at times. Most likely you’ll spend more money than you planned on, and still feel as if you missed out on a bunch of cool stuff that you should’ve bought. A word of advice: Don’t make eye contact with the artists selling their paintings. Because if you do, they’ll start talking about their life’s work and aspirations, so you might feel bad, or like a dick, turning and walking away only to stop at the adjacent booth. Bring a backpack with your own snacks and water bottles. And lastly, bring a Comic Con veteran, like Tom.