Well, Convention season has returned. Following a year and a half of postponements, cancellations, and online approximations, there are actual in-person comic and entertainment conventions popping up all along the calendar. Vendors, creators, entertainers, and fans are attempting to return to a semblance of normalcy. This past weekend, we went to the middle of the woods in Connecticut to attend TerrifiCon, and it was a welcome experience.
Mitch Hallock had a diverse and robust lineup of comic pros, toy and comic vendors, celebrities, and a nice artist’s alley. This was my second time at TerrifiCon, and like before, this show is in a single large hall. It was well set up to maximize the aisles widths and people flow. Overall the physical layout of the show was well done.
I do find it interesting how the lines and locations of certain “high-traffic” guest get modified between Friday and Saturday. This is not a knock on this show; it happens everywhere. Inevitably, there is some guest that draws a more than expected number of fans, and they need to be moved to an area that can handle the traffic. Often there are unexpected last-minute cancellations that help provide the space to let everyone enjoy the show with the least amount of congestion.
Is It Safe To Go Back To Cons?
Alright, let’s get to the big questions. How was the Covid-19 protection at the show? Were people wearing masks and social distancing? Is that possible at comic con? I have to say that I was impressed. There was a large segment of the fan base that were wearing facemasks. If I had to guess, I would say about half of the attendees. Keep in mind, there was no mask state requirement, and Connecticut is a state with high vaccination rates and low current infection rates. The show did request that all unvaccinated attendees to wear face coverings. Along with those positives in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, there was a sense of responsibility among the guests and patrons.
There was a definite feeling that most people were a little nervous stepping out into a con for the first time in so long. Groups of friends maintained larger distance than I remember from previous experiences, and stayed away from strangers, just a little farther. Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of people close to each other diving through discount long boxes of comics, but maybe they waited a little longer to dive in or put just a touch more distance between themselves and their neighbors.
Seriously, I was very please with the precautions that were taken and the behavior of the attendees at Terrificon. There is no way to have perfect compliance in this country, but if the majority of the unmasked were vaccinated (as the should be), then it was an example of civic responsibility allowing a return to normalcy.
A Fun Time For All
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I want to express how wonderful a time that I had personally. It was fantastic seeing so many friends and making some new ones. This feeling was shared by guests and fans alike. Most people that I talked to had very good experiences. Some of the higher demand guests were consistently having lines that inevitably needed to be capped. The other guests also had a lot of traffic to their tables, and I came away with the feeling that everyone was having a good time.
The panel programming at Terrificon is not as robust as some other shows that I have been at, but that is mostly due to lack of real estate for the panels. The ones that they did put on, many hosted with aplomb by John Siuntres of the Word Balloon Podcast, were fairly well attended and interesting.
Terrifcon is a great show. It is not too big and not too small. This year there were a lot of people having a chance to make some fun purchases and see friends and celebrities, and you could tell that despite the apprehension there was an unspoken sigh of relief that they had the opportunity to get back to some activities that they had done before we dealt with the Covid-19 health crisis.
I will have to say that I will make this show a must attend on my calendar going forward.
Don’t forget to check out the cosplay that we saw. You can find it here.