Rose City Comic Con has a special place in my heart because it was the first local convention I ever attended. Nothing can emulate the moments of sheer joy that light up a nerd’s face within the first few minutes of wandering the show floor of their first convention, and those are the moment I hold onto. So, when I was finally able to attend RCCC for the first time since my return to the Pacific Northwest, I was overjoyed and reminiscing about what the convention used to be. The biggest question was this: Would Rose City Comic Con still be able to elicit those feelings of bliss now that I’m a seasoned convention-goer?
Thankfully, the answer was yes! In fact, I’d say RCCC went beyond my expectations. Here’s why:
Artist Alley & Maker’s Market
While panels and celebs are a huge pull for anyone attending a convention, I think we can all agree that buying merch from nerds who are just as passionate as we are is a high priority. And, unfortunately, some conventions fall short in this area because they either feature low-quality, mass-produced merchandise or few vendors at all — yes, I’ve seen it happen, even at large, popular conventions. I’m happy to say that this was not at all the experience at RCCC. This convention featured a plethora of creators and vendors who were obviously passionate about their products, and it made the shopping experience both personalized and adventurous for every guest!
Rose City Comic Con featured a nice slew of celebrity guests that spanned across a variety of fandoms, including the DCU, Doctor Who and a healthy amount of voice actors who interacted with fans on a personal level. While all the celebs were gems up on stage, it was hard to follow up John Barrowman — then again, who else could really pull off a sequined Captain America themed cabaret outfit personalized with their own initials?
Panels are often hit and miss, especially those put on by small organizations or individuals. But I have to say that even the descriptions for each panel intrigued me, and it was a treat to sit through the few I could attend! Naturally, many panels catered to a wide audience of geekdom, but it was heartwarming to see how many of the panels focused specifically on gender or sexuality within fandom. Rose City Comic Con stays true to its PNW roots by ensuring that every fan is welcome to the convention, and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I can say that this is one of the most endearing things about the con!
Those of you who follow TGON convention coverage know that I have covered several conventions this year. And while all of those conventions had their pros and cons, I have to say that RCCC has, by far, had the friendliest and most helpful staff. Despite the chaos that conventions bring, I can’t recall a single staff member neglecting duties or being rude in any way. As a media professional, this made my life easier. And as a fan trying to enjoy the convention, it made the experience even more enjoyable. So, shout out to all those staff members who helped RCCC run smoothly and made it a wonderful send off into the autumn months!
If you have never been to Portland, I can tell you this one thing for sure about its residents: they are unashamedly passionate. That whole slogan about keeping Portland weird is accurate most days, but during RCCC the freaks come out with their flags raised higher than ever before. Of all the conventions I’ve been to, I have never seen a group of geeks who are so passionate about their fandoms and friendly toward each other. Seeing compliments about costumes being yelled at strangers from two streets away shook me up, but like…in the best way? Portlandians know how to make the most of conventions, and that spirit really brought out the best the weekend could offer.
Sadly, this is where my convention coverage for 2018 ends. But I am so, SO glad I was able to experience Rose City Comic Con as my last hurrah for the convention season! Thank you to everyone who helped organize and put on the show this year. I can’t wait to see where next year takes you, RCCC!