MorrisonCon Gets Jesse Jamesed

 MorrisonCon Gets Jesse Jamesed   Jesse James writes for Bleeding Cool;
MorrisonCon wasn't for everyone. In fact, 98% regular con fans might have walked away saying, 'what the heck was that?'  However, I thought it was the right recipe and look forward to a return to the Hard Rock next year for this amazing experience.
This wasn't even a con, in the usual sense, it was was a cultural landmark. When you walked in it was a very simple check-in and nothing so complex to require any type of program guide. You were able to pretty much figure out everything as you toured the accessible convention area. Each room had its flavor and you just had to figure out what you wanted to hang out and do. There was great music to sit and relax to. And get this: no Light Sabers to duck and dodge.
MorrisonCon Gets Jesse JamesedThe cool part was that there was very few lines. The line to sit down and talk to your favorite creator was the longest, but they took your name and had you mingle in the creators room until your turn. No waiting in lines the whole time which also gave you time to talk to people you wanted to while waiting. Not to the fan in front of your or in back of you. I really felt at ease the whole time and never felt that I was in anybody's way.
I will tell you the attendees represented a different kind of crowd than what you see at most cons. These people seemed to be the kind of fans that bought more original art, and maybe an occasional comic of their favorite creator. They all seemed to have a very confident demeanor about them. They seemed more interested in talking about everything but what most comic fans love talking about. There was a sense of a whole different culture of collectors who would be the type to stare at a painting for a hour them flip through a copy of Amazing Spider-man. Now, in no way I'm I saying they were snooty. On the contrary, everybody was nice and friendly to me. There was just this feeling in the air that this group of fans saw themselves at a different spectrum in the comic book world. For this event it was the perfect match.
MorrisonCon Gets Jesse JamesedNow I was at the Hard Rock (where the event was staged) for a good portion of the day. Unfortunately I never got to meet Grant Morrison, and waited as long as I could at the after-party event. However, I had another engagement downtown and so finally left about midnight. But here is the deal; this event just went on till the last person on the dance floor fell over. However, I was able to see most of the other creators and actually watched a panel with a large bunch of creators on "Music and Comics." It was pretty cool just to see a group of creators on a couch talking about things they loved to do.
The event was not only a way to have a intimate setting but also a time to actually relax.  I saw Robert Kirkman, and just walked over to him. There was no jockeying for position against a mass of other fans.  Just him and about 3 other fans huddled together like they were at a schoolyard football game. If I had any adjustment issues at all, it was maybe that in some way it was too casual–sometimes it was tough to tell who was a creator and who was a fan. But, that's how casual this event was supposed to be; just fans of comics and creators of comics mingling.
The after parties were just top notch. It was just a high posh Disneyland setting and it really made the ticket under-priced. I have been to over 400 cons in my lifetime–there were at least 100 private parties! Nothing came close to what MorrisonCon had planned of their fans; it was almost a dream. Everyone having a great time on the dance floor in a circle all together. Just hanging with whomever was just sitting next to you. This is one of those things I will just remember forever. I won't be comparing this experience to any other con, though. It just wouldn't be fair.
MorrisonCon Gets Jesse JamesedSo bottom line is this: this wasn't a con for the masses. It wouldn't be as cool an experience if that happened. This was  was an event aimed specifically at a select group of fans who knew the memories would outweigh the cost. When you look at what you got, it was three times less expensive than NYCC and SDCC. Plus, the fact that those shows have such huge attendance that you might have to sleep outside overnight just to hope you got into a panel, or to get someone's autograph.  I applaud the team that organized MorrisonCon and would definitely go to anything else they would plan in the future.
This isn't anything you're going to see become a fad though–this might not ever happen again. However if you were one of the fans who did get to be part of it, plan on talking about your time at this event for decades to come.
My special thanks to Ron Richards for making me feel welcomed and taking time to chat with me for a while.  Thanks also to his staff, who seemed to make sure I was always taken care of my whole time there.

 

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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