When you think of comic book conventions, the first thing that most likely comes to mind is the one and only Comic Con in San Diego California. After all, it is the biggest comic con of the year and you can find many big stars and major announcements there. But what about the smaller conventions? You know, the local ones that not nearly as many people go to. While these smaller comic conventions aren’t as popular as the ones that coast an entire savings account to go to, they are nonetheless worthy of checking out. A perfect example of a small con with a big heart is last weekend’s Terrificon Comicon at the Mohegan Sun resort and casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
For those of you that have never visited this underrated gem of an event, we here at NerdBastards would like to walk you through a day at Terrificon in case you plan on attending it in the future.
Before even entering the convention center, you are welcomed by the bright lights and vibrant sounds of the surrounding casino, as well as the incredible architecture of the building. With an assortment of slot machines, roulette wheels, and indoor landscaping encasing your entire peripheral vision, you really feel like you’re somewhere special. While this is certainly a smaller comic-con compared to the more mainstream ones, the location really gets you pumped up for the event.
Plus, even when the event is over, you can still go shopping in the casino or go to one of the many shops and restaurants the Mohegan Sun has to offer. If you’re thinking of having dinner after your day at the convention, the building’s got everything from high-class restaurants like Bar American to fast food joints like Johnny Rockets. Whether you plan on blowing out your savings account or cutting costs all together, there’s something for every budget. It’s also worth noting that the casino has the only two Krispy Kreme restaurants in the state of Connecticut, so make sure to watch the hot light for fresh glazed doughnuts.
Upon entering the convention center, a wide variety of booths, displays and crazy costumes greet you as the smell of pages and ink drift though the air. If you’ve never been to one of these conventions before, prepare to stop in your tracks for a few moments to take in the environment. Despite a tacky carpet, the doorways and walls are clean and well-kept, and the floor was kept free of trash throughout the event. Nothing can kill a lively comic convention like a dirty venue, so it was good that the area was maintained well.
Once you start browsing the displays, take some time to check out the cosplayers and what they’re wearing. You certainly won’t be disappointed; these aren’t the average store-bought Halloween costumes many would expect out of a smaller event.
Some of the costumes that really stood out here included this cross between a Clone Trooper and a pimp…
and the bizzare-yet-awesome McThor, a fan favorite at the convention.
Other impressive costumes included Salad Fingers…
Mettaton from Undertale…
this kid’s adorable Kylo Ren costume,
and an outstanding life-sized Hulkbuster suit!
Getting to see everyone’s costumes really immerses you in the fan-based event, and most people are more than happy to take sensible pictures with you and tell you how they crafted their wardrobes.
Speaking of which, the people in attendance were warm and friendly for the most part. You can easily find someone to strike a conversation and geek out with, and you may walk away from this event with a few more fellow nerds to share your interests with. The writers, artists and merchants running the different displays were more than willing to answer any questions you have and aren’t afraid to put the customer first.
As for the displays, there was certainly no shortage of talented artists, skilled writers, and excellent bargains on all sorts of merchandise. It seemed like every corner of this convention had something new to buy and/or look at. If you’re looking to pick up some new comic books to add to your collection, Terrificon had what seemed like thousands of different issues to choose from.
However, this convention offered a lot more than just comic books. Bobbleheads, retro video games, toys, paintings plushies, Legos, copper sculptures, jewelry and much more will relentlessly egg you into draining your wallet dry.
In the convention’s many booths, fans are given the chance to to meet amazing upcoming artists like Kristin Gudsnuk, creator of the Henchgirl series, a comic about the daughter of two superheroes who works as a supervillain’s henchgirl (think about if She-go from Kim Possible had her own spin-off series). Gudsnuk also took part in a panel last Saturday regarding women in the comic book industry, a topic that’s both relevant and controversial.
In addition to Gudsnuk speaking her mind on women in the industry, many other panelists there took time to advocate for special causes. For example, the creators of the Vortex Man series touched on how their comics bring awareness to environmental issues like fracking and pollution. Their annual series follows a superhero named Vortex Man on a never-ending quest to cleanse the Earth of waste.
There was also a booth that let event-goers record their loudest scream and have it emailed to them. This booth was set up by the At-Risk Boys Fund, an organization that helps male students who are at risk of not receiving a proper education due to behavioral or learning issues.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s even more to do at this convention. Going upstairs where the panels are held will take you to a room full of video games from almost every console imaginable. A perfect chance to take a break from walking around and play Sonic the Hedgehog.
Once you get back on the convention floor, you can grab some lunch at the Frank Pepe’s pizza stand. In case you’re unaware of Frank Pepe’s, they’re a small pizza place in New Haven, Connecticut and one of the most famous pizza restaurants in the country. Once you grab a massive slice of pie, you can head over to the celebrity booths to get yourself an autograph and/or a picture with a variety of famous names in nerd culture.
Among the celebrities in attendance were Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes of Clerks fame, Sam Jones from Flash Gordon and Ted, James Gunn’s brother Sean Gun, Camren Bicondova from Gotham, the Road Warrior Animal, and countless others. While some photos and autographs are a bit pricey (the most expensive ones we saw were 40 bucks), it’s definitely worth the money if you plan on framing them for all your friends to see.
While you’re at it, you can check out the costume contest and get your picture taken with the Colossus from Attack on Titan.
Once you’ve secured all of the sufficient merchandise from the floor, you can stick around until 7 before heading back into the casino for dinner. Admittedly; the biggest complaint with this convention is that it ends too early; an event like this should at least go until after the sun goes down.
With its excellent location, wide assortment of activities, excellent variety of merchandise, and the overall awesome atmosphere of the event, Terrificon proved to be an amazing way to introduce people to the amazing world of comic book conventions (and comic books in general). While it may not be the biggest comic book convention in the world, it has its own sense of charm and is an absolute must-visit for New England nerds.