Comic book lovers, collectors, and cosplayers once again turned the premises of the Baltimore Convention Center into a vast celebration of all things cartoon and fantasy during the 2017 Baltimore Comic Con on September 22-24. The jam-packed weekend lineup included more than 100 special guests, 80’s Wonder Woman TV series star and singer Lynda Carter, and Darryl “DMC” Daniels of the famous 1980’s rap group Run-DMC. Fans in attendance also had the chance to meet several prominent comic book writers, authors, and artists as well as attend more than 50 different panels and workshops. On Saturday and Sunday, afternoon costume contests were held for both adults and children. Anyone with a custom costume could enter the contests which awarded cash prizes and gift certificates to the winners.

This year’s Con drew thousands just as in years past and this year, the presence of Darryl “DMC” Daniels helped to spice things up a bit since attendees had the chance to get autographs, photos, and meet the rap legend. They also had the opportunity to be introduced to his comic work that he put out a few years back. Baltimore Comic Con 2017 also featured noticeably more independent comic book authors, illustrators, artists, and writers, which is nice to see.  While you could find virtually any vintage comic book in the vendors’ stacks, the newly created works of up and coming artists made the Con feel less like a flea market and more like an anime convention.

Inside the gates, vendors sold everything from $1 bargain bin comics to toys, dolls, steel ceramic posters, wall art, graphic novels to rare and expensive comics costing thousands of dollars. The panels spotlighted numerous comic book authors who provided insight into the creative process while also going through their works with the audience and doing question and answer sessions. Panels such as “writing across genres” and “creating kick ass characters” provided useful advice to aspiring comic book writers and artists while other panels focused on various topics such as memorial tributes and comic book studio spotlights of newer comic book publishers.

Most cosplayers came out Saturday and Sunday while total attendance had reached 40,000 by Saturday night. The large numbers of attendees are attributable to big names in the celebrity guest lineup, however those who wanted a photo-op and autograph had to shell out between $30 and $100 in addition to the very reasonable daily ticket prices which ranged from $25 to $35. Baltimore Comic Con once again did a nice job of catering to serious comic book collectors and fanatics while also providing a fun-filled weekend for all. Comic fans who have never been but are interested in attending next year should plan on spending more than the price of admission. Inside the gates are a million cool comics and other things most people will want to buy. The panels all are free and worth listening to but with the multitude of rare and unique comics and photo ops, part of attending a Con is the opportunity to buy or experience something you could not elsewhere.

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