The inaugural Keystone Comic Con, a new comic book convention for the Philadelphia area from ReedPOP (the people who put together the New York Comic Con), happened today (and, at the time of this writing, is still happening). First hearing about it during the Wizard World comic con that happened over the summer, I was excited for another con to try and spread my wings as a performer at. Spoilers: My panel was not accepted. Unlike a previous inaugural Philly con I went to last year, I wasn’t too disappointed… this felt like a harder con to get into. It was hard to tell if any of the panels were being put together by local talent, but there were many panels I wanted to attend today. However, I attended as press this time around… something I haven’t done in over a decade of being a creative person.
As my listeners know, I don’t prepare for my interviews—partially because I’m lazy, but mainly because I think it comes up with a more natural conversation. But this is KEYSTONE COMIC CON we’re talking about here! I must prepare! It felt overwhelming, but ultimately today was such a blast. I had family commitments in the suburbs, so I was unable to stay for the whole day, but once my interviews started, they day kept on giving.
When I first showed up, I was initially stunned at how few people were here… then I realized it was a Friday at noon. I’m unable to attend on Saturday, however I’m certain that Sunday won’t be as smooth when it comes to getting onto the show floor. Walking onto the show floor, I was greeted by a Keystone Con staff member who handed me a giant bag—who am I to say no?
LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE
After passing the giant, beautiful, lit up KCC sign, the show floor greets you. To the right is the Keystone Live Stage (where performers like MC Chris, Mega Ran, the Roddenberries, and more are schedule to perform throughout the weekend) and, just next to that, Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore wrestling ring. I knew I was in for a good time.
After walking the floor for about 20 minutes, I sat down and got everything in order for my interviews with Philadelphia’s own, Mega Ran, and for Sandy King Carpenter—a writer, artist, CEO of Storm King Comics… oh, and the wife of horror master John Carpenter. My only complaint, and this may be because I’m born again press, was that the live stage and wrestling arena made it very hard to conduct interviews at the guest’s tables. Luckily, both my interviewees that were scheduled for today were very willing to step outside of the show floor.
I’m hoping to have my interviews with Mega Ran and Sandy King available on Wednesday (9/19/18), but as I mentioned above; both were willing and able to step away from their booths to have a conversation. They were very generous with their time and hope that I get the pleasure to speak with them again!
JOHN BARROWMAN’S BUTT
My plan to grab a bite to eat outside of the con failed, so I after throwing down a cheese pizza and Bud Light (they get this plug for FREE since they gave Philadelphia free beer at our SUPER BOWL PARADE, #PhillyPhilly), I ran to the only panel I had on my schedule for the day—ACURSIAN SPOTLIGHT: John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, & Erika Lewis. I stepped in a few minutes late, but walked in at the exact moment that the panelists were detailing how many conversations they had about John Barrowman’s butt for Acursian. I will be doing a separate write up on that panel later tonight, but know that my notebook as several notes of “… John’s butt…” within the page. Regardless to say, I’m very excited to dive into this new book form the Barrowman siblings.
Because of delays and interviews running longer than I had wanted, I wasn’t actually able to see any of the wrestling shows that happened today—I’m going to try and squeeze it in on Sunday, though I do have plenty of panels schedule. The first day of the inaugural Keystone Comic Con was very successful; had I better prepared, I would have splurged on some photo-ops… I believe those are the things in 2018 that will help keep me excited for a con; as when I go with no intention on buying anything, there’s a lot of downtime. Still, for my first day back in the press scene, I was able to talk to Mega Ran, someone I’ve been wanting on Everything is Awesome for a few years now, and Sandy King Carpenter—easily one of the most exciting opportunities I’ve had as an “interviewer” in my 11 plus years of podcasting.
FIRST YEAR “MISSTEPS”
I will say that I think there are things that Keystone Comic Con could tweak to improve the overall experience for attendees, exhibitors, press, speakers, etc. The general setup was very inviting as an attendee and, I would assume, exhibitors and artists. The Keystone Live Stage and Wrestling Arena could potentially benefit from being somewhere separate from the general show floor—as a member of the press, regardless if I was recording audio or simply taking notes during an interview, it was nearly impossible to hold a conversation in that area. Talking with a handful of exhibitors, they felt the same way when it came to interacting with their fans.
In addition, I feel like there could be room for some expansions when it comes to the panel offerings. Nearly every panel looked fascinating, but I’m not sure how much local Philadelphia talent was represented. In the two first year cons I’ve been to, this seems the norm; but established cons in the area (the Great Philadelphia Comic Con and Wizard World as examples) tend to bring in more local talent. Like I mentioned above, this didn’t bother me too much—it was difficult to decide which panels I would attend and which I would sacrifice.
With all that said, I believe the first Keystone Comic Con was a success and well worth attending. I’m very excited for this con to become a staple of Philadelphia every year and look forward to attending as either a speaker, press, or both next year. Stay tuned for the following coverage from That’s Entertainment and Everything is Awesome over the next few days:
- ACURSIAN SPOTLIGHT
- Everything is Awesome’s Keystone Comic Con 2018 Special with Mega Ran and Sandy King Carpenter
- Keystone Comic Con 2018 Day 3 coverage
- And more!
Kev is the host of the podcast, Everything is Awesome and is the co-host of The Zombcast. He is the former host of the podcasts Happy Hour with Steel Tip, Creepcast, Happy Hour, 30 Minute Outsider, The Muff Squad, That's Entertainment, 215th Entertainment Presents: Sounds of Philly, Academic Nerds, and OuaT: The Unofficial Once Upon a Time Podcast.
Kev also writes for Dark Knight News and is working on a science fiction series.
Most of all, Kev is a dad to two wonderful children.