February 29th, 2020
Tomicon, the convention I attended today alongside some of my favorite people, was low-key one of the best conventions I’ve been a part of. And that’s not hyperbole or an exaggeration; allow me to explain why.
Immediately, Hastings is a splash of cold, stunning water when you arrive. It’s the kind of dream small town you think only exists in fiction, and it’s barely twenty minutes away from the south suburbs. Railway Gallery, a cozy, serene new art space in the downtown area, shares a backyard with beautiful bridges, passing trains and the Mississippi freaking River.
And that’s just hello.
If you’ve been to a lot of conventions, as a creator, a vendor, a guest or an attendee, you’re used to big, impersonal spaces. Cold convention structures, gymnasiums and recreation centers are regular meeting spaces. It’s… fine.
Having a comic convention in an art gallery was one of the most brilliant ideas I got to see unfold firsthand. It set a completely different vibe, and it set the standard that comics and its artists belong there. Because we do. We all do. Comic art is my absolute favorite medium, and it is visual, and visceral, and literature, and it belongs in a gallery. And we were there, and I couldn’t have appreciated that more.
Which brings me to the attendees, whom I also appreciate more. I saw some of my favorite people today, new and old, and I had some electrifying and life-affirming conversations. And I feel like the energy the gallery had was shared all around, and it led to a convention unlike any other I’ve been to.
If you attended: THANK YOU. From the bottom and top of my heart. If you’re a new fan just finding your way to these parts: it was so good to see you today, and welcome. You’re part of the Weirdos now.
I hope this fantastic energy continues throughout 2020 — and I’ll see you all at SpringCon. ❤
(And a special, special thanks to Tom Nguyen and his team for putting together such an amazing event!)