This past weekend, a friend of mine (who happens to know about my enthusiasm for cosplay) asked me about the Atlantic City comic con, and I was a little confused because I'd never heard of anything of the sort. Naturally I started poking around, and sure enough, the event, which is actually called the Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, is a real thing that just took place for the first time. It brands itself as &the East Coast's newest con for comics, cosplay, gaming, and all things geek& on its . Right, then! Sounds right down my alley!
As it turns out, the ACBC is a pretty legitimate comic con, not as significant or recognizable as some of the bigger cons around the country, but something I'll definitely be looking into in years to come. According to the event website, there was a slew of celebrity guests involved, with Kevin Smith seemingly taking a prominent role in the convention. Other noteworthy attendees (who also participated in panels, meet and greet sessions, photo ops, etc.) included Adam West, Paris Themmen, Verne Troyer, Georgina Haig, Michael Rooker, and even Sean Gunn (aka the guy responsible for Rocket Raccoon motion capture in Guardians of the Galaxy).
A wonderfully thorough article at carried more information and details about the specifics of the conference, including a number of pictures of the displays. In showcasing a wide open convention center, the article states that the ACBC &managed to pretty comfortably pack in a little something for everyone,& be it cosplay, celebrity interaction, comic booths. The overall picture sounds fairly typical of large comic con events: interviews and panels, company booths and dealer stands, cosplayers everywhere. Although, the article does go on to show off some of the pretty cool props and attractions dotted throughout the main convention center, including an array of various Batmobiles from different Batman films and comics!
There was also apparently a more unique side to the con, in that the Atlantic City organizers attempted to incorporate a sort of comic-infused nightlife experience. A report on the ACBC in detailed this attempt and, truth be told, painted a somewhat-disastrous picture of a nighttime party venue set aside, decorated, and then largely ignored by cosplayers and other con-goers. It sounds as if the theory of it all had potential, however, as various comic-related backdrops were positioned around the room for photo ops, and a bar was included.
If this was a failure, however, it sounds as if the spirit of Atlantic City ended up blending with comic con culture in a unique and very entertaining sounding way. The Bleeding Cool article goes on to say that a lot of con-goers wound up at Bally's Casino, one of the Atlantic City strip's most recognizable venues. For those unfamiliar with it, Bally's is described by as having obtained iconic status by inspiring two squares on classic Monopoly boards. As such, the venue already has a natural connection to geeks and gamers. Indeed, the two squares are actually Park Place and Boardwalk, which just so happen to be the two most valuable properties in Monopoly! With such an inspiring casino destination playing host, apparently a number of con-goers and cosplayers partied late into the night, while a DJ played music infused with superhero and gaming soundtracks. This alone might be reason for me to check out ACBC next year....
Ultimately, the real fun of a cosplay event that you don't actually attend yourself is in checking out the best costumes and props that made the rounds there. For this, I'll refer once again to Bleeding Cool and their . There's also an excellent little &guess the character& game (which I wish was longer!) that I found at . Looking through these two sources paints a pretty fun picture of the ACBC and makes it all the more likely that I'll try to attend next year.
This article was written by Brian Newman. He is an avid gamer, collector and cosplay enthusiast, so when he has the opportunity to travel it's usually for a convention. He covers those topics and other entertainment news for blogs and websites.
Nerdy love to ya!