This past weekend (May 14-15th, 2016) I was pleased to attend Forest City Comic Convention, FC3. Upon entering the venue I was greeted by the event staff in a cheerful and friendly manner, check in was very swift. Before proceeding into the main event area I was immediately drawn to Mending Hearts Rescue’s friendly staff and the furry companions looking for homes. If you’re able to adopt or foster a companion I highly recommend it, the little guys are definitely worth it.

Prying myself away from there, I wandered over to another table and was introduced to the fine folks of the Realm of Khador, a chapter of the Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, a group who enjoys getting together with friends, family, total strangers, and then engaging in brutal melee combat (with foam-padded weapons) to relive the days of yore. Having participated in similar events before I can wholeheartedly endorse it for not only the fun but also the physical and therapeutic exercise.

Across from there was the table where there was a group of Klingons collecting cereal donations and displaying a collection of their armaments. Silently cursing myself for forgetting the box on the counter, I approached and looked at what was on display. Unfortunately, they were already heavily engaged in verbal sparring with other event goers so I made my way to the last table in the entry area.

Here several event volunteers were selling raffle tickets. As I looked over the prizes I again cursed myself, this time for lack of foresight on making sure I had sufficient cash to carry me through the day. Reluctantly I declined the offer of tickets and made my way to the main area.

As I stepped into the large room my eyes swept over the many booths and the milling crowd, and the rush of sensory input gave rise to the image of an ancient bazaar in some exotic city far away, but without the feeling of being displaced. It was home away from home, here were my people. The very first merchants booth I came upon was run by Chris Brown and he was a purveyor of fine nostalgia toys and even a few more recent ones. While he spoke with another attendee I looked over his wares, G.I. Joe figures still on card and loose, Transformers, as well as a selection of other collectibles. We spoke at length about his collection, my collection, and the hobby in general before I continued my journey. The next booth was another nostalgia stop with a fine collection of vintage He-man figures and comic books, along with a few other odds and ends.

The next booth was another nostalgia stop with a fine collection of vintage He-man figures and comic books, along with a few other odds and ends. Along the way, I came across the many sellers of comic books. The selection of newer, old, and vintage was quite broad among the multitude of boxes. Everything was represented, from superheroes to horror, and sci-fi to high fantasy. Something for everybody.

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Next stop was one of the artists, a somewhat odd fellow in clown face by the name of Angus Oblong. Yes, that guy, the creator of The Oblongs. He’s a blast to be around, overall a very funny guy. Very nice, if odd, artwork. Seriously, check out his mash-ups, it’s worth your time.

Working my way through the many artists booths I came across one that really caught my eye. The table of John A. Rodriguez from JAR, which was covered with art from all types of genres. Superhero, cartoon, and television personalities. I was admiring his portfolio when I stopped dead in my pursuit and had a major geek moment. There before me was a very well done drawing of Vampira (I think I caught him off guard by -not- calling her Elvira/Morticia), a print which now awaits a proper frame and a space on the wall.

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Moving along further I came across the booth of Stinky Goblin. Selling a variety of leather crafts, they have some really sweet bracers, and Into The Necrobyss miniature terrain pieces. All hand crafted, all excellent. And after a conversation with Joe, the owner, looking into expanding into sci-fi terrain so look them up and support their endeavors.

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One of the booths I spent a while at was that of the event’s guest panel. Three of the unrecognized stars of the show “The Walking Dead”, Chris Harrelson, Moses J Moseley, and Alex Axt. Why unrecognized? Well, because it’s usually difficult to tell one walker from another. Harrelson and Axt have each played multiple walkers in the show. Moseley has the distinction of having played one of Michonnes pets, all too briefly, on the show. Their panel was entertaining and informative, and they never once let on that most of the questions were probably the umpteen millionth time they’d been asked it.

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In closing I’d like to thank all the wonderful event staff for organizing, running, and losing sleep over Forest City Comic Convention. The many merchants, artists, writers, and other creators for all the effort they go through just to be there. And most of all, the Freaks, Geeks, and Nerds that come out to support the event staff, merchants, artists, writers and other creators of whatever you happen to love.

You truly are my kind of people.