When fellow Pop-Break staff member Al Mannarino approached me about attending the NJ Comic Expo in Edison, NJ, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to go. It’s just that, with these sorts of things, you’re bound to spend some cash. And I did. But we will get to that later.
The NJ Comic Expo doesn’t focus on the big celebrity names or upcoming movies to drive people to buy tickets. Instead, it really hones in on the merchandising aspect, be it comics, figures, or collectibles. That right there is a financial aspect you have to take into account. Also, there is a lot more room to breathe compared to the larger conventions, so you have plenty of time to stop and look. Which is both a blessing (for space) and a curse (financially).
Despite me being able to flaunt my first press past EVER (!!!!!!, thanks Pop-Break/Bill Bodkin and Al Mannarino), I didn’t walk away from this expo having met any big names. However, meeting the little guy is just as important.
First up was Craig, who owns a beautiful black Pontiac Trans Am, styled to look like Kitt from Knight Rider. Craig is a co-host of the Auto Chat Show, a podcast that all car enthusiasts should check out.
Following that, Troy Krichmar told us the tale of how he pimped out the Jeep Wrangler Sahara to look exactly like the car that transported Alan Grant and Ellie Satler to feast their eyes on a brontosaurus in Jurassic Park. Troy also owns a ton of props and memorabilia from or based on items from the film, and he really made his corner of the expo like a little piece of the films. Check out his adventures on Facebook @ Jurassic Party Jeep.
Finally, if you haven’t been following my interests on this site, you know that I love the Back to the Future films, and I love the car featured in them just as much. The Time Traveling DeLorean was there, and I got up close and person with the car of my dreams. I also formally got to meet actor/cosplayer Matthew Bell, who poses as Marty McFly at many conventions. Bell looks exactly like Michael J. Fox it is almost unreal. It was great to meet him and talk all things conventions/Back to the Future, since they are two of my favorite things. Make sure to check out his page on Facebook @ Matt Bell Aka Marty McFly.
You don’t get a real personal touch from NYCC, especially when it comes to the people working the floor. At the smaller cons, you always get a chance to talk to the those who make all the gears work together, being the booth organizers and/or shop owners. A lot of these guys and gals love their work, they love their customers, and that is just great to see.
I came away from the NJ Comic Expo probably having spent more money than I have in years at a con. However, I feel that it’s because the event focused on the smaller aspects that get lost in the bigger crowds. I know most people wouldn’t want to spend too much money at these kind of things (or, maybe they would, who knows) but for the brief amount of time I spent there, the NJ Comic Expo really knew how to appreciate the audience that attended it. Less is more was proven no better than it was in this little con that could.
Logan J. Fowler is a senior writer and video game editor on Pop-Break.com. He contributes his thoughts every week for Trailer Tuesday and ABC’s The Goldbergs.” Logan’s “kid at heart” nature has led to his discussion about pop culture that many geeks love to talk about, including superheroes, Super Mario Bros., Pixar, and Muppets, among other things. In addition, one of his first pieces for the site, “Top Ten Comic Book Movies,” was picked as a “Freshly Pressed” piece by WordPress and remains one of the site’s most well-read articles. Many of Logan’s friends have said that he moonlights as Spider-Man but this is so not true. Wait, are those police sirens I’m hearing?! Gotta go! -thwipp-