Comicpalooza – one of the biggest Houston conventions that comic con brings each year has brought it again with Headliner (and Mother of Dragons) Emilia Clarke! And no queen is complete without Nathalie Emmanuel.
Not only did they bring GOT, they brought some other big headliners I have not seen in Texas Yet such as Flash’s – Grant Gustin and Wilmer Valderrama (who will always be Fez to me)! There were many other guests including Dan Fogler, Star Trek, and guests from the Tick.
I have never had an issue with space with the George R Brown convention center and its refreshing to no longer see any construction (other than business added within) because of the beauty that Houston offers with the art park and events always happening. Parking is easy to find but the convenient parking garage across will often be shut off early during the con hours so be sure to get there at least 1-2 hours beforehand if you want to park there! The convention itself has about three entrances upon walking into the con with your badge, obtaining them at the will call kiosks was incredibly fast so you won’t wait too long to get yours.
Now this is the tricky part that I’ve noticed trends for BIG guests that Comicpalooza has brought since Tom Holland last year – and that is the crazy security behind getting to meet them. This year with Emilia Clarke you had to routinely go through yelling security telling you to have everything out or put aside before you go through the metal detector/pat down. Your constantly reminded of things you can’t do for your photo op, so you often find yourself just standing awkwardly. Plus, for the autograph section you had to go through yet another detector with security still yelling at you on what not to do so that when you experience the guest, its just a super quick hello and goodbye.
Upon some people I spoke with that had certain poses or actions in mind – even Emilia felt uncomfortable saying yes to any of them because of the rules in place. This to me really took away from the whole experience since I felt I was in airport security, where I was doing everything I can to avoid getting kicked/called out. Plus because of these checks I would estimate that the time to go through and take the photo (although quick) took about 3x as long because of the mass people figuring out what to do and where to put their stuff or what they could or could not bring in.
Also, one last bit is that it seems for the headliner guests you must purchase autograph tickets and some photo ops beforehand or you will be out of luck getting it onsite at the con. People like Gustin sold out before the show – therefore many peoples pieces are incomplete until next time. But on the flipside, there was Sold out tickets Day 1 that Emilia Clarke autographs went on sale but only to find they undersold and had many available on site.
Cosplay and Family Fun
One notable feature of CP is the amount of dedication they include for families and attendees of all ages to be able to have fun. They are one of the only conventions I know that have a huge “maker space” where you learn about all the clubs that are out there for your curious experience.
From battle robots, to 3d printing, to a large cosplay repair booth, giant toothless and fury photo area, bounce castle, and much more!
There’re all types of groups that you or your child can learn more and be participant in the community from experts that could teach out you to 3d print, program, do electrical light up, or even learn more about space exploration! It’s no surprise that Houston is well known for NASA and their booth had lots of freebies and learning opportunities for your exploring mind. They even had a huge giant astronaut roaming the floor time to time throughout the day!
Cosplay of course was a huge impact on the con floor as there was so many creative groups coming together to create some magic for your favorite fandom! I saw all kinds of groups from Teen Titans, Game of Thrones, Venom-Symbiotes, Shazam kids, and much more. My experience getting to take so many selfies or meeting local or non-local cosplays was enriching. There was a lot of kindness spread and consent before photos, actor like performances of the cosplay, or just smiles from appreciated each other’s hard work and dedication.
Overall, at the end of a tiring day that your feet will hurt from all the steps you took to see the whole convention and succeeded or maybe didn’t, your guaranteed to find something there that will inspire or peak your interest. The convention still has much room for attendance throughout the years, the layout is spread out and easy to follow. The guests have always been notable but would like to see more than just one or two jaw dropping headliners because they know how to bring it, but I want to see a reunion of cast members from a show no convention has brought yet or maybe something from the left field that no one expected.
Until then, see you at their 2020 show!