It can be difficult to see beyond the bright lights, casinos, and world-class live entertainment venues when planning a Las Vegas vacation. Visitors will be surprised with the city’s off-strip attractions, outdoors activities, and community festivals.
The Great American Comic Convention is hoping to establish itself as the leading comic book-themed event in Las Vegas, in only it’s second year. It attracted roughly 1,000 patrons during an initial run in 2015, and a new location (the 50,000 square foot Cashman Center) has this year’s event planners expecting and even higher attendance figure. Patrons can expect a comic book themed haven with over 60 artists tables, 100 exhibitors, and 27 special guests who are from the comic book industry. The event’s vibrant decor, great costumes, and ample collectibles, make it a great for all ages. We got the opportunity to interview Chandler Rice, Promoter for the Great American Comic Con and CEO of Desert Wind Enterprises, Inc., to talk about this comic book extravaganza.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
CR: Last year (2015) was our first show, and we featured 14 comic guests, 40 exhibitor booths, 20 artist alley tables, and about 1,000 attendees.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
CR: Our new location at the Cashman Center, which is 2.5 times the size, gives us the ability to accommodate a much larger crowd. Our new capacity is 8,000 people (we’re hoping to fill it up), and we will have 27 Comic Guests, 100+ exhibitor booths, and 60+ artist alley tables.
RAL: What is the typical demographic makeup of the event? Children? Families? Couples?
CR: Comic book fans of all ages. No particular demographic since this is a family show.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
CR: Our comic guest list. Las Vegas has never had a guest list like this before. We have comic creators like Allen Bellman, who has been drawing comics since the 1940's. Neal Adams has been in the comic book industry for the last 56 years. A-list artist like John Romita Jr, Bob Layton, and Frank Brunner were part of the driving force in the comic book industry in the 1970's, 80's, and 90's. They each were responsible for re-energizing characters like Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, and many others. This convention is about comic books and their characters. We will have comic book creators that span the comic art history for the last 75 years.
RAL: Take me through the Activities of a day at the event.
CR: We'll have autograph opportunities, panels, cosplay, and more. We have plenty of kid-themed activities such as a logo play area and a Star Wars Blast-a-Trooper booth. There is also the chance to meet and talk to the men and women who helped keep us entertained as children and allowed us to escape into fantasy as adults.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
CR: We are going to have John Romita Jr, Bob Layton, Frank Brunner, Neal Adams, Allen Bellman, and more.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
CR: This is Las Vegas. You will find specials everywhere. The city has more hotel rooms than any other city in the world.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community? (School funds, etc.)
CR: Friday is our Media and Community Day, which will include many of our comic creators visiting kids in local hospitals and at the Boys and Girls Club of Las Vegas. This is our way to bring the convention to those who cannot attend.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
CR: If you are a comic book fan then this is a rare opportunity to visit and talk with the comic creators featured at our show. It's also a chance to get a personal sketch from some of the artists.
For more information about the Great American Comic Convention, please visit their website.