The Atlantic City Boardwalk Con returned for a second year to brings together a collection of celebrities, vendors, artists, and fans of sorts to the Atlantic City Convention Center. With a few hiccups on celebrity appearances and some early gloomy weather, many people had a great experience watching and engaging what ACBC had to offer this year. A little more compact that last year’s lay out, and different sights to see around every corner, this year’s show retained the vibe of a big name con and the catered to all levels of fandom.
Between haggling comic vendors and shouting catchphrase at cosplayers, we attended a few panels at the convention to learn a few things about making cosplay armor, hear some behind the scenes stories of famous TV shows or possibility get some clues on developing movies.
We attended the Mandalorian Merc‘s panel on how to make Mandalorian armor. The panel broke down the basics to get a simple sketch idea to a wearable prototype. The Raquor’daan Clan, a branch of the mercs based in NJ, showcased their armor and explained the materials and crafting process needed to get the armor Mandalorian Merc certified.
Armor can be crafted out of plastic, EVA form and metal for those seeking a a difficult, but rewarding challenge. There are complex steps to get the armor formed and it’s an addictive passion, so if you venture into this hobby, be prepared!
Ben McKenize appeared as one of the last minute special guest that manage to find time between a new baby, playing James Gordan on Gotham, and probably still hates the song “Hide and Seek” (But not us).
McKenize talked about his various acting roles from his early days performing in theaters and getting the chance to voice Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Year One. Fans took turn to ask McKenzie about James Gordon crazy love triangle in the show and any possible spoilers for the next season. (Ready for more Fish Mooney).
One of our favorite clerks and nightmare clowns, Brian O’Halloran also came to the show. Equipped with his Star Wars knowledge, sport trivia facts and stories from past conventions, O’Halloran is a great panelist to ask funny questions and get relied with witty responses.
O’Halloran briefly mentioned reading the scripts of Clerks 3 and Mallrats 2, but could not disclose any details due to a 3 million clause hovering over him (And probably Kevin Smith).
We attended a double feature panel with RJ Mitte and Giancarlo Esposito that discussed their struggles and success with their acting careers and their optimizes toward the future.
Fans lined up to talk to the actors and gushed about favorite moments of Breaking Bad. We learned that despite being acting on the same show, RJ and Giancarlo had acted only 1 scene together in the whole series.
Back on the showfloor, we watched a few combat demonstrations performed in the Battle Zone. A small arena type ring was made for groups to showcase their fighting moves and teach quick lessons in stage combat.
Saber Guild, a group of stunt performers that use Jedi or Sith theme combat movement, performed in battle skits and offer lessons in lightsaber techniques.
In the Creator’s Alley, we stopped by to check out our pals at Wayward Raven to see whats new with their latest comics and their newest beer.
We couldn’t stop staring at the kid size statue of TMNT Leonard at Sal Otero booth, so we got to meet the man with such a huge love for TMNT that he drew his way to a position to get his art work featured on TMNT comic covers.
We met David Jablow, an artist that takes vintage do it yourself doodle artwork and adds unimaginable of detail and features into the scenes.
We couldn’t break eye contact with Sorah Suhng Harley, those eyes gave off that right amount of sexy & insane vibe about her character. We stopped by her booth to chat about various comic characters, the crazy work put into inking and the funny celebrity family connections.
We met Marc Faulk at one of the parties and talked about trends in the comic industry and the dance music at the Mountain Bar (More on that later). Marc and his friends have created a webcomic series called The Shagal, a dark fantasy tale set in a post apocalyptic magical world where magic is outlawed and an empire rules the lands. They have started out with a few chapters and panels, and are looking to release more content soon.
We stopped by Don J Morgan’s booth once we realize that his comic stripes are slices of our everyday lives complaining about nerd trivia. FilmsVsMovies is a cartoon version of our typical podcast rants that we can loose ourselves for 10 minutes, but you can read his work in less time!
After the show floor closed on Friday and Saturday, we attended a few after parties to celebrate a hard day’s work of convention adventuring. Refueling from a long day of walking around and chatting up people sometimes requires a hard beverage and dancing with cosplayers.
Friday, we hit up Boogie Nights for a retro party filled with classic pop songs, funky decor, face painting and discounted drinks. We partied like our favorite TV shows just didn’t get cancelled (Why Agent Carter, Why!)
Saturday, We headed to the Mountain Bar at the Wild Wild West Casino. The Mountain Bar already has a 24 hr Happy Hour special, so the place was pumping before in costume appeared.
One of the key fixtures of Mountain Bar is the mechanical bull placed for everyone to see. It didn’t take long for cosplayers to try to tame the metal beast, but no one bested it that night. Not even BANE.
— AC Boardwalk Con (@DoACBC) May 15, 2016
We got to see familiar faces at these parties, as well as made new connections through by talking about our favorite geek topics or cheap alcohol, which lead to more talking about favorite geek topics but at louder levels, and over greasy sandwiches. The common exhaustion of a long day working a booth, selling merchandise and interacting with people definitely makes drinkings taste that much better. None of our group cosplayed at the Mountain Bar, but it looks fun to chug a drink and try to tame a bucking bull. You can totally make or break some else’s bridal parties.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk Con offered a fun filled weekend that brought people from all over the area to mesh together, and hopefully establishes a stronger community of their own. Its a great convention to visit for first timers and worth a browse for the casual convention hopper. ACBC is still in it’s early stages; figuring out what people want to experience and building up convention rep within the con circuits (Like Street Cred, but way costly). The stigma of Atlantic City may keep away some people from attending, but Atlantic City Boardwalk Con tries to give a bold and exciting show none the less. With the staff already setting their sights on a possible 3rd Year, we can see the potential in utilizing the surrounding and incorporate more fan interactions to make it a unique experience. Not too many conventions can we go gamble, high five a Deadpool and then do shots with a Mario. We’ll be waiting to be part of it all again next time.