Recently, The Rhode Island Baseball Experience got to experience something other than baseball – the energetic and fantastically artistic Comic Con. The 2018 Rhode Island Comic Con is a 3 day celebration of artists, celebrities, comic books, and fans (some more diehard than others) of all things comics. This massive event is taking placing at the Providence Convention Center as well as the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, which are adjoined via a Skybridge. Judging by the incredible number of people at the event, I would say that the comic book industry is in really good shape.
My wife Rachel, and my son Griffin, who is an incredible illustrator at just age 15, and I attended Saturday’s event. Walking up to the Providence Convention Center around 10am, there was a line all the way around the building to get in. Walking in that line, I had a 6 foot plus man behind us dressed in full Darth Vader costume, mask and all. There were fans dressed in Star Wars and Marvel Comic book characters as well as others I had to ask my son about. Fans who probably won every Halloween costume contest they ever entered walked in that line with us, as we approached the Dunkin’ Donuts Center entrance. That was really cool and Kudos to all those who went all out to dress up for the event. Me, I stuck with what I know – jeans and my Black Dog Tavern shirt.
Inside the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, there were comic book vendors, artists displaying their work, jewelry vendors, and tons of other artistic booths. These artists were just incredible and so talented. It was great for my son, the artist, to meet some of these professionals. He even showed them some of his work, and for the most part, the artists were really cool about it. On the floor of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, there were celebrities lined up for autographs and photo opportunities. I recognized a few of them, including Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, the girl from Deadpool Morena Baccarin, and the guy who everyone thinks is me or who everyone thinks I am, Alan Tudyk. Personally, I don’t see the resemblance. Do you?
Next stop was the Rhode Island Convention Center, where the Artist Alley was located, along with tons of other vendors and celebrity booths. Danny Trejo walked by us and said “Hello.” There were WWE® wrestlers in one section of the top floor. A cool droid display and photo opportunity booth with Star Wars characters was also upstairs. Inside the main convention area, my son spotted a name that I was unfamiliar with, Rob Liefeld. With all due respect to Mr. Liefeld, I have never heard of him prior to Saturday. My son was quick to get me up to speed that Liefeld was one of his biggest influencers in his artwork, having co-created the comic book character Deadpool. Rob and his booth were easily accessible and after waiting just a few minutes in line, my son was able to meet his idol and share some of his artwork with Mr. Liefeld. It was a really special moment for my son and I, as I watched him grin from ear to ear in excitement. Well worth the small donation to have this meet and greet happen.
The Providence Police and Fire Department, along with the security personnel of the event did a fantastic job of crowd control and keeping everyone safe. Thank you to those personnel for that. The event was really awesome. The costumes or Cosplay were just so imaginative and creative and sometimes bold in nature – but overall were really entertaining. My son got the opportunity to meet professional artists and share his work with them. That was truly special to be a part of. Thanks to the event coordinators and all the vendors who made this Rhode Island Comic Con such an enjoyable Rhode Island Experience for my family and I.