This is the first year the Midwest Comic Book Association (MCBA) decided to rename Springcon to take advantage of the confusing "Comicon" name. No one I know liked the name change. We think it's too acronym-ey, the same way no one I know refer to this as the "MCBA" brand. Look, we understand why they want to rebrand, but given the 28 years of "Springcon" and "Fallcon", it is going to take a while for us to refer to this as the MSP Comicon show.
The last few times I've gone to Springcon or Fallcon, I felt like I wasn't getting anything out of it. Particularly the smaller Fallcon shows, which has no panels and only serves as something of a paid fleamarket for comics. Which is fine, especially if there are some books I'm looking for... but generally I get what I need at my local comic store or order them online.
The only advantage Springcon and Fallcon has right now is the affordable entrance fee. MSP Comicon cost $12 for both days, which is an unbeatable deal compared to Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con which cost $75 for three days. With the cheaper price, it brought in more attendees/fans and more vendors (with cheaper prices). For example, the V for Vendetta Mask was $10 at Wizard, but only $5 at MSP Comicon. It's probably no secret that exhibitor pay more for a table at Wizard World, so they have to mark up their merchandise to pay for their space.
I'll address some of my complaints now about MSP Comicon/Springcon. While I like the free parking, I'm not a fan of the Minnesota State Fairground. We got lost trying to find the convention (since they move to different buildings depending on the show).
It also took us nearly one hour waiting in a very long line to get inside the convention, which I felt was kind of ridiculous. I understand there are a lot of fans, but how hard is it to take our money and let us in?
You're not going to see any actors like Gillian Anderson, but that's fine, we're only paying $12. We understand it's just going to be focused on (local) artists and writers. We saw/expect to see the same names like Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Gordon Purcel, Tom Nguyen, etc.
The panels were a joke. First of all, the title/description are all wrong. For example, "Scribbling with a Master" with host Angel Medina... featured no scribbling or drawing. The "DC Comics Today" with Aaron Kuder and Ben Templesmith had nothing to do with DC Comics. Templesmith came in and said he worked for DC but many of his works never saw the light of day and Kuder couldn't really talk much about his involvement in Superman. Instead the two just talk about "mullets" and Templesmith highly endorsed the latest Mad Max: Fury Road movie. Now... if they had change the "DC Comics Today" title to something like "Today in Mullets" or "We Love Mad Max", I would not have an issue. It just felt that none of the speakers were actually prepared for their topics.
The second problem is that it was incredibly noisy. The panel room basically had curtains. No one could hear anything, and even the speakers had trouble hearing each other (and they were speaking with a loudspeaker!) Questions that fans ask could not be heard. Maybe MCBA could set up a microphone for the audience?
Overall, these panels were the absolute worst this year, which is a shame because I've been to better panels from previous Fallcons/Springcons... and especially because we just saw Wizard World two weeks ago that had one thousand percent better panels.
We are not attending the MSP Comicon Sunday show, instead my friends and I would rather see Mad Max: Fury Road on IMAX and call it a day. Anyway, I said this last year, but I think this is probably my last year of going to Springcon/Fallcon. Based on the very strong turnout for the convention, I don't think the MCBA will miss us.
Aaron Kuder and Ben Templesmith at MSP Comicon, Minneapolis (16 May 2015)