Sunday, January 25, 2015

Con-Man Double Event: CalComicCon w/ Frank & Son

Sunday funday as we ventured east first to Yorba Linda for the California Comic Con before heading up to the City of Industry for weekly staple Frank & Son Collectible Show.  In this day and age of over hyped and over crowded cons with social media presence, CalComicCon is like taking a step back in time or maybe shopping at the farmer's market of comic book conventions.  Unlike say Comikaze, Wizard World or Salt Lake that tout celebrity guests, charge you to wait in line less and then push you to pay your favorite celebs $40 bucks to sign something for you, CCC is all about the comic books.  Is it small?  Yes.  Is it a nice change of pace?  Double yes.  Yorba Linda is a picturesque sprawl of suburbia with strip malls and greenery off the 57 and 91 freeways in Orange County.  The Community Center is just a few minutes off the 57 and is where CCC has called home since at least 2007.  With only comic book centric Marv Wolfman and Thomas Yeates as invited guests, this show isn't for casual fans; it's for comic book readers and collectors.

Walking up, the atmosphere was warm and inviting with a hot dog/taco stand outside, vendors on the patio selling .50 cent issues and a very friendly staff that welcomed us and explained the set up.  Parking was free with a $10 admission.  You got a raffle ticket upon entry and there were drawings every hour.  The show was being held in two separate rooms and on the patio.  While you could walk the space in just a few minutes, every vendor and table was full of books, comics, graphic novels and novels to flip through.  High end ones in the plastic cases and graded to 50% off trades and of course the .50 boxes outside.  I was only too pumped to grab a stack of 1980's Avengers comics along with a handful of Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos.  The seller told me I missed out as this was the last of his Sgt. Fury collection, drat!  From another table I picked up movie novelization of James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd's The Terminator!  Now I get to see how Reese, the T-800 and Sarah Connor play out in print.  Being a small show, we only spent about an hour there but were very satisfied with our haul.  Now it was off to the City of Industry for Frank & Son...

Only 15 minutes up the 57, Frank & Son Collectible Show has it's own warehouse in an industrial complex near Walnut. Parking is free with two lots and street available.  No fee to get in either.  Usually the show only runs on Wednesday and Saturday but extended to Sunday this week as Stan "The Man" Lee was special guest.  I haven't been here in years and was very surprised to see how Con like this show was without the Con.  It was just rows and rows of stalls and vendors hocking toys, video games, cards, knives and trinkets.  All those booths you check out at conventions outside Artist Alley at any other show, that's this place, all the time!  While there were toys, toys and more toys to check out, I was surprised at the lack of comic books for sale.  There were a handful of big spreads selling issues new and old but I just didn't feel like skimming through boxes of unorganized comics hoping to find a gem.  I recognized several vendors from shows around town and everyone was very chill and polite.  A couple were a little overzealous in trying to sell stuff when all I wanted to do was see what they had but ah well.  Then we randomly started chatting with a vendor who ended up being writer and author Pat Jankiewicz.  Nice guy and a fellow #MovieBro, we rapped about flicks, actors and our favorite conventions. 

Seems like the Big Trouble In Little China Funko's haven't shipped yet so I had to be contented with picking up a Rocketeer ReAction figure along with a Funko mini-mystery figure where helmeted Cliff Secord runs 1 out of 72 and was already fetching a $50 price tag.  For $7 bucks, my luck held steady and I pulled out a 1 out of 12 Robocop. There's an exhibition hall in the middle where guests sign.  Frank & Son have a variety of actors and athletes come through for special events, reunions, etc.  Towards the back was a gaming and tournament area as well as a discount household goods store(?!) selling clothes, tools and supplies.  Going strong since 1988, Frank & Son is definitely the place to come to pick up your favorite swag but I think it's more fun to do that at in a convention setting where you can walk the floor, take in a panel, go back, etc.

That's all the Cons I got for January, see you in February for Long Beach!

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