Florida Fandomania 2016
How I came into contact with the show
Several weeks ago, I was driving down on Wickham Rd after having spent time at Viera Comics with my friend Peter J. Pappas when I got a call from a gentlemen representing Fandomania. He asked for my email. I provided my email and he promptly emailed me a packet about setting up at the show as a comic book retailer. I quickly sent a message thanking him for the email, but I let him know I wasn’t a comic book shop. I was a publisher of a local magazine called Space Coast Comixx, a blogger for Broken Infinite, and a consultant to Space Coast Comic Con. He apologized for the confusion and told me I was invited to the show with a press pass. I accepted the invite and asked for information for the show because I didn’t know much about it, and I wanted to help spread the word.
Week before the show
I noticed a week before the show that I didn’t get any email from the show regarding my pass or information to help promote the show. I reached out and asked for the information. I received the press release, and I did help promote the show. It made me worried to say the least. I do a lot of marketing for different people, and normally people have to hit it hard on all their social media pages and get people chattering about it. There was very little chatter, so I gladly shared the information.
When I arrived at the show
The show was a three day event, but I could only go on Saturday since I was on vacation the week before, and the next day was Father’s Day, and I had plans. When I reached the show, I let them know who I was, and I came with my crew along with my partner and owner of Space Coast Comic Con. At the show, they gave me a wrist band, but I wasn’t quite sure they knew who I was. In fact, I noticed other people for press had actual badges, but no big deal as this was all last minute on their part when they invited me. I still came to enjoy myself.
For a first year show, Fandomania pulled out an impressive list of guests. They had cast members from the Walking Dead including Justin Kucslulain, Dahlia Lagault, Jeremy Palko, and Chris Harrelson. Also in that section were Cecil Grimes and Chris Twellmann who were cosplaying as Rick Grimes and Abraham from the Walking Dead. They had voice actors Brina Palencia, Eric Staurt, and Kira Buckland.
They had other guests too such as Charles Watson, Ruby Rapture, and Clinton T. Hobart. They had notable guests such as Rick Stafford, who is known as The True Aquaman. He did panels. The Chalk Twins created an awesome piece of original art as everyone watched them work. You could buy comics, toys, videos, and so much more at this show. They had something for everyone. I even saw my friends from MarkWho42 who were running all the panels for the three days of the convention.
There were two types of panels going on at the show, which helped keep the show running. They had the main stage, where people heard their favorite actors talk about their roles, their upcoming promotions, and other things. They even had Asian karaoke. MarkWho42 had their hands full running around getting dirty. I was even invited to be on MarkWho42’s panel of the Match Game on Saturday evening.
My opinion of the show
The show had a lot of great guests and very talented artists, writers, and lots of other cool people. It was in a prime location, and you could see that the promoters loved what they were doing. I loved that they had a huge stage for their guests to talk on and plenty of chairs. I also liked that they had a separate panel room. I know they put in a lot of time for this show, and putting on a show of this magnitude is not an easy job. I know from working with my partner David Grace that hours upon hours are put into making a good show. No one sets out to make a terrible show.
What I didn’t like
The attendance seemed low. I think they needed to advertise a bit more. I didn’t know a thing about this show until the call and email I got a few weeks earlier. They needed to use more of the community and engage with people like me and others. I also didn’t like that they had these giant curtains cutting the show up. It made it hard to see who were in the others rows and made it difficult to walk around and engage with the vendors. There was no proper artist alley, there was no rhythm or reason why an artist or novelist was mixed into a row or not. I was confused to a degree and felt that they needed to organize this a bit better. They needed to have a better program which indicated when and who was having a panel. It made for a confusing time. There were other rumors swirling around on the floor that made me uncomfortable that I won’t talk about.
My final verdict
The show gets 3 rockets out of 5 rockets because I did have fun. I enjoyed talking with the people that were at the show. I noticed that a lot of hard work was put into this show, and the promotors were trying to be as honest as possible. I think if they work on their issues, next year’s show could be even better. Maybe they can scale back on a guest or two and make a stronger floor plan so there is an easier flow to the traffic. They also have to promote the show harder. They should take out ads in local publications, let people know that they exist, and push to get the fans they so desperately need to attend excited about this show.
Guys keep up the good work, and don’t quit. Thank you for your effort. You can make it wonderful. WE CAN DO THIS.
Jake Estrada is a publisher, writer, artist, entertainer, and actor who enjoys talking comics, making comics, and writing about the medium he has worked in for a decade and a half. If you want to have Jake come by your show, just contact him here at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out their page here: www.floridafandomania.com
Space Coast Comixx