ATLANTIC CITY BOARDWALK CON (ACBC) returns for year two! Are you ready to get your con on?

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ACBC Atlantic City Boardwalk Con 2016

I've regularly attended comic and sci-fi conventions, or whatever you want to call them these days, since the '80s.  Let me tell you, the experience has changed quite a bit in those decades.  In the past, cons were mostly a place to shop for merchandise, dress in costume, meet like-minded people, or schmooze comic creators.  Today, it's more about celebrity signings, video games, or movie and television panels.  Geeks have seemingly overwhelmed the Earth and every niche wants in on the con action.  Including more than comics and sci-fi means larger attendance for the shows, which is great in many ways.  Unfortunately, it also caused overcrowded convention floors, admission costs have skyrocketed, and worst of all, it's increasingly difficult to get tickets for huge shows like San Diego Comic Con or New York Comic Con.

I've attended both of those shows and they do offer some one-of-a-kind experiences, but they've also become mostly about waiting in excessively long lines.  Personally, I much prefer a well organized midsize-con over the super-size variety.  Last year, the inaugural Atlantic City Boardwalk Convention (ACBC) had a stunningly well done debut.  Most new events have major hiccups, but ACBC was a well oiled machine from the outset.  I attended for one day in 2015, but I'm planning to be in town the entire weekend this year!

The Convention Center will be loaded with vendors selling the finest merchandise, but besides shopping, there will be plenty else to keep you busy.  The ACBC Garage is returning, which is where you can take pictures of a variety of Batman vehicles, Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1, Back to the Future’s Delorean, and Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet.  I can't wait to “see” that one.  The estate of William Moulton Marston, creator of Wonder Woman, will have The Marston Family Wonder Woman Museum on the show floor once again.  A film entitled Wonder Women the Untold Story of American Superheroines will also celebrate the world famous character.  Thankfully, the sci-fi crowd hasn't been forgotten as the Star Trek 50th Anniversary Tour will be presented by Roddenberry Entertainment.  And hey, if you want to get some tats, head over to Ink Fusion by Marc Draven.  That's just a sampling of the show floor, so everyone should be able to stay busy.

I mentioned celebrity signings earlier, and ACBC has a nice guest list of television and film stars like: Tyler Hoechlin, Teddy Sears, Giancarlo Esposito, Edward James Olmos, Ming-Na Wen, RJ Mitte, and Taryn Manning.  Perhaps the most exciting name was added just a few days ago when Rosario Dawson joined the guest list.  I wouldn't be surprised if some more names were added in the coming days.  Oh, and If you're into comics, it is a comic convention after all, then you may want to meet the likes of Bob Camp, Frank Tieri, Jamal Igle, or Dave Johnson.  With all these names, and plenty more I haven't mentioned, there should be enough autographs, comics, and original art to please anyone!

The area I may be most excited about is the ACBC Kidz Zone.  You see, I have a three-year-old son named Nathan.  My wife and I are bringing him along, and I can't wait to see what he thinks of the Kidz Zone.  In the Con’s own words: “A family friendly part of the show floor where kids can let their imaginations soar. Play. Laugh. Dream. Your kids can show off their super skills in so many ways! Start their love of comics off with Free coloring. Bounce House. Photo Backdrops. Games. Live Characters.  On Sunday we’ll host a Kids Only Costume Contest with Prizes for everyone!”  Sounds like a blast!

Night life is what Atlantic City is famous for, and ACBC isn't going to let you down in that regard.  After the regular floor hours, ACBC has the CONquest Live Game Show, which is open to all attendees on Saturday night.  Sounds to me like it will be a bit like Let's Make a Deal.  Who doesn't want to be a part of that?  There’re after parties both Friday and Saturday as well as the World Famous Boardwalk, not to mention all the casinos.  So, you can keep your Con on till the wee hours, if you so choose.

Finally, Critical Blast is co-sponsoring a party with the Iron Room thanks to my close friend Chad Minnes from Lacey Cleaning.  The party starts at 9 and there are over $1,000 in prizes to be won in various costuming categories.  I will be adding a separate writeup about the party, so check it out later in the week.  Expect a lot more coverage of ACBC in the next couple of weeks!  Whether it be at the Con, on the boards, or at the Iron Room, I hope to see a lot of readers down in AC!

For more on the Con, visit the ACBC website.

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