NewBo Con 2015

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Well, this post was a little slow in coming to fruition, but I wanted to put together a quick recap & review of NewBo Con 2015 in Cedar Rapids, IA.The convention was held on February 7 at the NewBo City Market in the New Bohemia district of Cedar Rapids. It only ran from 10am-6pm, but in that time saw over 3,500 visitors.  This was the first year for this con and, in my opinion, it was a remarkably successful event. There were a lot of things done well – especially considering the whole event was organized by a single person.

I have to say, I was pumped for this event & waiting in anticipation for MONTHS. Like, since it was announced in October (I think that’s when it was?). Going to Wizard World Minneapolis last year was what really jolted me back into obsessing over all these things I love – and even got me thinking more & more about comics in general. I was thrilled to hear that Cedar Rapids was getting its own convention AND that it was free admission, making it easy to convince everyone I knew to at least consider going.

If you can’t sense my enthusiasm about this event, you’re completely blind. So, without further ado, here are some of the highlights from NewBo Con ’15.

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*sidenote: I was trying to corral my 4-year old daughter in the morning & my slightly inebriated friends in the afternoon, so I didn’t take any photos. Most of these photos were hijacked from the NewBo Con Facebook page*

The Venue

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NewBo City Market is a great venue – and It was the perfect choice for the first year of this event. NewBo has a huge following of people who visit every single weekend. These non con-goers increased attendance and (I can only assume) sales for the vendors just by letting their curiosity bring them over to the convention side of the market. I think this was an incredibly smart decision on the part of the organizer to tap into a demographic that normally wouldn’t have any interest in attending such an event. Really, it was mutually beneficial because peckish con-goers could just walk across the market to any of the regular (exceptional) vendor locations & get a drink, snack, or a full-blown meal. Top-notch choice for year one.

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Unfortunately, the size of the venue was not adequate to support the amount of interest this event generated from convention vendors.  There were a total of something like 30 spaces available and 80 interested vendors had to be turned away. That’s huge. I know they’re looking into bigger venues for next year, making the name “NewBo Con” & the totally rad logo now obsolete. Collector’s item. Doneski. I’m just really pulling for the new “Cedar Rapids Comic Con” to be held at our new Convention Center. There are multiple spaces that would be suitable to the event and I just feel like it’s the right place to host the event going forward. Unfortunately, cost could easily affect the likelihood of this happening, as I know the organizers want to keep the event free for the foreseeable future.

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Bye, bye, logo </3

Vendors

The downside with the way this event was organized was that all vendor spaces were first-come, first-serve. I get it. That seems like the right way to do things the first time around. I just feel that we ended up with too little variety in the limited number of vendors that were set up. Don’t get me wrong – the majority of vendors were awesome & their products were well-curated and/or well-crafted. I’m not here to bash on anyone, but I will say that there were a few items for sale that really caused me to raise an eyebrow & I hope there’s some level of screening for next year’s vendors. Here are a few of the stand-outs for me:

I know I’m (incredibly) biased here, but I genuinely feel that Geek City Games had one of the best booths. I could barely walk up to the table at a few points throughout the day due to the crowds gathering around to check out the merch. They had games, collectibles, omnibuses (omnibi?), boxes upon boxes of comics, and even had 2 guest vendors sharing their space. It was really well organized & the displays made everything easy to find. Good work, boys!

A to Z Toys & Collectibles was right next door to Geek City & instantly captured the attention of my husband & friends. They seemed to have a great selection of vintage collectibles, as well as some new items. Now, I know nothing about vintage toys & whatnot, but the boys sure seemed impressed, so I give you a thumbs-up, A to Z Toys & Collectibles!

Candle Light Press. Now, I didn’t get to chat with the guys like I would have liked (again, due to the inebriated state of certain companions and general tomfoolery afoot) but these guys had it going on ALL. DAY. LONG. scores of people walked up to the booth, chatted, and walked away with mad stacks of comics. I’m gonna need to get my hands on some of those in the near future.

Lastly, 515 Comics seemed like a pretty awesome vendor. I didn’t even glance at his booth until the end of the day & I saw what turns out to be my favorite item I couldn’t buy that day (because he was sold out). It was this glorious shirt, and I am ordering it very, VERY soon.

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I also bought this pretty cute steampunk necklace and a Rainbow Dash keychain (for the kiddo) from another vendor, but alas, couldn’t find any information on the shop responsible for such cute tchotchkes. Womp womp.

Conclusion

Overall, I was SO impressed by this event. It was incredibly well-organized and just made me happy to spend my Saturday there. There are clearly a few improvements that could be made for subsequent years, but I’d say for its very first con, Cedar Rapids gets a 10/10.

If you live anywhere in the Midwest (or farther, I’m not here to pigeonhole you) and are looking for a fun, casual convention – check out the Cedar Rapids Comic Con webpage & sign up for email updates so you can come visit in 2016!

 

Until Next Time ❤

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CURRENT OBSESSIONS:

  1. Book: The Duff – Kody Keplinger
  2. Comic: Saga, Vol. 2 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  3. Music: Talking Dreams (Album) – Echosmith
  4. TV: Gilmore Girls, Season 7
  5. YouTube: Lauren Fairweather
  6. Blog: The Book Nosher
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Five Fandom Friday: Things I’ve Bought But Haven’t Read/Watched/Played Yet

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Oh man. This week’s Five Fandom Friday comes on a giant guilt-trip roller coaster! One of my biggest weaknesses is impulse shopping (especially books), so I’ve got a LOT of things to list here… I’ll try to narrow it down to the top 5, though.

#1 Vision & The Scarlet Witch Issues 1-4

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To be fair to myself, I’ve only had these a couple of weeks. I picked them up at NewBo Con  at the beginning of February from the Geek City Games booth under some serious pressure from the salesperson *cough* brother-in-law, I’m looking at you. Anyway, I’m really excited to read these because I made a killer (albeit hasty) Scarlet Witch costume for Halloween. I usually refuse to dress as someone I don’t know anything about, so I made a point to read Wanda’s full Wiki page before Halloween & I was really intrigued by her back story & character arc. I’ve wanted to read more about her ever since, and when I found these hanging in the box, I couldn’t have passed them by, regardless. I’ll probably pick them up once my current reading list lightens up a little. Definitely before we go see Age of Ultron. I can’t wait to see these characters on the big screen (Paul Bettany? Yes please!)

#2 Cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Ok, so this was actually a gift from my bestie LAST Christmas (I’m talking 2013) and I haven’t touched it yet. It is definitely on my list for this year, though. I’ve always loved fairytale re-tellings & have heard awesome things about the series. I actually just picked up Cress for my Kindle yesterday, so I mean business. The bonus is that by the time I actually get around to reading it, the final book will probably be released & I won’t have any of that pesky waiting to find out what happens.

#3 Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

This one’s embarrassing. I have read the first few chapters of the book – maybe 3-4 years ago, when True Blood was in season 3 or so. I actually own three copies of this – Paperback, E-Book, and Audio Book. And I STILL haven’t read it. I don’t know what it is, but those first few chapters just didn’t pull me in. It’s definitely not a convenience factor, because I don’t know how much more convenient I could have made it for myself. I’m not really sure why I bought the E-Book after I already had the paperback – maybe I thought I lost it? But we got the audiobook to listen to on a trip to visit my in-laws in Missouri, which is about an 8-hour drive. We listened to it for maybe 40 minutes before we were both falling asleep from the narration. It’s a little too soothing, I think. Haha. This is actually on my POPSUGAR reading challenge for this year as either a book that inspired a TV show or a book you’ve started but haven’t finished yet. I’ll get there. I hope.

#4 The Siren

The Siren by Kiera Cass

I bought this after I read the first two books in the Selection series because I loved Kiera Cass’s writing. It’s been sitting on my Kindle for a year, now, constantly getting passed up for other YA Lit & I’m not really sure why. I love, love, LOVE the Selection & can only imagine this will be a great read. I just never reach for it when I’m ready to start a new book.

#5 American Psycho

American Psycho (2000)

I don’t really buy many movies that I haven’t seen already, but I knew this was going to be a great movie, so I added it to my stack when the movie store I worked at (6 YEARS AGO) had a sale – it was only $4, after all. Now I actually own two copies of it – DVD & Bluray – because my husband got it when he bought his PS3 & it became one of very few duplicate titles when we merged our collections (I think Dodgeball & Anchorman were the only other two that were duplicated…so take that as you will).  I’m not really sure why I’ve never watched it. I mean, I know it’s going to be good. I guess I’m just rarely in the mood for (what I assume to be) a thriller/horror movie. And when I am in the mood for one, my husband usually gets to pick since he loves those movies & rarely gets to watch them with me.  I should seriously rectify this issue…maybe around Halloween 🙂

BONUS:

Choose Your Own Autobiography

I got Neil Patrick Harris’ book “Choose Your Own Autobiography” for Christmas this year & haven’t read it yet. It looks hilarious, but I’m afraid I’m going to be too confused by the format. It’s so different, but I’m really looking forward to it – if I can fit it in among the rest of my reading list this year. Eep!

Big thanks to Kristen & Megan for hosting 5 Fandom Fridays. It’s been a great way to discover & connect with fellow geeky female bloggers!

Until Next Time ❤

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CURRENT OBSESSIONS:

  1. Book: The Duff – Kody Keplinger
  2. Comic: Princeless, Book 1 –  Jeremy Whiteley & M. Goodwin
  3. Music: Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
  4. TV: Gilmore Girls, Season 7
  5. YouTube: Alison Faulkner
  6. Blog: The Nerdy Girlie

Casual Cosplay: Charlie Bradbury

So, I went to a small con called NewBo Con this past weekend, and it was awesome. This was the first convention in Cedar Rapids, and it was so successful it sounds like next year is going to need a bigger venue!

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I totally slacked on pulling together a cosplay, so I went the Casual Cosplay route, and threw together an outfit inspired by one Charlie Bradbury. The best part? Every single piece (except the shoes) came from Old Navy! I was too dumbfounded by the con itself to remember to take pics of my outfit (stupid, I know. newb mistake), but here’s what I wore:

Charlie Bradbury Inspired

 As you can see, I sort of made a hybrid of a few different outfits she wears in the show. I wanted to emulate her style without looking like I tried to copy an outfit and completely failed (seeing as I threw this together in like one 30-minute shopping trip). In the end, only one person caught the reference – one person who is a diehard SPN fan – BUT I felt cute & badass at the same time and I was comfortable all day, so that’s good enough for me.

I’m hoping to get more into these character-inspired outfits as time goes on. I’ve never actually cosplayed, but I do tend to go over-the-top with halloween costumes. I’ll have to post about that sometime. I’m hoping I can pull something awesome together for Wizard World Des Moines this year & do my first true cosplay.

Anyway, I’ll have to post a bit more about NewBo Con later this week. It really was a great event with a great turnout. I can’t wait to visit again next year in the new venue!

 

Until Next Time ❤

[#ogf]