Disappointing convention experiences

Has anyone had a bad or at least disappointing experience at a convention? Perhaps hoping a certain guest would be there, someone with a bad attitude.

I spend 80% of my time looking for deals on comics, so cons with few comics always disappoint me.

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This isn’t really disappointing, more so weird. But when you go to smaller comic conventions you can just tell they don’t put as much time into looking at the people they’re allowing set up booths. Which I get to some degree since it’s hard developing a convention that can have people interested for multiple days; but I’ve been to conventions where they straight have people selling illegal copies of movies and plays for like 10 or 15 dollars. It just doesnt sit right with me.

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Well, I’ve never been to a con, so that’s pretty disappointing .


Hands down best profile picture.



Well thank you @TheHelloThereDude

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The only time I was disappointed in a comic convention was when a local one here had to cancel two years running due to a funds shortage. That was disappointing.

Outside of that I had a really bad experience at one of the anime conventions I used to attend years ago. The staff was extremely rude to me a few times during the coarse of the convention because I had to stop and sit down once in awhile due to a still healing injury to my leg. I explained this several times, showed them the injury even, but the staff seemed not to care that I had a legit reason for doing what I was doing. Every one of them was extremely rude whenever they would “suggest” I move on simply because they believed me to be faking it as I didn’t appear to be hurt to look at me. I even had one staffer threaten to pull my badge over it. I never returned to that convention.

I almost had a disappoint situation. I went to George Perez’s last public appearance, and the way the convention organized the event was a disaster on the first day. I dont think they realized how many people were going to see him. I only got to go to the convention on Friday (the first day) and they only had 3 signings with 50 people each! The signings took place at noon, 3pm, 5pm. Fortunately I was able to grab a ticket to one of the signings, but the staff was being inconsiderate to those who were asking and waiting in line. They were trying to herd a large group of ppl in one single file line for tickets. That was a train wreck. The primary reason I go to cons is to hunt for vintage comics, so my experience depends on how many comic dealers there are.

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Like, all of them. Cons are not my scene. Expensive everything, long wait times, and snooty people. What am I supposed to do for an hour? Buy stuff I could online? Watch stuff that is also free online? Participate in events that fly over my head and/or are not worth what I paid? Hang out with that person who straight up walked away from me when I said I wasn’t familiar with that show?

I had one disappointing con experience. I’ve said who on the discord server, but won’t say here specifically who it was. I was at a con doing volunteer work with them. They had me work a popular creator’s line. The line was massive due to his popularity at the time. His attitude was horrible. He refused to sign unless he had a very specific alcoholic beverage the whole time. It was unreal. He was pretty smashed the entire time. I got the opportunity to speak to him at the end as they were trying desperately to appease us comic book fans. They even tried to give us free comics with his signature to make up for his attitude. Needless to say due to my own morals I politely declined and barely speak of the situation. I have never read or watched anything by him since. Well, I take that back. I did during one WAL I attended . Outside of that nope. If I was asked to speak to him even today, I wouldn’t. His attitude left that much of a sour taste in my mouth.

I, unfortunately, had a disappointing con experience very recently. Even though it wasn’t a new-to-the-convention-scene con, it sure appeared like it was. From the organization and information changing minute by minute on the website (not just guest announcements/cancellations, but actual ticket information) to the debacle that was Will Call and lack of advertised VIP ticket amenities, it was a complete nightmare. However, the guests more than made up for the sorely lacking organization. There were some huge names at this con and the time and care they spent with each and every fan was nothing short of phenomenal.It just goes to show that guests can really make or break a convention.


Not to take away from this thread, but there’s a discord server? Can I get the link lol. Sorry op thread creator

@OmniLad We had a Wizard World convention here in Oklahoma City that had someone selling bootlegged DVD’s, as in that was all he sold a huge booth with nothing but clear bootlegged stuff. So not just small conventions, would think in 2019 they would not let people do that.

I mentioned the Sci-Fi convention from hell that we had out here in the 90’s. But the short version (hopefully shorter) some likely well intentioned comic shop and toy store owners got together to try and have a larger convention then we had had at the time. Got a couple comic artist, a couple actors from Deep Space 9 (this was when it was still airing new episodes), someone from Babylon 5 and someone from the original Battlestar Galactica. The convention came, and they had some kind of problem opening the venue and were hours late opening and most of the dealers got fed up and left so they had like 1/4 of the booths they were supposed to have (and also moved them to where the concession stand was clear on the other side of the building which meant if you were hungry you had to take a trek across the floor which likely hurt the concessions), and as if that was not enough none of the guest showed up save the one from battlestar galactica (which was the one the fewest people came specifically to see obviously). One of them cancelled in time according to their contract, a couple apparently had some kind of problem with their flight, don’t know the others but it was icing on the cherry sundae. The convention was supposed to last 2 full days, they cancelled if halfway through the first day as well as the banquet they had planned. They said they would mail refunds but I don’t think anyone got them, doubt they had the money to pay back all of them. The two stores throwing it closed that same year, and always wondered if it wasn’t due to money lost at that convention. A bad deal all around.

As far as other disappointments, my main disappointment is honestly the volunteers at all these things. I typed a long rant, but don’t want to be so negative. But keeping it diplomatic, while obviously some convention volunteers are good people who take their job there seriously, most of my dealings as a vendor in comic shops around Oklahoma City and as a patron have not been pleasant.

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Comic conventions, not comic shops.

I remember in the early 2000’s they had smaller conventions inside Madison Square Garden. At one of these cons, Jim Aparo was there. I’ve always loved his art so I brought 3 books for him to sign.

Naturally the line was long, but it was moving along nicely. There was a gentleman in front of me who was every comic fan stereotype you can imagine with a small wheel cart full of comics. I felt bad at first because I didn’t want to generalize; I didn’t know his situation. He could’ve been there to enjoy the show like everyone else. A friend of his comes by and asks the guy ahead of me to borrow some money because the cash his mom gave him ran out. I looked at the friend and thought “Dude, you’re like 40!” but then I stopped myself because again, I didn’t want to generalize.

The line starts to move and the guy ahead of me goes up to Aparo’s table with his cart. I’m thinking he’s gonna pull one or two comics from the top of the pile…nope! He proceeds to pull all the comics out of the cart and plop them on the table, handing each to Aparo to sign, assembly line-style. He doesn’t say much to Aparo other than “sign it here” and “could you use the gold marker for this one?”

I couldn’t believe it. This went on for a few minutes and to Aparo’s credit, he signed them. When it was done the guy ahead of me took the pile, put it back in the cart and walked off. He didn’t even say thank you!

Finally my turn came and Aparo asked if I wouldn’t mind waiting a moment as his wrist was sore. Mind you, he was up there in age at this point. I told him I completely understood. Rather than stand there in silence, I started talking to him. Let me tell you, the man was a class act. We talked a bit about his work on The Untold Legend of Batman. When he was feeling up to it, he signed my three books. I felt like such a heel having three but he was gracious about it.

I walked away from that experience disgusted at the guy ahead of me for his behavior. He was probably going to sell the comics he got signed on eBay (but who would buy a run of forty or so comics signed? Isn’t one enough?) but from that bad convention experience I learned a couple of things:

  1. These creators are people. Say hello, be polite and always say thank you. Even if you don’t get anything signed and you just talk to them, saying thank you shows you appreciate them, their work and most importantly their time.

  2. From that day forward I always make sure to get anything signed to me personalizes; it’s not only really cool to have something signed to you, but it also lets them know you’re not just gonna flip it for a profit.

Not all bad con stories have terrible endings.


Yeah, I mean it’s just nuts. I feel awful for the people when they buy these overpriced, low quality, illegal bootlegs thinking they found a hidden gem or something like that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone freak out over a copy of the Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s sad.

I can count the number of conventions (comic or otherwise) I’ve attended on one hand, and they were quite fun with the most recent one occurring 23 years ago.

My disappointment comes from Wizard World not having a con in the Phoenix area. It’s only one of the biggest cities in the country and growing, but nah, go set up shop out in Bupkis, USA, population 100. Thanks Mr. Shamus.

I’ve gone to Wizard World Philadelphia for the past few years, but more and more they’ve been focusing on media celebs over actual comic writers and artists. There’s still plenty to see, but it’s disappointing for a comic convention to neglect a lot of big-name comic talent.

As far as a specific experiences, I remember getting stuck in line for Jerry Ordway for about an hour at Baltimore Comic-Con two years ago despite there only being about a dozen people in front of me. He’s a very friendly guy and likes to talk to people he signs for, which I appreciate, but this also contributes to his line taking FOREVER to move. In between talking to people and taking frequent breaks to work on commissions, I feel like I wasted a lot of time when there were other writers and artists I wanted to see. I blame myself a little bit too because about halfway through waiting, while he was in a deep discussion with the person in front of me, he actually asked if I wanted him to quick sign my books so I could move on and they could keep talking. Out of some misguided sense of not wanting to be rude and cut ahead (which I wouldn’t have actually been doing), I said I was fine and ended up costing myself even more time. Lesson learned on that one