Behind the Table – My View at the Big River Comic Convention

by John L. Davis IV

I would have attended the Big River Comic Convention as a con-goer, had I not gone as a vendor for my own books, and I may have seen the event form a slightly different view.

As someone who spent most of the time standing behind a table, telling everyone I could about my books (and selling quite a few, I might add) I was privy to a view of the convention that some may not have seen.

Usually, it is parents with children in tow, but this was reversed. Children, pulling parents along, gleeful excitement brightening their eager faces as they went from one superhero to another, or from table to table.

But make no mistake, this event, while being very family-friendly, wasn’t just for the kids. The Big River Comic Convention had as many adults as it did children, if not more. Many of those adults were dressed in costume, or “Cosplay,” as their favorite characters from film, television, literature and comics.

The passion these people put into their costumes was obvious, and it was so much fun to watch them walking by, stopping to talk with others, overhearing the conversations about how much time and effort had been put into these walking works of art.

The convention gave people a place to share in their love of all things “geeky” or “nerdy.” It was a place where those words were ones to revel in, without a single derogatory note to them.

That brings me to one of the greatest things I saw from behind my table.

Everyone sharing in everything with joy and delight.

All the divisions life tends to bring us, from our physical selves, tall or short, thin or large, to the less obvious, like personal ideals and beliefs like politics and so forth, all of that was left at the door. All of it.

No one made fun of someone because of how they looked, or what they did. No one judged anyone. (Expect for the cosplay contests, and man those were awesome!)

The Big River Comic Convention was probably the most open, inclusive event I’ve ever seen, and it was an absolute delight to be part of it, to share in the unmitigated joy so many people were sharing throughout the day.

The only time I ever heard the word “hate” was when someone hated the fact that they didn’t have a little extra cash.

Darin Logue and so many others worked so hard to bring this amazing event to Hannibal, and with the final tally being just over 4,200 people attending the first ever true comic convention we’ve had here, it was a wonderful success, despite the last-minute change in venue.

From behind my table I meet some terrific people, had enlightening conversations and made many new friends, as well as finding some new readers for my books. It’s an experience I’ll treasure, always.

I’m already anticipating next year’s Big River Comic Convention, which promises to be bigger, longer, and even more fun than this year’s.

As the late Stan Lee might have said - Until next time, True Believer! Excelsior!