A week has gone by between the time that we stepped into the brainchild of the Nerdist, ID10T and now. As an inaugural event, it was unforgettable, imperfect but still something special I would like to make it back to. Both days were jam packed with things I wanted to do, unlike some conventions I have attended, there felt like there was no shortage of things to experience. There are still some sticking points to the event, but we’ll get to those.
I grew up right before the comic bubble burst in the nineties, so comics were king back then. “Maximum Carnage” was the “Game of Thrones” of my childhood, if you weren’t up to date, you were behind the times. The indie comic publisher presence was refreshing to see. Valiant entertainment, Top Cow, Skybound and Oni Press were all on the scene to display new and exciting smaller press books. Many were even offering deals or eve free books to bring in new crowds to check out all of the exciting stories you may have not seen yet.
Comic creators made the scene as well, not only offering their books, but giving signatures, sketches, handshakes and even in one instance, pictures of his cat. This was a rare treat for many a comic fan as a chance to meet titans of the industry does not come up very often. There were panels granting professional insight into the comics industry and often giving encouragement to aspiring creators. It didn’t matter if you’ve been reading sequential art stories for decades or just recently got into the hobby, this festival had you covered
The main event tent at ID10T was a smash hit. Chances to ask questions to the stars of the Con Man, Animaniacs, Portlandia and the recent revival of MST3K presented themselves. We became privy to stories such as the silly development process of Joel Hodgson, Alan Tudyk and his attempts to represent his fans and even how Maurice LeMarche has touched people’s hearts through his acting. It felt grand to be able to see the personalities behind the shows we love and see that the people behind them love us right back.
The second event tent, the comedy tent, was also tremendously popular, so much so that it was filled to the brim and people still wanted in. Lines had formed up outside the tent that were in excess of its approved 500 person capacity so there were some that unfortunately had to be turned away to maintain safety. Major acts like Garfunkel and Oates, Brian Posehn, and Chris Hardwick were right next to rising stars like Natasha Muse and Marcella Arguello.
This decidedly NSFW show was a riot, however the aforementioned capacity did put a damper on some people’s days as you had to be in line early to see your favorite act, lest ye be denied. Capacity will need to be addressed in order to improve this as the lines could have easily doubled the amount of people in attendance to the shows.
There were other matters that also caused some strife at the event. The small/local artists tent, what would typically be referred to as an ‘Artist Alley’ at any larger convention was not particularly well advertised. Many of the artists paid for their tables and did not see enough to merit their return. The bulk of the problem was that, it just was not advertised well, attendees and even vendors would give quizzical and blank stares when they were asked about the location of the artists. One vendor even replied “I didn’t even know they were there,” with a venue that is no bigger and far more open than most cons, this shouldn’t have been the case.
The venue also seemed to be at odds with the event itself at times as there was difficulty for some press and photographers to get the shots they needed. There was even one case where an accredited journalist was even temporarily detained and their badge removed even after showing their tickets and documentation. Every event location has its quirks, but these are difficulties that should have been ironed out a little earlier.
I don’t want those final words to sully ID10T and sour anyone on attending next year. This was a phenomenal inaugural festival, one that a single point of view could not do justice to. When the news of it had first crossed my desk I was a little skeptical, but Sunday night, I was crestfallen that it was over so soon. Do yourself a favor next year, and check it out!