RI Comic Con: A Geek's Take On Providence

The Rhode Island Comic-Con, which got its start in 2012, has become a huge success. But what can you find at RICC? Every November, the Rhode Island Convention Center and the Dunkin Donut’s Center are filled with friendly geeks dressed in cosplay, shopping, selling or posing for photos. Inside those walls is a collector’s dream. Toys, art, books, video games, movies, and more. Outside of San Diego International Comic-Con, most Conventions are set up as large markets. The floors are packed with artists and retailers. But there's more than shopping opportunities. Whether you’re a fan of current pop culture or familiar faces from your favorite childhood movies and tv shows, celebrity appearances are also a big draw for any Con. 

Geek culture has deep roots. They stretch into the world of comic books and science fiction. A few decades ago, being a geek (or nerd) was not exactly a popular thing to be. But with so many young girls and boys growing up reading comics and watching sci-fi like Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who, there's now an entire generation of proud geeks. (Being more comfortable in public about your own nerdiness allows like minded people to come together safely and express themselves.) This has given rise to the world of Comic Conventions. Cosplay has become a society in and of itself, much like the artists and authors with booths on the floor. Dressing up like your favorite characters can be seen as either expressing yourself or demonstrating your design and fabrication skills. In fact, one of the greatest opportunities a Con offers is for artists to have thousands of new eyes on their work.  

Now, even though just about anyone and everything is welcome, I feel like I should let you know something: If you’re not a fan of the above mentioned, this may not be for you. It truly is built by and for the comic book/sci-fi/fantasy communities. It's meant to be a place to celebrate your geekiness with your friends or even make some new ones. 

RICC is also still figuring out what works. In the years I've been going, the layout has changed several times and they’ve been working through some growing pains. Additionally, it’s not exactly cheap. A single day ticket will run you about $45 for an adult, $15 for kids, with several packages that run different amounts. Taking pictures with your favorite celebrities can be fun, but those can cost up to $400, depending on the pass you choose. Likewise the collectibles for sale are sometimes pretty pricey. Keep in mind these vendors aren’t trying to rip you off, but they are trying to earn a living just as you would in their place

So, here’s the thing - I’m an insider looking out, I’ve been an attendee at all but one of the RICC's, and have been to (and helped vend) at Boston Comic-Con a few times. Describing all that a comic-con is in one blog post is impossible. Please, if you’re a curious person, or looking to expand your horizons, take a quick look on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at local comic-cons. A quick search of the hashtag comiccon will give you a good idea of the scope. RICC and BCC are not the only ones around either and all of them are a genuine experience if nothing else. They are always full of creative people who are fun to chat with and very open. And if you’re a collector, there’s really no better place to find the living embodiment of your childhood!

Thanks for reading,
Colin Carlton
Author, Blogger, total geek!


Twitter & Instagram @colincarlton


Photo Credits: "RICC1" and "RICC2" are from Rhode Island Comic-Con's official Facebook page; "Indestructibles" coutesy of Matthew Phillion; "Christian Hegg Disco Fett" courtesy of Sterling Arts & Design; "Thorio Luiki_Mario" is Sterling Arts and Colin meeting Charles Martinet who voiced Mario.