On September 28-30, 2018, comic book fans filled the Inner Harbor area for the latest installment of the Baltimore Comic-Con. An impressive number of comic creators were there to meet with thousands of fans from the area.

The event returned to the Baltimore Convention Center, which is a great location for the annual con. The convention center is large, with an easy to follow layout and plenty of spaces for panels, gatherings, and cosplay photography. The con floor hosts a large selection of vendors and artists with enough space for comfortable browsing.

In addition to a few food vendors in the main con area, there is a large food court-like area with lots of tables. It’s a luxury missing from a lot of cons – even ones at convention centers.

Since it’s in a busy section of the city, there’s plenty of parking in garages, but some are a bit of a walk. It is right next to the Light Rail stop, which is nice for non-drivers or out of towners.

The con hosted 175 comic creators, writers, and artists, including talents like Neal Adams (Deadman), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), Mark Buckingham (Scooby Apocalypse), Greg Capullo (Dark Knights: Metal), Howard Chaykin (Captain America), Joyce Chin (All-New Wolverine), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Amy Chu (Red Sonja), Katie Cook (Thanos Annual), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella), G.D. Falksen (The Ouroboros Cycle), Meredith Finch (Rose), Jenny Frison (Wonder Woman), José Luis García-López (DC Nation), Michael Golden (Micronauts), Tom King (Batman), Joseph Michael Linsner (Vampirella), Shawn Martinbrough (Shadowman), Frank Miller (Sin City), Mark Morales (Justice League), Dan Parent (Betty & Veronica), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Louise Simonson (Action Comics #1,000), Walter Simonson (Thor), Jim Starlin (Thanos: The Infinity Siblings), Jim Steranko (Action Comics), Mark Waid (Captain America), Mark Wheatley (Stargate Atlantis), and Mike Zeck (The Punisher). They were joined by dozens more industry pros and local artists set up throughout the center. (For an interview with Meredith Finch, check out our In the Limelight section.)

Media guests were Zachary Levi (Shazam!), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Katrina Law (Arrow), Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Erin Gray (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century), and Michael Copon (Power Rangers Time Force). They had a steady stream of visitors and fans, excited to talk about well known titles and smaller projects. (For interviews with Tricia Helfer and Sherilyn Fenn, visit our In the Limelight section.)

Baltimore Comic-Con is still a very comic-centric event, as evidenced by the guest list. Many of the talented creators had lines throughout each day, filled with enthusiastic fans and collectors. When they weren’t talking to fans, most of the artists were busy working on a list of commission sketches.

Small publishers and independent comic creators had a very good presence at the convention. On Saturday, I spent a few hours talking to folks about completed and new projects that weren’t previously on my radar. I’m looking forward to reading what I picked up from Action Lab, Cave Picture Publishing, Insight Group Studios, Nomadd, Source Point Press, and Youneek Studios.

The comic focus is also reflective in the list of vendors who set up at Baltimore Comic-Con. There were many booths devoted to comics, with a lot of Modern titles, trade paperbacks, graphic novels, and hardcovers. Some dealers also had plenty of Golden to Bronze Age offerings, with first appearances and other keys, as well as high grade books.

Several vendors sold a wide range of toys from vintage Star Wars and Smurfs to newer build-a-figure sets from DC and Marvel. Others had leather bags and accoutrements, jewelry, purses, apparel, tabletop games, buttons, and patches, among other items.

Panels covered mainstream and indie comics, publisher and character-focused, some offered guidance to aspiring creators, as well as spotlights on some of the guests. The convention hosted several events and programming for kids and families and there was also a costume contest. The Ringo Awards were held on Saturday evening, celebrating the creativity, skill, and fun of comics.

Baltimore Comic-Con put on another good show and I’m looking forward to returning next year.

More photos from Baltimore Comic-Con can be seen in our photo gallery.

-Amanda Sheriff