Bad Con Signs

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To non-comics collectors, a "con" is a criminal plan to trick a person out of their money. For comics collectors, "con" is short for "convention", where one may spend $40 on a book with a $2.50 cover price.

The best cons have a wide variety of rare and unusual collectibles, famous guests, and lively panel discussions. I've never been to one of those. I've only been to the cheap local cons held in hotel ballrooms. And so, I write this as a warning to all novice collectors. The next time you go to a convention, beware of these. . .

Signs You're at a Bad Con

That autographed Stan Lee comic was signed in green ink. And it's spelled "Stanley". And you're pretty sure The Man never worked for Dark Horse.

Instead of being held in a hotel ballroom, it's held in a couple of motel rooms.

Inside the TPBs is a label reading, "Property of the Cedar Rapids Public Library".

You meet four other attendees with the same page of "orignal" Jim Lee art.

The discussion panel has an intern from Eclipse, a letterer from Techno-Comix, and Rob Liefeld.

Some jerk is trying to sell you that wrecked twin towers issue of 'Adventures of Superman' for 10 bucks. Asshole.

You see a Nightman figure with the sign, "As seen on TV". (I saw this for real.)

At least two dealer tables are filled with Beanie Babies.

One dealer has brought his whiny, rude, bratty son. And the son's kids are even worse!

You hear someone say, "Where is this 'Over Street' I keep hearing about?"

A dealer says the following: For $10, I'll give you all my 'Youngblood' comics. OK, 'Youngblood' and the full run of 'Moon Knight'. C'mon, you can't beat that deal! All right, you know what? Just take what you want. No charge! Just get it the hell out of my sight!

Instead of a woman in a costume, there's an inflatable doll wearing a Catwoman T-shirt.

The door prizes are variant Vampirella comics. (Also saw this for real.)

One guy has every 'Miracleman' comic on display. They're not for sale, he just wants to see the fans turn green with envy.

One table "proudly" displays the sign, "Ultraverse comics on sale here."

There's a poor, confused woman trying to sell Barbie dolls.

There's a guy dressed like the Punisher with real guns, but there's no costume contest.

Every attendee writes an internet column.

You explain to several dealers and fans why the Millennium Edition of "Action Comics' #1 is not worth $100,000.

And finally, the surest sign you are at a bad con:

No open bar.

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