Lake Count.I.Con 2015 was a big success for the fans who attended the second annual event. The organizers, vendors and volunteers of the show did a fantastic job of bringing the comic con experience to the town of Grayslake, IL. As reports of last year’s show being great in attendance numbers, but in a very crowded space, reached the ears of organizers, as the Grayslake Fairgrounds were used for this year’s show. While the inside of the show had a warehouse-type feel to the building, it really didn’t matter when it came to the fun that was enjoyed throughout the two-day weekend show.
Official numbers show that the larger venue and smart promotional push worked! From organizers of the event, we were given the numbers for attendees of Lake Count.I.Con.
“2000 paying, 2800 overall last year — 3300 paying, 4500 overall this year.”
“The non paying totals are estimated by a very loose count of children, guest list attendees, and active military that we allow in for free.”
I, myself, being semi-local to the area and growing up going to tiny cons at hotel lobbies and mall halls, only to graduate to the more grand scale mega conventions in 25 years, it was great to see what this convention brought to the local folks. Lake Count.I.Con did a fantastic job of making the fans feel like they were at one of those large-scale conventions but for only a fraction of the cost of those big city shows. Lake Count.I.Con entry fees were low at $5 an adult ticket with kids 12 and under being free. Along with military veterans given a heroes welcome with free admission as well. VIP tickets (which included awesome goodie bags) could also be bought for Count.I.Con with early bird specials – all of which could still be had at half the cost of other major city shows.
Vendors: The vast amounts of vendors had either hit or miss kind of days but that to me all depends on how much mark-up they are asking. Many stands I had seen with great deals were selling well, while other didn’t move much merchandise at all due to prices. This is still a small town convention so deep pockets are less likely found for big high cost items. Vendors who adjusted their prices for the small town savvy shoppers made out very well compared to those hoping for the big whale buyers found at the huge city cons.
As well as the vendors, there were activity spots for all sorts of family enjoyment. With separate locations for the video game crowd and the role-playing fans to gather and do battle with one another. A great distraction for the kids or the grown men to wander off and enjoy.
Cosplay: Cosplay was HUGE at Count.I.Con! From the pros, the semi-pros and just the average patron who wanted to dress up for the occasion. It was great to see the enjoyment on people’s faces as they met up with PopCultHQ’s official cosplayer Laird in his “Reptile” suit. Also getting to see Laird’s work on full display at the PopCultHQ booth over the weekend was so much fun.
The official Count.I.Con cosplay contest were a blast for all participants, but the real highlight of the show had to be the Cosplay Family Feud and Cosplay Jeopardy games. It was pure hilarity for the cosplayers to stay in character and blow answers with their witty, smart-aleck remarks.
Special Guest: The focus of this show is the creators and fantastic projects stemming out of their unique creativity. As things appeared to us, most creators were having a very good Saturday but the Sunday crowd was not quite as active as the previous day’s pace.
While PopCultHQ was there, we did catch up with old friends of ours from Devils Due: Josh Blaylock (Mercy Sparx), Ash Mazcko (Squarriors), Ashley M. Whitter (Scorch), Jeff Balke (comic book colorist). Also getting to know new friends and super talented creators like Mark A. Nelson (Aliens) and Trevor A. Mueller (Albert the Alien) who were such a delight to meet.
PopCultHQ upcoming interviews from Lake Count.I.Con guest: As always when covering comic conventions we interview the people that we want to work with and spotlight as either the next big trend or someone we already are big fans of. Count.I.Con was no exception as I interviewed creators who set off my pop culture “hit” radar!
Ashley M. Whitter – The super talented artist for DDP’s Squarriors and soon to release Scorch, her very own comic creation! We talk all that and her big bag of chips as her mentor and fellow great artist on his own right Mark A. Nelson crashes the interview to further make Ashley blush with awesome accolades. One of the funnest interviews I’ve done in quite some time!
Trevor A. Mueller – Trevor basically knocked my socks off with his spectacular out-of-the-box thinking, kids graphic novel “Albert the Alien.” Trevor is an extremely intelligent writer and his style of bringing emotions and coping with those feeling with characters and clever storytelling that all levels of young readers will absolutely enjoy. Just brilliant! I cannot wait to share what Trevor discussed with me about his fabulous kids series.
Richard Heinz – The man who is looking to bring Urban Fiction to the forefront of pop culture is doing a fabulous job thus far in trying to obtain his dreams. Richard is already in a nerdiest writers contest fighting to keep head-to-head with the top spots to earn his book’s publishing. I don’t normally just talk to random people or spotlight them on PopCultHQ unless they really strike a hit on my pop culture radar. What Richard and I talk about not only sold me on his project but also has me excited as heck to read what he has in store for us!!
A huge thank you again to Lake Count.I.Con organizers, staff and #TeamAsh for inviting PopCultHQ to cover the event. We honestly had such a great time getting to meet so many amazing people and making new fans to our website. We hope to be back again next year for Count.I.Con 2016 to see many of those awesome faces again! I personally would recommend Count.I.Con as a family-oriented show that is much more geared toward meeting spectacular talents and enjoying the massive con experience while not having to spend the massive amounts of money just to be there.