Not quite a month ago (May 13-15), I had the opportunity to attend the Atlantic City Boardwalk Con (ACBC) as press. This show was in its sophomore year, it was local, and I had friends who were volunteering as “sidekicks” so I figured “why not?”
Their tagline was “Be a part of the ACtion”, and action was abound on the show floor. It was a truly interactive floor with something for almost everyone in paid and free varieties. They had backgrounds available for people to take their own photos. There was a Battle Zone where various demonstrations were held regularly by local organizations. R2-D2 Builder’s Club was there with droids in various stages of completion. The Adventure Arena Battleground was an inflatable battle area where friends could safely joust. There was a Tattoo Pavilion where you could get a tattoo by someone from Ink-Fusion Empire. A unique feature was the ACBC Garage, where you could get pictures with vehicles from many of your favorite shows and movies. The floor was easy to navigate, with a Main Stage toward one end and the autograph and photo ops areas on the other end.
At the Main Stage, there were almost hourly giveaways of all sorts of swag, much of it from the show runner’s own collections. There were also fun games with attendees, set up like Jeopardy!™ and Password. The Main Stage was also the venue for the cosplay contests.
Near the Main Stage, you also found the Marston Family Wonder Woman Museum. The show runner is a serious Wonder Woman fan and his passion showed in the panel where they screened “Wonder Women the Untold Story of American Superheroines”.
On the programming side of the house, there was an obvious focus on cosplay and crafting.
There were also panels for each of the celebrity guests, primarily focused on Q&A. I was able to catch two of the celebrity Q&A panels. There was plenty of time for audience questions and the moderation was at just the right level.
Panels were held in two areas on the con show floor as well as in two larger rooms outside of the show floor within the convention center.
With a small show like this, you find that there are a limited number of celebrity guests. There were nine film/TV actors on the schedule as of May 13, but a couple of them had to cancel last minute. The guests that did attend were very accessible, and they weren’t minor celebrities. Lines were short and the celebs didn’t rush the fans off.
Overall, this was a nice show with a positive vibe and a relaxed atmosphere. It was definitely geared more toward comic fans and cosplayers than toward fans of other genre interests. I expect that will remain true next year with the planned focus on Silver Age and Golden Age comic creators.
If comics are your thing, ACBC is worth checking out.