If the bigger comic book conventions such as San Diego are known for their spectacle and big media announcements, Baltimore Comic-Con is the place you go to meet your favorite artists and writers in a relaxed and convival environment. Oh, and buy lots and lots of comics!
Stan "The Man" Lee is the guest of honor at this year's BCC (held at the Baltimore Convention Center), and he'll be doing signings, make an appearance at the Harvey Awards on Saturday, and have his own panel spotlight on Sunday. The convention has a star-studded guest list including Adam Hughes, Jeff Smith, Carla Speed McNeil, Cliff Chiang, Cully Hamner, David Finch, Frank Cho, Greg Horn, Jimmy Palimiotti, Mark Waid, Dean Haspiel, Walt Simonson, and many many others. Don't forget to also drop by Artist Alley for a dazzling array of different artists and styles -- get an art commision featuring your favorite character, buy limited edition prints, and much more!
Programming at Baltimore Comic-Con include panels featuring such publishers as Marvel, DC, Top Cow, Avatar, Legendary, Visionary, BOOM!, and Baltimore's Own Insight Studios. Learn about the future of digital comics from comiXology, take a workshop on creating manga and learn more about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. and watch spotlights with comic creators such as Charles Vess, Bone's Jeff Smith, Ron Frenz, Frank Cho, Too Much Coffee Man's Shannon Wheeler, and the classic JLA team of Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire.
The best and brightest of the comic book industry will be honored at the Harvey Awards this year, being held right next door to BCC at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore. Scott Kurtz, of the popular webcomic PVP, is the emcee this year. The Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories, ranging from Best Artist to the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame. You can read more about the Harvey Awards at their official site.
And what would a comic book convention be without some good old fashioned cosplay? BCC's Third Annual Costume Contest, held Saturday, will be offering prizes in such categories (separated out into under and over age 13) as best superhero, best non-superhero, and best group.
When the convention day is over, there are a ton of great restaurants and bars to visit in the area (my personal favorite is the James Joyce Pub, I go every year I'm at BCC). Visit the beautiful Inner Harbor, the Baltimore National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, the Camden Yards, The Edgar Allan Poe House, and The American Visionary Art Museum.
MTV Geek will be at Baltimore Comic-Con this weekend, bringing you the sights, sounds, and news from this fan-favorite convention! Don't forget to follow our Twitter -- @mtvgeek -- for convention updates, and use the official Baltimore Comic-Con Twitter hashtag, #bcc2011