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ACBC 2015: Atlantic City Boardwalk Con Convention Review

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This year marked the first ever Atlantic City Boardwalk Con (ACBC), and although the event produced some disappointments, its ambitiousness was commendable. 

ACBC took a gamble (pun intended) and aimed considerably high for its first ever event, and who can blame them? NYCC became the biggest comic convention event last year so it’s easy to understand others would try to follow suit in hope to mimic its success. Unfortunately, ACBC didn’t hit a jackpot. 

ACBC was held at the spacious Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The floor was so spacious that it made walking around surprisingly enjoyable and stress-free. Granted, the number of attendees is nowhere near NYCC’s, so foot traffic angst was a non-issue. Other great things about the event’s location: transportation hubs, shopping outlet, hotels, casinos, boardwalk and beach all within walking distance. 

The exhibits, panels, shows, and events were all satisfactory. However, ACBC was also plagued with multiple cancellations and last minute changes that left plenty of attendees confused and disappointed. Numerous celebrity guests were not able to make it including the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Tom Cavanagh of the hit TV show, The Flash. Some panels were also cancelled and some were changed but the biggest letdown was the no-show of Stan Lee. People who paid big bucks for a VIP meet and greet with him cried foul and demanded a refund.

The official ACBC Saturday Night Afterhours Party, hosted by Club Cosplay didn’t exactly leave up to the attendees’ expectations as well. The most epic costume party it was not. Yes, there were some good beats and energetic DJs but that’s about it. There were neither props on display nor strobe lights directed on the dance floor that would really make you get on the groove. Aesthetically, it was bland.

Just as any other newly born cons, a few hiccups are to be expected but it is how the organizers handle said hiccups that make the difference. They get a slight pass for being a rookie but with all the big cons as a reference, they should have had a better contingency plan – especially a refund policy. Fortunately, they will learn from this and will only get better. Despite some obvious misgivings, ACBC did its best to accommodate everyone by providing eclectic choices for all types of fandom and that for me is a win. It may not be a jackpot but it’s a win nonetheless.  

BY: Jovanni Febrero
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