Today I had the experience of going to one of my local South Jersey comic events in Woodbury, NJ. It’s more of a festival than a comic convention. It’s very family orientated and small in size. There were about fifteen to twenty different vendors, ranging from toys, collectibles, food trucks, comics and of course Funko Pops. Everything is local including the food and shops, which is great because you’re supporting local businesses.
The fest is very simple in form. As you walked in you were greeted by a big T-Mobile bus, four food trucks and a water ice stand. In the back there was one of those Hostile Healing tents which if you don’t know, is a tent they set up where you can destroy objects as a form of stress relief and healing. After checking that out, it was time to head in. If you came in costume or brought non-perishable donations, the cost was $5 per person; otherwise it was $8. My thought was support your local charities if you can, so I brought two cans to donate. After you get your wristband, you were given a free bag of “swag” which consisted of three comics, a sticker, temporary tattoos, dice and some business cards.
While walking around the event I had the pleasure of speaking with Cassandra Polo, who has been going to the event since year one and is a vendor. She told me “It’s not just a comic event. They have them on separate occasions. The event happens twice a year, which are the weekend of Halloween and the weekend of Easter. The founders wanted to give something to the community on the Jersey side that is family friendly and affordable. They always strive to bring something new to each event as well as changing up the vendors that attend.” She couldn’t be more right, very well said.
Inside was your stereotypical “con” like event. Many vendors were selling many different items including board games, comics, perlers, collectibles, Funko Pops and clothing. There was also live music. We circled all vendors about three times, chatted with some and went back outside to the other side of the event. That was where we found a Super Smash Brothers Tournament taking place. Also, a LARP Arena was set up to practice and duel each other with practice weapons they had available. There were even zombies walking around! That was another great touch from this fest. The size alone makes it hard to recommend to anyone outside of a 30 minute drive; however, if you are close to it and in the area definitely check it out.
If you went, be sure to let me know in the comments.
Photo Creds – Emily Bockius