Asbury Park Comic Con 2014 Event Guide

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Asbury Park Comic Con
April 12- 13, 2014
Asbury Park, NJ

The annual Asbury Park Comic Con has almost arrived, giving comic book fans a chance to celebrate all their favorite fictional heroes. A full slate of awesome panels, amazing artwork, cosplay contests and so much more is planned for this year's convention, and you can bet that a wide array of attendees will be donning their best cosplay attire emulating all the fictional heroes, villains and other characters found throughout the pages of comic books and graphic novels. The Asbury Park Comic Con will be held at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, located right off the Atlantic coastline at 1401 Ocean Avenue (near Ocean Grove, north of Spring Lake). The convention is set to kick off Saturday, April 12, and end on Sunday, April 13.

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What to Expect

asbury park comic conWith so many of the major conventions experiencing such huge growth over the past decade, many seem to be focusing less on comic books and more on films, television series, games, anime and other areas of pop culture. That is why Asbury Park Comic Con creators Cliff Galbraith and Robert Bruce decided to create their own convention that went back to the basics. You won't find a long list of celebrities attending this event because the focus will be strictly on comic books and their creators. The first Asbury Park Comic Con was held in 2012  and featured a small showing of just 32 exhibitors, and was held in a local bowling alley that had been converted into a rock club. Since its humble beginnings, the Asbury Park Comic Con has grown dramatically over the past two years, and this year's event will feature more than 200 exhibitors and for the first time run for more than just a single day. If you cleave through the pages of comic books like they are going out of style and can't get enough of the epic adventures of fictional superheroes, then this is the convention for you.

This year's installment of the Asbury Park Comic Con will feature a huge list of guests that have become legends among comic writers. Bob Camp, Chris Claremont, Denis Kitchen, Rick Parker and many others will be in attendance to converse with fans and give some perspective on where our favorite fictional characters might be headed in their future endeavors. A wide selection of panel discussions are scheduled throughout both days of the event, and speakers will be covering topics ranging from the art of lettering to what its like to work with Kevin Smith and the rest of the Comic Book Men. Artists will likely be selling prints, posters, paintings and other artwork displaying their awesome talents, while other exhibitors will undoubtedly be hawking rare collectibles, comic books and figurines from decades past. Be sure to enter yourself into the costume contest for a chance to win some cool prizes and of course claim exclusive bragging rights until the 2015 convention.

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Top Panels

A full schedule of panel sessions will be going down at this year's convention, and speakers will be discussing a wide spectrum of topics.

  • Drop by on Saturday at noon to hear from typography wizards Todd Klein, John Workman and Rick Parker, who will be discussing the finer points of lettering comic books. Throughout their careers, these three gentleman have worked at some of the biggest comic book companies in the nation, including Marvel, DC and National Lampoon, and are prepared to give attendees and in-depth look at what it takes to succeed in the industry.
  • Fans of funny-man Peter Bagge should be sure to stop by and listen to his chat with Jon B. Cooke, as they discuss what inspires the brilliant and hilarious stories found in the pages of "Hate" and "Neat Stuff."
  • On Sunday, catch the conversation between Jon B. Cooke and Denis Kitchen, as the two discuss the underground comix movement, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and some of the amazing innovations brought to the industry in recent years. Denis Kitchen is a patriarch among comic book enthusiasts, and fans may learn a thing or two from the legend himself as he discusses his life and career.

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tickets

Where to Buy Tickets

Tickets can be purchased on the Asbury Park Comic Con website or at the door on the day of the event. Please note that there is only a limited number of tickets, and those who plan on purchasing them at the door may be turned away if the event sells out. To ensure you are able to gain entry to the event, purchase your tickets in advance on the convention's website or at showclix.com. Children younger than 8 years of age will be granted free admission as long as they are accompanied by a ticket-holding adult. Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Single-day Saturday tickets are $18.50 plus taxes and service charges
  • Single-day Sunday tickets are $17 plus taxes and service charges
  • Two-day tickets are $30 plus taxes and service charges

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rules

Costume and Weapon Rules

The creators of the Asbury Park Comic Con have yet to post any rules and regulations regarding weapon and costume policies, but would like to remind everyone that this is a family-friendly event. Please do not wear clothing that may come across as lewd, scandalous, disgusting, disturbing, revealing or offensive in any way.

Additionally, no actual firearms should be brought to the event. Individuals whose cosplay outfits include a prop or a weapon should be sure that their accessories will not hurt or frighten other attendees. This event is supposed to be a fun and light-hearted celebration of comic books, so please keep that in mind when choosing your attire for the convention.

If you do choose to wear a costume, enter into one of the many costume contests being held throughout the event. Categories include best male costume, best female costume, best boy costume (for boys 12 and younger), best girl costume (for girls 12 and younger), best couples costume and best group costume. Enter to win a number of great prizes and to claim bragging rights for these awesome and honorable awards.

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Getting Around

Asbury Park is made for walking! A long stretch of boardwalk takes you through the town's best restaurants and attractions, and this is also where Comic Con headquarters is: The Berkely Oceanfront Hotel sits right on the shore.

You can get around by train, bike, and (of course) car here, but if you book a beach rental close enough to the Comic Con action, you may choose to stick to your own two feet!

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Things to Do Besides Asbury Park Comic Con

asbury parkTravelers who are hoping to explore some of the great attractions located around Asbury Park besides the annual Comic Con will be pleased to find a wealth of great options.

  • If you’ve got a pinball wizard in the mix, take a trip to the Silver Ball Museum and Arcade. This awesome establishment features a massive selection of games ranging from 1930s pinball machines to current video games. From Pac-Man to Skee Ball this arcade has it all, and is sure to provide visitors with an enjoyable afternoon filled with bumpers, bells, whistles and multi-colored flashing lights.
  • Art enthusiasts should stop by the Parlor Gallery for a chance to see some of the art community’s brightest up-and-coming stars. Browse through work ranging from paintings to mixed media to photography from artists such as Pablo Power, Mike Egan, Henry Hargreaves and numerous others.
  • If you’re interested in seeing the city’s most popular attraction, head over to the Asbury Park Boardwalk. This expansive stretch along the New Jersey coastline if filled with unique shopping, delicious eateries and a variety of colorful characters. 

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Where to Stay

If you're hoping to stay close to the action, consider vacation rental accommodations located around the nearby Ocean Grove, Belmar, Spring Lake, or Long Branch area. Vacation Rentals.com has a number of houses, villas and cottages that would provide the perfect place to stay for larger groups and small families alike. A number of three-, four-, five-, six-, seven- and even eight-bedroom houses are available for incredible rates, and provide easy access to the convention and all the surrounding attractions.

If you're planning on attending the event with all your best buddies, look into the expansive and fully-modernized Victorian located along the oceanfront in Spring Lake. This gigantic old manse can sleep up to 14 guests and is pet friendly, so you don't have to kennel your dog or cat. It is located about 10 miles south of the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, and gives visitors ample opportunity to enjoy the scenic New Jersey coastline. Make your reservations today at vacationrentals.com for the best deals you'll find online!

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