A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Garden State Comic Fest Winter Edition. It was held at the Rockaway Townsquare Mall in Rockaway, NJ on February 5-6, 2022. While definitely one of their smaller downsides, it was a great way to get us back into con season. .
Granted, there were other minuses of varying sizes before the GSCF in 2022, but winter is generally a slower time for minuses in the northeast. The possibility of snow and many people’s lack of funds after the holiday season usually reduces the number of cons in January and in February they begin to return.
Dave O’Hare and Sal Zurzolo, the showrunners, didn’t try to be too ambitious with this scam. It was relatively small compared to their scam at the Mennan Arena in Morristown. But it was also a lot of fun, giving cosplayers a chance to shake off winter rust and fans to enjoy the company of fellow fans that didn’t involve waiting in line for hours. Vendors and performers also had the opportunity to make money (they got some of mine) and the attendance was more than enough to make it worthwhile.
There were guest comedians and even a few wrestlers, but most fans just seemed to enjoy the atmosphere. Also, with the scam located in a mall, one could avoid the high food prices that are usual in convention centers and could browse other stores if a break was needed. The mall “normies” were puzzled by the sudden superheroes among them, but some actually decided to attend the con. And in the age of online shopping, having a bunch of nerds with disposable income in a mall isn’t a bad thing for local stores.
All in all, Garden State Comic Fest Winter Edition was a great way to kick off con season and I’m looking forward to their next event in the Mennan area of Morristown, New Jersey on July 9-10.
To learn more about Garden State Comic Fest, you can visit https://www.gardenstatecomicfest.com.