Last Friday night, Smash-Con took place at Green Room in Fort Lauderdale.
Most other vendor-centered events that consist of comics and crafts usually take place during the day on a Saturday or Sunday. But Green Room's idea to combine nightlife with nerd life proved to be a smart one.
Definitely more comic than craft, though, the vendors were selling
everything from prints to jewelry to graphic novelettes. The event was
brought to Broward fanboys and -girls by Tate's Comics, a favorite local shop of any
South Floridian with even a remote interest in geek culture.
The beginning of the night was a little slow with only
vendors filling the Green Room space and a few early birds who were there when
they opened the doors. But that is par for the course at any Fort Lauderdale
club, and it became more packed as the night progressed. Cosplayers showed up
dressed in a variety outfits, a fan fave being sexy Velma from Scooby
There was a scheduled stage show and it yielded some
interesting reactions. Burlesque performances from a lady Riddler and Harley
Quinn had people looking simultaneously entertained, confused, aroused, and weirded out. Which are pretty standard reactions at most comic conventions. But then
again, most comic conventions don't take place at a nightclub. And most
Cosplayers who intend to be scantily clad normally arrive that way instead
of stripping down to house music.
Was it necessary for a striptease burlesque show that
included nipple tassels so long that I was surprised the gyrating Harley Quinn
didn't accidentally propel herself off the stage? Probably not. But in trying
to find a solid mix of nightlife and nerd life, there were bound to be a few
oddities. Regardless of reaction, no one could take their eyes off the stage.
The thing this burlesque show probably accomplished was keeping people around. The only problem with a comic-centric vendor event is that once
people circle the area a few times and browse all the tables, they need something
to keep them from getting bored.
Normally in nightclubs, it's alcohol and the
space to act drunk that does the trick, but that space was filled up by the
very vendors people came there to see. So there were a lot of "Now what?" looks being passed between friends once they'd made the rounds. The good thing was that while they were making those rounds, there was a lot to keep them amused.
If they do SMASH-Con again (and I hope they do), I'll be excited to see if and how they change it up. Maybe pyrotechnics? Superhero smackdown? Fetish queens and power tools?