Smash-Con Combined Nightlife and Nerd Life 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 Doo.
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?