I actually collect comics, so I was excited to buy a few cool things. This is my favorite thing, which was the first thing I got: I Married a Manchild. It's by one of my favorite artists, Kate Beaton. I love her stuff because so much of it pokes fun at literary or historical characters. I recognized most of the comics in the book, but I also got it signed by Beaton. She even drew a picture of me, which made me look way cooler than I actually am. She was really nice and was totally star-struck.
I got stocked up on other cool comic swag: buttons, postcards, fliers for local comic and graphic arts events, even free mini comics and newspaper-printed comics. Above and below are sections of the newspaper-style comics I got. They was some intense and beautiful work there.
One of the other great things was that even a celebrity showed up. Matt Groening was there, not to sign stuff or to talk art, but just to go. He was milling around with a friend, looking at people's work and buying things. I'm not really a big Simpsons fan, but seeing him there made me think about how many of the people there (mostly people around my age but also some ten or fifteen years older) grew up watching that show or at least knowing about it since it's been on so long and is so beloved. Him showing up was probably special in a strange way, since he probably inspired and influenced a lot of the artists there.
Something tells me next year this thing is going to be much bigger.