Monday, May 23, 2011

Cons cons everywhere

All right, I’ve been bad. I’ve hit like two conventions in two weeks and not posted any sort of convention recap. And, you know, I’m a slack ass blogger. But that’s because Photoshop OWNS me. If you have a mental image of me sitting with terrible posture, hunched over my computer, staring bleakly at pixels, then you’re wrong. That’d be way gentler. Imagine me lassoed to my desk, frantically flipping through layers, while Photoshop looms over me, wielding a whip and laughing maniacally.

Anyyyway. Here’s my speed recaps of Outlanta/Gaylaxicon (May 13-15 in Atlanta, GA) and Fanaticon (May 22 in Asheville, NC)


We departed at what felt like dawn. Despite a valiant/halfhearted attempt to stay awake on my part, SpaceJesus drove whilst I slept/drooled on Pikachu. We arrive at the hotel, sit around for a while because the con hasn’t really gotten going yet, watch some Dr. Who and podcast. The con sorta gets going. SpaceJesus gets me a badge. We wander around the con and check out the dealers’ room (awkwardly tiny but with cool stuff) the gaming room (well stocked with games) the con suite (well stocked with food) and then run out of things to do.  I take a nap.

The con has a chocolate symposium! The con suite is filled with chocolatey delights – cookies, fondue, truffles, cupcakes, candy, wine served in chocolate thimbles. I attempt to eat two of everything in the room.


We film SpaceJesus’ Dr. Who panel and then head out to meet some of his Dragon*con friends at a karaoke bar. I have never experienced a karaoke bar before. There is way too much country music and way too many people wailing off key to country music. I make our friend the Mad Scientist class up the joint (or possibly appear to be gay) by singing “Luck Be a Lady” from Guys & Dolls.  Using peer pressure, we coerce Space Jesus into singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” with Mad Scientist. The whole bar sings along and Space Jesus and Mad Scientist do us proud with some epic rock stances and head banging. And pretty good singing.

I sleep in and then am way too lazy to get dressed in chainmail. Also I apparently left the entire bottom half of my outfit at home. Doh! I spend a good  part of the day wrapped up in a robe and carrying a towel and pretending to be Arthur Dent. We go to a bunch of panels, which is cool. I’m trying to glean author wisdom. We also watch the Neil Gaiman Dr. Who episode AND IT IS PERFECTION.

By this point I’m also addicted to Space Jesus’ ipad. Mad Scientist and I compete for the highest score. He beats me repeatedly which is obviously only because he has freaky neural implants or something.

Mad Scientist convinces us to go off site to a party his grad school friends are throwing. They’re nice but it’s not out scene, so Space Jesus and I attempt to flee with decreasing sneakiness. Unfortunately, we don’t really remember where we parked the car (we walked to the party) Eventually we are running around downtown Atlanta, clutching a Pikachu backpack (me) and wearing a bathroom (him) looking for the car. We find it and speed back to the con and track down the nearest source of alcohol. Also, the con suite is now loaded with cake and three year old aged white cheddar. Dear god.

Pictured: commandeered alcohol, cake overload 

Alas, we missed the drag show! We get to hang out with some of the queens, though, and they’re amazing. We are in time to hear awesome nerd band One Hard Night perform. Actually, we’re there in time to watch them set up for a while, then do a bunch of sound checks, then perform. But they’re high energy and kickass and it’s a good show. Some insanely drunk lady who’s been hanging around the hotel keeps trying to give me a hat with a bird on it and dance sexily for the band. Both of these attempts fail miserably.

The band is auctioning off clothes and kisses to raise money to record an album professionally for a possible contract! We do the mature thing and buy their shirts off them while cheering and hooting.

I wake up roughly ten minutes before check out and pack super fast. We say good bye to new friends and peace out to get some PF Chang’s and head back to NC. It’s actually a lovely drive back despite one spot of rain and I beat my Tetris High Score. It’s still not enough to beat Mad Scientist. Dammit!

Highlights – I didn’t meet her myself, but Space Jesus said Amber Benson (media guest actress who played Tara on Buffy) was fantastic, funny and down to earth. As did pretty much everyone else who met her. Nice!
Very relaxing and fun con. I enjoyed the panels we went to and everyone was friendly.
The hotel was lovely! Newly renovated, lots of space, and very comfy.

Needs Improvement – attendance wasn’t very high and the ticket prices were absurd for the size of the con. Nothing wrong with being a small con! But don’t try to charge like you’re the next Dragon if you’re only pulling in a couple hundred folks.
More parties and Friday night fun! Poor Friday night always get shafted at cons. Where’s the love?

We had a cookout! A massive cookout that took two days to prepare. It was totally worth it, though. It’s so nice to hang out with friends outside the con setting…much more casual and enjoyable. I hope to do more of that this year  :D The final total for the feast included homemade  potato salad, burgers, bratwurst, grilled chicken, hot dogs, fruit salad, a mixed vegetables salad, fresh guacamole and salsa, Mexican street corn (which is the crack cocaine of corn, let me tell you), cole slaw, margaritas, and creamy mint chocolate ice cream. We were eating left overs for every meal after that and it was awesome.


One day event at the art museum in downtown Asheville. And free! How adorable, I thought. I was in for a bit of a surprise… it was huge! Considering it's only in it's second year, I would say this bodes well. People just packed in there (which made walking around in costumes less revealing than, say, a bikini a bit of a workout) I feared the Mando Mercs would sweat to death. It was a pretty comics heavy show, but had costumers from all areas of fandom. 

They had some panels, some larger events (like the costume masquerade, where  participants could stroll across the stage and show off their ensemble, the Star Trek vs Star Wars trivia for charity event, and kick ass comics writer Gail Simone did a talk) Also, we saw the Joker and Venom dancing to a hilarious local nerd band while the Penguin watched. Talk about your random villain interactions.

We totally meant to check out the after party, but everyone was so bushed after sweating in various forms of armor all day that we crashed and watched Kung Fu Hustle instead. Someone will have to tell me if the after party was any good.

Highlights – for a free one day show, you really can’t beat Fanaticon! Definitely worth checking out.

Needs Improvement – oh dear god someone turn up the AC in the art museum by like a million. Or have fans. And water.  
Would have liked to see a little more variety in vendors , and a gaming room would have been awesome.

All right! So you’re caught up, I’m gonna go submit to labor with dignity under photoshop for a bit…