First off, my apologies for severely neglecting my blog. I couldn’t believe it when I looked back and realized that my last post was *GASP* January 31st. Almost two months without a fresh post is entirely unacceptable no matter how crazy and hectic my life may be.
Since January 31st my NerdBFF Hayden aka Geek Outlaw and I had our first booth at a Convention.
The 2014 LA Comic Book and Sci-Fi Convention ended up being a great place to pop our convention booth cherries.
He wrote a spectacular post about it that you should read HERE.
Usually I’m the one having to drive back and forth to Los Angeles for Conventions that are closer to Hayden than they are to me but this past weekend Hayden had to drive to my neck of the woods for San Diego’s longest-running science fiction and fantasy convention, ConDor. Despite spending much of my youth A) in San Diego and, B) attending sci-fi conventions (mostly Star Trek), I had never been to ConDor.
Due to our schedules Hayden and I only attended the convention on Saturday and we mostly stuck to the panels and floor, although I saw rooms where they were playing table top games and it looked REALLY fun. There were also several classes that I wish I’d had time to take and a couple of dances/parties.
The overall feel of the convention was very steampunk as you can see from the photos taken by the official photographer Jerry Abuan. Check them out HERE. In fact, the floor was comprised almost entirely of steampunk vendors/artists…
with the exception of a cardboard TARDIS…
and an art exhibit…
ConDor is pretty small as far as Conventions go but fantastic in that there is something for everyone. The program was 51 pages thick and we didn’t even get to see a lot of the action.
Hayden and I attended four panels: Broad Appeal vs. the Personal Touch (a writing panel), The Enduring Popularity of Doctor Who, Alien Invasions and Human Responses, and Big Bang Theory: Love it or Hate it? Many of the panelists were the same people who simply went from one panel to the next. I think most of them are long-time members and friends and are listed in the beginning of the program as “ConDor Veterans.” It was pretty neat in that it was a little round table of four or five geeks geeking it up. I could have sat through another hour of the Doctor Who panel, easy. It was a bit of a bummer in that, with the exception of the writing panel, they really didn’t invite much audience interaction. They were kind of lost in their own little worlds having these great conversations and we may as well have been sitting on the other side of a two-way mirror. They just didn’t take much notice of us and I felt as though I could have contributed some insight on a couple of occasions that would have added to the conversation. Ah well!
Broad Appeal vs. the Personal Touch (a writing panel)
Panelists: Kelly Dunn, Stephen Woodworth (Moderator), Dani Kollin, Sherwood Smith
This was supposed to be a panel about how too much broad appeal can make a story overly generic while too much of a personal touch can make a story impenetrable and irrelevant; however, there was some confusion in the beginning over what exactly “genre fiction” was that took up quite a bit of time. Hayden got in a good question during the Q&A in which he asked the panelists to name one thing that would keep a story from being too generic and one thing that would keep it from being too personal. The advise ranged from writing from a “gods eye view” to basing characters off of people you know in real life. Stephen had the best quote in response to Hayden’s question, he said that “every story is a delicate balance between universality and individuality, it’s the details that make the story unique.” (example: Romeo & Juliet vs. West Side Story)
The Enduring Popularity of Doctor Who
Panelists: Ron Oakes (Moderator), Janet Tait, Robert Evans, Lynn Maudlin
This panel was comprised mostly of Doctor Who superfans, all of whom started watching the show at very different points in their lives, nerding out about the show. This is the panel I could have sat through another hour of, I just wish their had been more audience interaction. More times than I can count I leaned over to whisper something to Hayden (a non-Whovian) only to have one of the panelists say what I just said a moment later. I would have kicked ass on that panel.
Alien Invasions and Human Responses
Panelists: Cody Goodfellow (Moderator), Sheila Finch, Vernor Vinge, Lynn Maudlin, Eytan Kollin
This panel was about how humanity would react to an alien invasion and the different possible types of invasion (physical, viral/bacterial, invasive species, informational, etc.) It kind of turned into a bit of a history lesson about Nazi Germany but that’s mostly because Eytan is a history teacher by day.
Big Bang Theory: Love it or Hate it?
Panelists: Chris Weber, James Hay (Moderator), Roberts Evans, David Ross
This panel was kind of hilarious in that it was an idea James Hay had but then he admitted that he didn’t know anyone personally who hated The Big Bang Theory. He was hoping for a healthy debate about the show but it was mostly a love fest and any criticisms of it were quickly shot down by the panelists who were, I think, a little too defensive of the show. At one point it morphed into a very awkward conversation about sex on TV. Still, it was a fun panel, although my criticism about needing more audience interaction still stands, these guys did a slightly better job of engaging the attendees. And yes, that is a woman knitting in the front row during the panel.
As I mentioned before, almost all of the costumes were steampunk but they were AMAZING steampunk and a lot of care and craft went into their creation. I wish I’d taken more pictures of the costumes but seriously, if you’re into steampunk fashion, check out the official photos HERE.
Steampunker Capt. Seekerman is an amazing web designer. Check out his work here.
I posted this picture on the HNG Facebook page along with the caption “May the Force live long and prosper.” and one clever follower came back with “I’d rather reverse that meme, so that I can ‘live long and be with you’ ” Clever boy.
Hanging out with the 11th Doctor
I naturally gravitate towards TARDIS’s.
I photobombed Hayden’s picture of the Stargate Coverstone.
A Coat of Arms from Germany in the Exhibit Room.
Jerry Abuan, the official photographer of the Con spotted Hayden and wanted a picture of him in his Geek Outlaw getup.
(Please note that full credit goes to Jerry Abuan for the next three photos and I totally nabbed them from his site and don’t have the rights to them)
Since it’s my job to keep Hayden humble, I often photobomb his pictures. It’s what friends do for each other.
This time I was actually asked to stay for a shot!
Too bad for Hayden, I found a new NerdBFF before the end of the Convention.
A huge thanks to Pearl and the lovely organizers and helpers at ConDor for the press passes and the hospitality. They are good people and I look forward to hanging out with them again next year at ConDor 2015!