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This Old Fangirl…Pulled a Convention Trifecta!

 

 

 

 

cosplayers palmconI don’t know how I managed to pull it off, because the week before the first convention I was super sick and in the hospital. But like a true geek, I rose from my metaphorical deathbed and soldiered on. Each of the three conventions I went to were different; like getting a fruit basket with an orange, and apple
and banana in it. I went to each one for different reasons and with different expectations. I was well rewarded because I savored each con in a different way.

First up was PalmCon, a family oriented event that focused on creativity, comic art, and costuming. My purpose for hitting this one was to play in my first convention RPG (it sounds cooler to say Con Game, right, Alan Tudyk?). The problem PalmCon had was that everything was in one big room and the loudspeaker was constantly going off and breaking concentration. The GM tried, and we gave Savage Worlds Deadlands/Sixth Gun the old gamer try. I played a snake oil saleswoman fleeing the war-torn south, my daughter was the gunslinger, and we also had a priest that wasn’t speaking to any god we’d ever heard of and an outlaw. We each had our moments.

Unfortunately I got sick again and we didn’t get to play the second session. I did see people I hadn’t seen in a while – local artists and vendors – but managed to walk out of the con empty-handed. Who leaves a con empty-handed? Sigh. I did, because I had someone on my left and someone on my right who physically removed me from the Monster High booth. And the skeleton girl was so adorbs!

Sara and JamesThey did have a point, though; I needed to save my money for next weekend, Wizard World Fort Lauderdale. I pre-ordered my tickets, autographs, and photo ops online. I was going to meet Christian Kane and my daughter her idol, James Marsters. There were some other cool guests too, and I figured when things died down on Sunday it’d be great to schmooze the booths. Wake up call! Wizard World is just like the old Creation Cons, what we fondly called cattle cons. The celebrities did autographs at this time, a Q&A at that time and a photo shoot at this other time. And unless you had a VIP pass (which I loathe, because those on limited income end up feeling less than) that is all you saw of So and So.

That being said, Sara loved every second with James Marsters; in her photo I swear she looks like she swallowed a canary. Christian Kane is a true gentleman. Any autographs I get now are personalized to me in memory of my late husband. Mr. Kane offered his sincere condolences and signed my picture very sweetly.

But the best came at the photo shoot. I know it sounds dorky, but I do carry a picture of Scott so when I meet someone we both adored, I pull it out to put in the shot with us. So I showed him Scott’s picture, and he asked, “May I hold it?” I was utterly gobsmacked and you can see tears forming in my eyes. In fact, I think right after the shoot I ran into a corner and cried like a baby until my daughter found me and we went home. In addition to the photos and autographs, I bought a graphic novel. There was no gaming that I could see, but we did have our “home” game that weekend and I need to rest up before heading north to Necronomicon.

NecroNecronomicon is the fan-run convention put on every year by the Tampa Area Science Fiction Club. It was one of the “old time” conventions — small, easy to bond with other geeks, unusual items in the dealers’ room, and my biggest downfall (after Monster High), sf/f art. Sigh. What a gallery I could have. I actually got two pieces by artist Sarah Clemens, one a dragon with a kitty cat, the other a dragon wrapped around a guitar. That last one was a gift; I know how much Scott loved guitars and dragons.

But the main reason we came was to game. And game, and game. All tabletop RPGs, all Savage Worlds system. The first game I did was an East Texas University game (think Buffy in college), where we had to fight senior citizen zombies. I kept asking; if they gum us to we still turn into zombies? Fortunately there were a lot of players, and the fight was over while I found myself below a broken window with a frying pan in my hand. Oh well, on to Fearsome Creatures (aka Cryptid Hunters), which was bizarre, but nowhere near a bizarre as THE game of the convention, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 70’s edition. They didn’t put the sign-up sheet out until an hour before the game and when the sheet did hit the table it was like chum time for piranhas. But we managed to get in and I played Elvis. It was awesome! At one point we needed to get the Blues Brothers offstage because they had something we needed. So Foxy Brown gets up on stage and announces, “Elvis is in the building!”

It just so happened that another player had brought his accordion (I guess if you can play one you show off whenever you can! Otherwise it’s best not to ask.) I asked him if he knew an Elvis song, and he did, and our whole table burst into, “Wise men say only fools rush in, but I can’t help falling in love with you….” I’m surprised we weren’t waving lighters in the air. It was truly A MOMENT. The other gamers in the room were giving us the stink eye for making so much noise, but we were beyond caring. We’d hit gaming Zen!

And at this con my wallet did break free of its moorings; I bought Fairy Tall Gloom, Munchkin Gloom and Steampunk Munchkin. And dice; I thought I lost my dice (but found them today in the glove compartment of my car). Ah well, you can’t have too many dice. We got home Sunday night, just in time to somewhat live-tweet Once Upon a Time. And then I was out. I think I missed a day called Monday– oh wait, Castle was on.

There are no conventions this weekend but there is a zombie pub-crawl!), but the following weekend is Animate Miami, and then Spooky Empire Screamfest. I will not be going. I enjoyed my orange and my apple and my banana very much. Once, back in the mists of time, we were lucky to have three conventions a year. Now it’s five in a month? Further proof that the Geeks are indeed inheriting the earth.

 

Written by Arlene Allen

Hello, my name is Arlene Allen, and I love all things nerd: genre tv and movies, books, loud rock and roll music, kittens, conventions, books, graphic novels and superheroes, RPG and tabletop games, and did I say books? Oh, yes. I spent 25 years as a librarian (nerd) mainly working with youth (creating nerds), a number of years as a teacher (more nerd indoctrination). I have my own spawn, leveled up to 22 and my partner in nerdiness. As a nerdy writer, I have found a home at Talk Nerdy With Us.

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