Welcome to The Geekiary’s fourth annual convention round up! Our 2017 conventions were many and varied, so sit back and enjoy highlights and stories from myself, Admin Angel, Bekah, and Jamie!
Which 2017 conventions did you attend, and which one was your favorite?
Tara: Every year I tell myself I’m going to cut back on the number of conventions I attend, but that never actually seems to happen…oops? Anyway, in 2017 I went to the first ever ClexaCon in Las Vegas, Star Wars Celebration Orlando, the 5th annual Ice & Fire Con, MegaCon Orlando, SDCC, Dragon Con, MegaCon Tampa Bay, and the first ever Beach City Con! As always, Ice & Fire Con remains my favorite, and as always, I completely admit that’s because I’m biased. I did have a LOT of fun at ClexaCon and am sad that I’m going to miss it in 2018 – I highly suggest looking it up and considering going if you want a crazy fun Las Vegas weekend stacked with great LGBTQ+ programming. And of course I had a blast at Dragon Con, though not surprisingly it didn’t top last year.
Jamie: This year I went to BookCon, SDCC, Flame Con, NYCC, and AnimeNYC, and my favorite this year was definitely NYCC. I just had such a great experience this year. I thought I would be annoyed by the new lottery system for Main Stage panels, but it worked out pretty well for me. Plus NYCC is starting to get more offsite activities, and it was generally just a really good time. But shout out to Flame Con, which is probably the most welcoming con I have ever been to, and the inaugural AnimeNYC for being my very first anime con!
Bekah: This year was a bit sparse on the conventions for me due to a new job. I attended a small local convention – SC ComicCon – as well as Ice and Fire Con, MegaCon Orlando, DragonCon, and Beach City Con. My favorite by far was Ice and Fire Con.
Did you attend any panels, roundtables, or interviews, and if so, were any of them particularly memorable?
Jamie: So many to choose from! I think my favorite panel was either the Voltron panels from SDCC and NYCC or the Runaways panel at NYCC. And my favorite press room was Shadowhunters at both. The Shadowhunters cast is just a pleasure to interview – they’re all so charming! I posted a photo on the Geekiary Twitter of Matt Daddario sort of like squatting down so reporters on the press line could get him and Kat McNamara in the same shot. I loved that moment.
Angel: I had a great interview with Clare Cramer this year about a new documentary she’s producing. I’ve always been a fan of Buffy so it was pretty amazing to get to talk to one of the most iconic villains from the show.
Bekah: I got a chance to go to the Pulse Nightclub fundraiser at MegaCon and met some great illustrators and writers. I also made it to one of the 100 panels at Dragon Con, which is always a good time.
Tara: Oh my gosh SO MANY. I made it my goal to attend at least one panel per day at SDCC this year, mostly because last year I spent far too much time partying (wow, can’t believe I’m saying that) – don’t get me wrong, that was my best Comic-Con yet, but I wanted to make sure that I experienced more of the convention this year than last. I was super excited to attend the panel for History’s Vikings, and I went to some good fan panels as well, though I was seriously disappointed in the “Westworld Law” panel (the first twenty minutes, maybe more, consisted of a video from the HBO website and the panelists talking about themselves). As for other conventions, I ended up being on so many panels (especially at ClexaCon and Dragon Con) that I didn’t really have time to attend any other ones, but I had an awesome time being a panelist (of course)…especially on the Dragon Con High Fantasy track’s “Game of Toxic Masculinity” panel! (Check out my panel recap: Part 1; Part 2)
Were there any interesting celebrity encounters for you at conventions this year?
Tara: I didn’t have nearly as many cool celebrity encounters this year as last, but I did get to chat with Pierce Brown a bit at SDCC (even though I always go mostly mute when I encounter him; for those of you who don’t know me, that is very odd indeed – yes, even around celebrities), moderate panels for A.J. Michalka and Kimberly Brooks at Beach City Con, and interview Sean Gunn at Dragon Con. So even though I didn’t run into/meet as many people, I’d say the encounters I did have were more meaningful this year.
Bekah: My adoration for The 100 cast members is no secret and I got a chance to have a really gritty and great conversation with Richard Harmon, who plays John Murphy. He provided a lot of great insight and shared some anecdotes with me about working in entertainment. I also brought him and Chris Larkin Oreos and they gave them out to fans.
Jamie: Well, everyone probably knows about my experience with Jeff Davis at the final Teen Wolf press room, and that was certainly interesting. But I had a lot of great positive encounters, so who cares about that guy! I probably came off like an idiot, but I loved getting to tell Josh Keaton (voice of Shiro on Voltron) how much I love Shiro. And these guys aren’t really celebrities, but I seriously enjoyed my press room for LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2. Most of my interviews are with actors, so it was really cool to talk to video game people. And at Flame Con, Robin Lord Taylor was just a gem. My friend lined up for a selfie with him, and he chatted with us for probably ten minutes. Bonus of smaller conventions – the celebs have more time to be social.
Angel: Getting sandwiched between Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins has been a lifelong dream. Mission accomplished.
If you cosplay, what was your favorite of your own cosplays and/or those of others? If you don’t cosplay yourself, did you take note of any really good ones this year?
Jamie: I did not get a photo, and I’m kicking myself for it, but at SDCC I saw a guy dressed as the cabbage merchant (complete with cart!) from Avatar the Last Airbender and that just about made my weekend.
Tara: Hey, I actually get that reference about the cabbage merchant now! (I finally watched Avatar the Last Airbender in September, on DVD nonetheless – I was without cable or internet for 8 days thanks to Hurricane Irma). Anyway, I do cosplay, though this year was a lot more laid-back for me than previous years. My favorite new cosplay was probably my ‘burlesque Hufflepuff’, which was supposed to be steampunk but didn’t turn out steampunk-y enough, haha. That said I think my Queenie Goldstein from Fantastic Beasts was probably the most well-received (at least of my new ones). As for favorite costumes I saw, I’d have to say that most of them happened at Star Wars Celebration Orlando. There’s nothing like a single-fandom convention for bringing all sorts of random cosplays to the forefront, and I mean, where else would you see a guy who looks like Alan Tudyk dressed as the K2-SO motion capture stand-in…or my absolute favorite sighting, someone dressed as Chef Gormaanda from the Star Wars Holiday Special.
Bekah: I cosplayed quite a lot this year. I brought out battle Maleficent for our local con and even made a full latex lekku headpiece for Hera Syndulla, which I wore at Dragon Con, where tons of people recognized the character. A lot of people asked how I made the lekku and took a ton of photos, which was cool because that was my most ambitious cosplay to date. I also debuted my bisexual Harley Quinn with Tara as my Poison Ivy, as well as a Shiva the Tiger cosplay with my friend Keith as Ezekiel. think my favorite cosplays were Joanna Lannister at Ice and Fire Con and Deal With It Olenna at Dragon Con, where I found a Joffrey to pose with. My favorite cosplay that I saw was probably this one gorgeous Battle Rose from Beach City Con, or maybe a woman at MegaCon dressed as Te Fiti with her daughter as Moana.
Did you make any interesting purchases or discover any great new vendors at this year’s conventions?
Bekah: I didn’t buy anything at Dragon Con which isn’t unusual for me. HOWEVER, I bought some gorgeous Steven Universe Tarot cards and some lovely enamel pins at Beach City Con, some glorious artwork at Ice and Fire Con, and I met a really talented artist at MegaCon who did a custom watercolor portrait of my dog.
Jamie: Nendos! Nendoroids are my new obsession since I’ve gotten into anime. It’s like a disease. I bought two Haikyuu ones at SDCC and a Yuri on Ice one at NYCC. Plus, I found a lot of great artists at AnimeNYC.
Tara: I picked up some fun exclusive stuff at Star Wars Celebration, but nothing really beats my giving in and picking up a hardcover copy of Red Rising and having it signed by Pierce Brown at SDCC. Of course…[not-so-]funny story…for some reason I thought it was Golden Son that I had signed by him at SDCC 2016, so I also picked up a copy of Morning Star and had it signed…only to get home and realize that was the one I already had. Am I returning to SDCC in 2018 only to get his new novel, Iron Gold, and a copy of Golden Son signed? Mayhaps 😉
What 2017 conventions did you attend, and what was your favorite event or experience? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to keep an eye on The Geekiary Convention Calendar – we already have several conventions scheduled for 2018, and will surely add more to the list!
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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