As usual we here at The Geekiary had a busy year covering conventions, so join myself, Admin Angel, and editors Bekah and Jamie for our Convention Round Up 2016, in which we recap another year of amazing convention experiences!
Which conventions did you attend this year, and which one was your favorite?
Tara: As per the usual I went to quite a few! Con Nooga, C2E2, SC Comic Con, Ice & Fire Con, MegaCon, San Diego Comic-Con (a.k.a. SDCC), Dragon Con, and MegaCon Tampa Bay. While I’m biased and Ice & Fire Con remains my all-time, every-time favorite, I had my best experiences ever with both SDCC and Dragon Con. On top of that, MegaCon Tampa was a brand new convention and I loved it! (To be fair, I was also *extremely* impressed with C2E2, and if it wasn’t between Star Wars Celebration and Ice & Fire Con next year, I would be going back!)
Jamie: This year I was only able to attend the New York Toy Fair, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. SDCC is normally the big bad, and I’ll admit that I had a great time this year, but NYCC won 2016. I was so busy and I covered so much – I didn’t have nearly as much going on at SDCC this year and I felt like I was spinning my wheels most of the time.
Bekah: I attended ConNooga, the con that started it all for me in 2015 when Tara finally convinced me to go to one. I attended a few small local conventions like SC Comic Con and EC3. Also MegaCon was a new one for me in 2016 and I loved it! I attended Ice and Fire Con (where we had a great new venue) too, and of course DragonCon, which took the cake for conventions for me this year.
Angel: I attended San Diego Comic-Con, Comic Con Honolulu, Kawaii Kon, and Anime Matsuri. My favorite, as always, was San Diego Comic-Con. It’s the biggest one I go to every year and the furthest from my home (I can see the Honolulu Convention Center from the end of my street and walk there if the weather isn’t bad, so the others were essentially in my backyard).
Did you attend any panels or roundtables, and if so, were any of them particularly memorable?
Tara: Sadly I once again didn’t attend anywhere near as many panels as I wanted to. That said, I got to see the Steven Universe panel at SDCC, which was amazing, and I had a really great time at MegaCon Tampa Bay’s “Cosplay for Beginners” panel. I was one of the panelists and there was an amazing group of kids there who were both attending their first convention and cosplaying for the first time, and they were so fun to talk to – plus their costumes were amazing!
Bekah: I really didn’t try to run myself ragged on panels at any of the conventions and to be honest, I don’t even remember if I attended any of them. This year was about enjoying my friends and the great company.
Angel: The Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic-Con was a dream come true. It was enhanced by the fact that it was my 30th birthday, thus making it a birthday to go down in history. Not only did we get exclusive clips of Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2, but we got a special parody clip of what Thor was up to during Civil War, Michael Rooker dressed in full Yandu attire, and several casting reveals including Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. I can’t believe I was in that room when all of that happened; it goes down as one of the best days of my life to date.
Jamie: Panels usually take a back seat at conventions for me, because of press obligations. I can never see as many as I want, but I still try to fit in at least one! My favorite panel at SDCC was definitely for The 100 because it was my first time seeing the cast in person, and at NYCC I loved both the Humans and Iron Fist panels. Marvel panels are always a blast – the energy in the room is unmatched and Marvel pulls out all the stops to give the audience a great experience.
Were there any interesting celebrity encounters for you at conventions this year?
Jamie: Oh, man, I don’t know a whole lot about SuperMansion, but I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder during a press room than I did with those guys. Breckin Meyer is one of my favorite people to interview, and getting to meet Keegan Michael Key was truly amazing. The 100 press room was a great time as well; it was absolutely lovely getting the chance to interview Eliza Taylor, Marie Avgeropoulos, and Lindsey Morgan in particular. Also, one of my all-time favorite shows is Merlin, and this year I got to interview both Colin Morgan (Merlin) and Tom Hopper (Percival), so that is a thing that actually happened. Additionally, I had a great conversation with Alexandra Bracken about, of all things, the frozen yogurt machine in my work cafeteria, and although we were rushed through the Shadowhunters signing, the cast was very appreciative of my pin collection (which populates my convention lanyard). Isaiah Mustafa noticed my Sterek OTPins and thought it was Magnus and Jace!
Tara: I met quite a few at both MegaCon Orlando and SDCC, and a couple at Dragon Con as well. Will Friedle was hilarious, but probably the highlight was meeting Bear McCreary, who is best known for the music on shows like BSG and The Walking Dead. I definitely geeked out over running into him at a bar in San Diego more than anyone else, although moderating the Kevin Conroy panel at MegaCon Orlando was a huge honor and an awesome experience. – Kevin Conroy is an absolutely amazing speaker. (Which shouldn’t be surprising seeing as he’s THE voice of Batman.)
As a side note, I was struck mostly dumb when I met Pierce Brown, the author of the Red Rising trilogy. These are some of my favorite books ever and I’ll be real, he’s super attractive in person.
Bekah: This year I met two handfuls of really great people – Bob Morley, Sachin Sahel, Jarod Joseph, Alessandro Juliani, and Lindsey Morgan from The 100; Aly Michalka and David Anders from iZombie; Jack Gleeson from Game of Thrones; and Jason Isaacs were the ones that stood out to me the most. I also met Tom Felton and Tom Payne (Jesus on The Walking Dead) but was pretty disappointed with both of them. At DragonCon, I walked and talked with Tom Mison from Sleepy Hollow from the CVS down to the Hyatt without realizing who he was until we’d parted ways.
I think Jason Isaacs was the one who had the biggest impact on me because I idolized him as a young girl, especially because he was Hook in Peter Pan, and Hook is one of my favorite villains. Much to my embarrassment, I burst into tears as soon as he said hello to me.
Angel: I got my first one on one interview at San Diego Comic-Con this year with Jason Matthew Smith from Star Trek. He was an incredibly nice person and gave an incredible interview. His publicist also represents many other people I’m interested in speaking with, so I look forward to working with them again in the future.
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?
Tara: I definitely wore a LOT of costumes this year (I won’t list them all, but it was at least 21 of them)…though to be fair, some of them were repeats from past years. (Okay, not as many as you’d think.) My favorite to wear was definitely tuxedo Pearl from the Mr. Greg episode of Steven Universe, but I’m definitely most proud of my original Disney Princess Kylo Ren cosplay. The idea was born at MegaCon Orlando and completed within about a month, so I did a little photoshoot with it and then officially “debuted” it at Dragon Con. Now if only I could find more of the pictures that people took of me…
That said, I’m always far more impressed with other people’s cosplays than my own, and my 2016 favorites included Dunk & Egg at Ice & Fire Con (because where else would you even see Dunk & Egg cosplay?), a female Grand Admiral Thrawn at Dragon Con, the aforementioned group of first-time cosplayers at MegaCon Tampa Bay (it definitely helped that their group included cosplays from Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Undertale).
Bekah: I revamped my Rose Quartz cosplay for Dragon Con and I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it and it was very well received. I also finally did some much needed repairs on my Heda Lexa cosplay and I did a party version of Enchantress from Suicide Squad.
I can’t remember many particular cosplays, but there was an *amazing* Garnet cosplayer at Dragon Con!
Did you make any interesting purchases or discover any great new vendors at 2016 conventions?
Tara: I definitely spent more money than I should have at SDCC and found some cool art prints at MegaCon Orlando, but probably the biggest hit of the year was my discovering the absolute hilarity of those big mystery boxes that you can buy at so many conventions. More often than not they include one or two decent or good things and then a whole bunch of junk, but it’s moments like seeing my friend get a Snake Plissken action figure in his mystery box that really make the purchase worthwhile 😉
Jamie: At SDCC I got one of the Mattel exclusives – the SuperHero Girls Katana doll. Then at NYCC, I spent way more money at the Marvel booth than I wanted to, but my new journal is the journal from Captain America: Civil War that contains the code words for activating the Winter Soldier, so…
Bekah: I ended up mostly just buying a ton of art from various vendors and artists. I think my favorite one is a portrait of Sansa Stark.
Angel: I spent my money exclusively in artists alley at every convention I went to this year because I wanted to support local artists. I got some amazing Steven Universe buttons at Comic Con Honolulu that are now permanently part of my con backpack button collage.
Did you go to any conventions this year? If so, what was YOUR favorite 2016 convention experience? Let us know in the comments! And keep an eye on The Geekiary Convention Calendar – our writers are already planning on attending at least eight conventions, and we will likely add more throughout 2017.
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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