The I-Con Report
I-Con occasionally suffers when it has massive turnover of staff, which is to be expected since it is a con largely run by students. Last year, things were a mess when they could not use the campus and splitting the show among three venues did not make anyone happy. Fortunately, this year the show returned to campus and we could happily spread out in one place.
On the other hand, the database used to schedule things apparently did not allow for cross-track guests which led to some confusion especially for those of us who straddle two or more tracks. As a result, the schedule for me was a bit of a mess and miscommunication lasted for months right up until the show.
A good con, though, carefully masks its errors and the attendees barely notice. I think, therefore, the con was a major success for the fans who were happy to be back on campus. Moving registration to the Student Activity Center seemed to work well, too.
As a guest, I loved that the Green Room was also moved to the SAC since my panels were all in the building. This let me grab a cup of coffee and sit with my fellow authors in-between events.
Peter David and I invited ourselves onto the Media Tie-in Panel and somehow I got named moderator. Go figure. What made this particularly fun was that beyond the usual suspects, we also had Mike Resnick, Barry Malzberg, and agent Joshua Bilmes at the table. Their comments were not only amusing, but added some fresh perspective to the topic.
While I had a block of free time before my next event, I never quite made it to the Sports Complex and the dealer’s room. Instead, I wound up sitting and having a long lunch talking with pals, old and new ranging from Bill Fawcett and Jody Lynn Nye to Michele Lang. Tor’s Jim Frenkel had to read my badge to place me, which has become an annual event and somehow amuses me.
With Glenn Hauman’s assistance, I hosted Trailer Park and we got a good sized crowd. They seemed to enjoy the videos and the Q&A session that followed. From there, it was back to the Green Room where a bunch of us had pizza and good times.
One of the schedule snafus had me on an Iron Man vs. Batman panel when I wanted to be on the Revolving Door of Hero Heaven panel with Chuck Rozakis. When I saw the huge crowd for the former, and that it had to be moved to accommodate the fans, I realized I needed to chat about two of my favorite heroes. We moved to the auditorium and some 45-50 people engaged us in debate. Of the four panelists, three picked the Dark Knight over the Golden Avenger.
The follow-up panel was Sidekicks and we had a more modest dozen or so in the room. What amazed me though was how many panels were scheduled in the evening and how well attended they all seemed to be.
The next snafu had me directed to the wrong hotel; I was apparently booked into the overflow hotel so by the time I checked in, was fairly exhausted.
Sunday morning, though, was relaxing and leisurely as I had a nice breakfast and caught up on my magazines. The front desk gave me alternative directions back to campus so I could avoid the closed stretch of road I would normally take but was being used for a marathon. Unfortunately, she neglected to mention a turn or two so I was miles out of my way by the time I figured it out.
Glenn and I did our encore performance and showed a mix of new and repeat trailers. Hands down, the movie to receive the best reaction is Kick-Ass, opening in a few weeks, followed by Iron Man 2.
I wolfed down a quick lunch before hitting the Rogues Gallery panel where we examined who has the best villains and why. This was followed by my final discussion, which was called Varieties in Writing as Bill Fawcett, Sarah Beth Durst, Aaron Rosenberg, and Carl Fink all discussed why we write in various genres and markets. It was a lively talk and it was fun talking about something different.
After that, it was a round of farewell hugs in the Green Room and then back to the ferry for the trip home. Overall, it was a good experience and it was great seeing friends and making new ones.