The I-Con Report

Busy, full and tiring weekend. But fun.

On Saturday, Robbie and I took the ferry to I-Con. While I read, Robbie and his girl friend Stephanie played cards. This was going to be Stephanie’s first show but she loves playing a lot of the themed card games such as Munchkin so was looking forward to the Gaming Room.

We got the con without incident, got all the freebies unloaded and immediately started running into people we knew. Despite the con containing something like 6000 fans and over a hundred speakers and signers, it still feels like a social gathering.

With so many people here, all the programming rooms were well attended. The program book showed four dozen tracks of programming/films with most of the tracks filled simultaneously. So, I was very pleased by the consistent turnout both days.

The first panel, “Everything Changes, Except in Comics” was my first chance to meet Greg Pak, one of the rising writers at Marvel. Nice guy, good speaker. He held his own with veteran con guests Peter David, Michael Uslan and yours’ truly. Nice conversation that stayed on topic for a change.

A little later, I did my first Trailer Park and despite the usual technical glitches, we showed everything and got to take plenty of questions. We, by the way, were me and Glenn Hauman, our webmaster. Glenn helped with the technical stuff and actually had a few answers that eluded me.

I managed to catch a little of The Brobdingnagian Bards before hurrying off to do the Ring of Fire panel.

Now, Comics Track assistant leader Matthew Weinberger told me this was an experiment in fan-run programming. Chuck Rozakis, scion of Bob, and I were given the title and ran with it. Chuck came prepared with a list of things using that name and we allocated six minutes and it turned into an amusing stream of consciousness panel. Best, we actually had some people attend who were neither Chuck’s fiancée or my son.

(Stephanie was so enchanted with the Gaming Room, playing in a Munchkin tournament and decided to play and skip the panel. She came to the con, checked out the Dealers’ Room and the Gaming and decided that was fine for a first time.)

Immediately after, I participated in a panel celebrating I-Con’s 25th anniversary. Many of those who ran the con in the earliest days were there and people brought the first few program books. The stories flew fast and furious and the wall-to-wall audience enjoyed it.

That evening, I attended a party at Peter and Kathleen David’s house where I finally got to see some of my pals. It was relaxed and a tremendous amount of fun.

Sunday morning started with breakfast with the Davids and George Takei. George and I have known each other since 1974 and more recently we tend to wave at each other at cons as we follow our schedules. This was our first extended conversation since Peter and Kathleen got married, so it was terrific. It was also Robbie’s first chance to chat with him so he was pleased.

After detouring far out of the way to avoid the marathoners, we got the con just in time for The Brobdingnagian Bards’ morning performance. Of course, we showed up in the Lecture Halls only to discover a number of events got rescheduled since a small fire from the day before did a little damage.

The Bards’ were shocked that so many people turned up for an 11 a.m. performance and they were loose, relaxed, and very playful. It was a delight for us and, I think, for them.

After a brief visit to the Green Room to collect some lunch for later, it was back to the Lecture Halls for the next Trailer Park. From there, I participated in a panel on “Transitions: Successfully Adapting a Story to Other Media”. Once more, Greg Pak, Peter and I were put together, and moderator Aaron Rosenberg kept things on track. I then crossed the hall to conduct my “One Panel Later” discussion which showed the audience was mostly pleased with DC’s One Year Later, currently rolling throughout their line.

And then, after three straight hours of programming, I collected Robbie and did a quick (and my only) tour of the dealers’ room and then it was off to the Ferry. He napped while I checked in with Kate. She missed the convention to compete in the NJ Dancesport Classic Spring Fling. There were four couples and she did very, very well. She and her partner Mikey placed fourth in one dance, seventh and eighth in others and had an absolute blast. Deb was there all day Saturday, snapping pics and providing snacks.

It’s a new week and it’s back to the routine with no cons scheduled until July.