Tagged: Awesome Con

Emily S. Whitten: Awesome Con Round-Up & A Look Ahead

Con season has well and truly slid into gear now; with Awesome Con kicking things off a few weeks ago and SDCC and NerdHQ fast approaching. Of course, con season is really year-round these days; but for me, it starts with Awesome Con and ends with New York Comic Con.

This year’s Awesome Con was, as usual, a great start to the season for me. What I like about the con is that despite only being four years old, it’s managed to integrate various fun aspects of different flavors of cons into a fairly seamless whole – meaning that if you aren’t there for one particular facet of the offerings, there are plenty of others to experience. Here were some of the highlights for me:

The media guests:

Awesome Con has consistently done well in getting big names to a young con. This year’s lineup included everyone from screen actors Robin Lord Taylor, Morena Baccarin, Summer Glau, Karl Urban, Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Matthew Lewis, Jon Barrowman, Brett Dalton, Adam West, and Burt Ward to popular voice actors like Phil LaMarr, Grey DeLisle, Billy West, John DiMaggio, Will Friedle, and Charles Martinet; and also brought folks like professor and writer Carole Barrowman, popular scientist Bill Nye, animator/voice actor C. Martin Croker, and writer/director Kevin Smith to round out the collection.

I had a great time seeing old friends, meeting new amazing, talented folks, and interviewing the fantastic Robin Lord Taylor for ComicMix (and what a delight that man is in person. Seriously. So nice!). I also got a huge kick out of the dichotomy of the two autographs I picked up– Zoidberg (Billy West) was “sooo into” me, but Azula (Grey DeLisle) banished me. Hah! I kind of want to hang them up together.


For the last couple of years I’ve been a panel moderator at Awesome Con (a job that can mean anything from being prepared with questions and conversation to excitedly listing off a few guest names and then sitting back and watching the show), which means those are generally the panels I get a chance to see. This year started out with Saturday’s Futurama panel, featuring voice actors Billy West, Phil LaMarr, and John DiMaggio. The room was packed, the crowd was excited, and the panelists were on fire, making the hour fly by with tons of laughter (and reinforcing my firm belief that you cannot possibly be bored at a voice actor panel). Man, I wish they’d bring Futurama back (again) (another time) (Zombie Futurama, Hi-yoooo!).

The next panel I moderated was for the Discovery Channel’s Destination America: A Haunting, a show that examines real people’s paranormal experiences. The panel featured actor and narrator Tony Call, ghost hunter John Drenner, Jr., show runner Cecile Weiland, and executive producer Cathy Garland, along with clips from the show and new season, and a cool Q&A with the audience, most of whom were True Believers. That made for a pretty cool Q&A with the panelists, who are passionate about their show and creating the best experience for viewers. I learned more than I even expected about the process of making the show, aaaand got a little creeped out while watching the clips. *shiver*

On Sunday, I got to moderate writer and English professor Carole Barrowman’s second panel. That panel was pretty much like attending an interactive workshop on writing techniques and tips, and was a great learning experience. Carole shared stories about her life and working with her brother John Barrowman as well as guidance on writing and her own creative process, and was a blast to listen to (and a super-cool, nice person, too!).

Although moderating kept me busy, one panel I didn’t want to miss was Bill Nye’s Star Talk Live! with Bill Nye, Eugene Mirman, Hari Kondabolu, Dr. Dava Newman, Dr. David Grinspoon, and Jo Firestone. It was the headliner for Awesome Con’s Science Fair, which was another great facet of the con.  I got to hear most of the talk before I had to rush off, and it was epic. The panelists discussed the possibility of getting “boots on Mars” in the relatively near future; and made me want to join The Planetary Society and also go read The Martian Chronicles again. Dava Newman, the Deputy Administrator of NASA and a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dr. David Grinspoon, astrobiologist and Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, were particularly interesting. And the addition of comedians to the mix of scientists made it an amusing as well as exciting talk. I’m so glad I didn’t miss that one!

Artist Alley:

I always love Artist Alley; and this year, I felt Awesome Con’s had gotten more robust, with a good collection of big-name and major company creators along with newer talents and independent creators. Among other things I was finally able to meet Skottie Young, albeit briefly as he was only in town for the day (but I always seem to miss him at cons, so was glad to catch him). I also picked up his I Hate Fairyland, which is about a snarky gal with a battle axe (!) who’s trapped in Fairyland. I got to chat with Fred Van Lente, who had, among other things at his table, a stack of Assassin’s Creed issues with a little sign that said, “Ask me why this comic is weird;” and because I can never resist such things, I ended up asking and then buying an issue that has no page 1 and two page 18s! I visited with Joe Harris and Matthew Dow Smith, and picked up the X-Files Christmas Special, as recommended by Matt. I also got to say a quick hi to Franco Aureliani and Marc Hempel (although I somehow missed getting to Mark Waid and Mark Wheatley, thus utterly failing in my goal to See All The Mar(c)ks).

Another fun thing I did while in Artist Alley was walk around with my coworker, and her daughter who is getting interested in creating comics. I had so much fun taking them around and introducing her daughter to the likes of Jim Calafiore (from whom I also picked up Leaving Megalopolis, his project with Gail Simone, which I’ve been wanting to read), Mike McKone, Daniel Govar, and Andrew Aydin so that she could ask them about how they got into comics and what tips they might have for an aspiring creator. It was great to watch these professionals take the time to encourage her and give her advice.

While in Artist Alley I also began a “project” I meant to start ages ago, when I bought a little Canson spiral sketchbook; which is to collect sketches from favorite artists. I started the collection with Tony Moy (from whom I also finally acquired this Vitruvian Totoro on a wood block, which I’ve been coveting for several conventions) and Daniel Govar. Such great pieces to start off my book!

Shopping & the Exhibit Floor:

The exhibition floor, with its booths and shopping, was crowded but great fun. In terms of merchandise it offered everything from comics and big-ticket collectibles to toys and handmade crafts. I, of course, can never resist a bit of shopping no matter how I try (really, I tried!!) which is how I ended going home with  a stuffed and mounted narwhal head for my bathroom (what? It’s perfectly normal to have fictional creature heads mounted in your bathroom!); a tiny happy pancakes magnet (it’s so happyyyyy! And the magnet is strong); a cuddly crocheted Companion Cube (so squishable!!); and a little green keychain Kirby (for luck! Green Kirbys are lucky, right? I feel that they must be).

While wandering the floor, I also happened upon just a couple of the many fun display or educational exhibits set up. One was the Department of Energy’s booth (which apparently Awesome Con provides for free because it’s a government agency – good for Awesome Con!) at which a gal from Aftershock Comix was demonstrating DOE’s super-cool interactive energy display; and the Geppi Museum’s immensely fun traveling museum, which was literally awesome; as in, I was awestruck by some of the great pieces they had on view in this very well-set up, professional and attractive display – all the more impressive because it was the very first time they’ve displayed this traveling exhibit, despite having had the idea to do it for some time. If you’ve been to Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore, you will know that Steve Geppi’s collection of comics and pop-culture memorabilia is overwhelming and awe-inspiring, and that it’s a lot of fun to wander through the myriad rooms in the building, reminiscing about things you recognize, and coveting pieces you might never think you’d see in person. And even though obviously they couldn’t bring the whole collection to Awesome Con, the pieces in the mini-museum had been carefully selected to represent a broad variety of really, really cool stuff – from extremely early Mickey Mouse art to rare Spider-Man comics, and more. The mini-museum also featured several video screen displays, one of which showed parts of the full museum and another of which was interactive and allowed you to read some of the comics on display. The display also featured a very old working television playing early films, and other nifty pieces. The plan is for the traveling museum to go to cons all over the country; and if it’s at one you’re going to, I highly recommend you check it out.

And of course, while walking around the floor and con, I encountered some fun cosplay, which is always neat. One particularly fun photo I got was of Aquawoman with the voice of Aquaman (Phil LaMarr); but I also enjoyed this extremely good Winter Soldier who posed with my friend Tom as Captain America; this Squirtle that my friend Rachel was delighted to see; these genderbent Captain America: The First Avenger gals; and the most adorable (and age appropriate, thank goodness!) Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy you’ve ever seen.

And that pretty much wrapped up the con for me. Except, of course, for the “afterparty,” which for me means finding a chill bar nearby for a drink and dessert (the best way to round out your convention experience!). This year, the bar wind-down also included two guys arting (finishing up some commissions before going on their way) which made it way, way cooler than it would otherwise have been. You’re good peoples, Dan Govar and Tony Moy. Also, I want all of your art.

But the fun isn’t over, you guys. Because in just three weeks, I’ll be heading off to San Diego Comic Con and Nerd HQ, two concurrent and fantastic events that I can’t wait to attend. The exclusives, guest news, and other things to look forward to have already started appearing all over the internets, and I’m hearing great things about this year’s NerdHQ. So stay tuned, and hopefully I’ll have more fun con news, interviews, and round-ups for you soon.

Until next time, Servo Lectio!

Emily S. Whitten: Turtle Power! The Original TMNT

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I’ve said before that some of the voice actors I’ve interviewed are the voices of my childhood, but I couldn’t possibly have been closer to interviewing a whole collection of voices from my early childhood at the same time than when I was at Awesome Con this year talking to all four of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Rob Paulsen, Cam Clarke, Barry Gordon, and Townsend Coleman. (I also interviewed the amazing Jess Harnell and Jim Cummings, so if you missed those interviews, check ‘em out now!)

I watched a fair amount of cartoons as a child, and among the ones with the earliest, largest impact on my young life were those coming out in the ‘80s, including Thundercats, Duck Tales, Inspector Gadget, Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, He-Man, Danger Mouse, and more. But of all the ‘80s cartoons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles consisently stands out as a favorite, with both a premise and characters (brought to life by the voice actors!) that I just loved. Like Greg Cipes (the current Michelangelo), I used to glue myself to the TV when TMNT came on, knew the theme song by heart (still do!), and totally had a favorite Turtle (Raphael! I do love snark). To this day I remember weird little bits of plot or character that apparently ingrained themselves in my brain from the age of six. So getting to talk (albeit a bit briefly, since the con was so busy) to all four of the Turtles in the span of the same hour was just really, really cool. As is being able to share those talks with you!

So if you’re a Turtles fan or you just like cool videos, click here for shout-outs from Raphael (Rob Paulsen) and Michelangelo (Townsend Coleman), and interviews with Leonardo (Cam Clarke) and Donatello (Barry Gordon).

And if you want to see what the guys were like in action, doing their fun voices at Awesome Con, check out the Awesome Con Twisted Toonz panel, as filmed by my great friend Kristy Sproul of Voice Chasers.

Enjoy! And until next time, cowabunga! And Servo Lectio!

Emily S. Whitten Interviews Jim Cummings

Winnie the Pooh Tigger

Is there aaaaanyone here who hasn’t seen at least a video clip of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger Too at some point? I know I’ve seen plenty – Winnie-the-Pooh was a part of my childhood, and is now a part of the childhood of this Auntie Em’s little nephew and nieces. And would it blow your mind to learn that since the 1990s, Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger too have been…dun dun duuuuunthe same person? Because they have! Well, at least when it comes to the guy who does their voices.

This is one of the things I adore about voice actors – how versatile they are, and how they can do so many voices that just sound nothing like each other; even when the characters are in conversation together. It’s really amazing.

If you know anything about voice actors, you’ll know that when I talk about the voice of Pooh and Tigger, I’m talking about the epically talented voice actor and voice of all of our childhoods, Jim Cummings. Along with Pooh and Tigger, Jim’s voices include The Terror That Flaps in the Night (Darkwing Duck]! I watched that show religiously); Disney’s Pete (Goof Troop, yay!); Mr. Bumpy of Bump in the Night (My tiny hamster Squishington approves); Looney Tunes’ Tazmanian Devil; Ray from The Princess and the Frog; Fat Cat and Monterey Jack from Rescue Rangers; and sooooo many others.

I had a chance to chat with Jim about his work while at Awesome Con 2015 in Washington DC (and if you missed my previous coverage, check out my con round-up and my interview with voice actor Jess Harnell at the links), and it was a real pleasure. We discussed all sorts of things, including his approach to voicing legacy characters versus original characters, the recording process, singing as a character, and advice for aspiring voice actors. And, of course, he bounced (as Tigger would say) into character and did a few voices for me, as well!

You can check out the video of my interview with the amazing Jim Cummings here. And if you prefer the audio instead, you can head over to SoundCloud here and give it a listen.

So enjoy! And until next time, go have yourself a snack (maybe a smackerel of honey?) and Servo Lectio!

Emily S. Whitten: Awesome Con DC 2015

AwesomeCon2015LogoSo I just got back from Awesome Con DC 2015, and happily, it lived up to its name once again, because it was pretty darned awesome!

It was also kind of interesting to realize that every year I’ve gone has been a different experience, thanks to what I was doing each year. The first year, which was of course also smaller than the current con, I was reporting for ComicMix but did not have any other responsibilities. That meant I had time to see pretty much all of the floor and meet any guests I’d like, plus doing great, longer-form interviews with the talented Phil LaMarr and Billy West. Last year, I was running programming, so I saw a whole lot of back hallways, the exhibit hall whooshing by at a fast clip several times as I hurried around, many great volunteers, and a few guests for just long enough to introduce myself before they walked out on stage. (I did allow myself one break to see the voice actor Ghostbusters script reading panel, though. And may have possibly told my staff I’d kill them if they bothered me during it. Because hey. That panel was awesome.)

This year, although I was planning to report on the con, I also offered to moderate some panels if needed. I ended up moderating four really cool panels; and that gave me yet another fun perspective to add to my myriad con experiences. Interestingly, despite all being billed as Q & As, each of my panels had a very different feel. The Gerry Duggan and Mike Hawthorne panel, while naturally discussing storylines and characters both had worked on, also contained some really in-depth insights into the working process of both comics writer and artist. I found Gerry’s process for script-writing, which includes editing what was a final Deadpool script to “punch it up” more after seeing the storyboards created by Mike Hawthorne from his draft, to be particularly interesting. And Mike told a great story about working with Harvey Pekar and receiving a “script” to work from that was just two pages with many panels of stick figures – and yet somehow managing to make it work!

Mark Pellegrino’s panel was very energetic, with Mark interacting with each fan who asked a question on a personal level by having them come up and stand next to him in front of the stage while they chatted. This made for a dynamic panel; although it almost became a bit too dynamic when a Castiel cosplayer yelled, “Hey, assbutt!” And tossed a”holy fire Molotov cocktail” at Mark as she came up to ask her question. Fortunately the bottle was plastic and Mark caught it with aplomb – but really, guys – let’s not throw things at our con guests, okay? Even if you think it’s going to be totally awesome, just – don’t. For one thing, you’ll give your friendly neighborhood moderator a heart attack as she pictures a nice, unsuspecting actor getting beaned in the head and/or cut by a glass bottle; and for another, unlike with merchandise, if you break a con guest, you don’t get to buy him or her. Instead, you get big, big trouble, and possibly fandom-wide hatred.

The next panel I moderated was for George Newbern, voice of Superman from Justice League, as well as many other voice and on-screen roles, including Father of the Bride, Friends, and tons more. He’s currently playing a fascinating role as Charlie on Scandal. George was delightfully interesting to listen to given his storied career, which also includes having read over a hundred audio books. It was pretty cool to hear him demonstrating coming up with something like 140 voices for the most recent book series he did. And of course it was awesome to have Superman sitting next to me for a few moments when he did that voice. (George also worked on Switching Channels with Christopher Reeve. How cool is that?)

The last panel I moderated was Adult Swim with C. Martin Croker and Dana Snyder, which was a total trip because with Dana, “moderating” essentially means, “pointing him towards a stage and letting him go.” I did say we shouldn’t throw things at guests. However, those rules don’t go both ways – and if you go to an Adult Swim panel and you’re not paying attention, there is every chance you will get beaned in the head by a water bottle thrown by Master Shake. Fortunately, everyone was paying attention, and thus no attendees were harmed in the making of the panel. There was some fun information shared by both Clay and Dana, including that Clay recalls an episode of Space Ghost, Coast to Coast that was actually too crazy to air, and that Dana landed the role of Master Shake essentially by talking on the phone. Or at least, I think those are things we learned – I don’t know for sure, as my head was spinning from all the comedy going on next to me on stage!

Along with moderating panels, I actually got to go to some panels as well, including a few minutes of the Lord of the Rings panel with Sean Astin and John Rhys-Davies (I wanted to stay for the whole thing but had a schedule conflict), which was really great to listen to, as those two have such presence; the entirety of voice actor Jess Harnell’s panel, which was the most warm, friendly, funny, energetic one-man storytelling hour I’ve been to in some time; and the Twisted Toonz live movie script read, which this year featured all four original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Rob Paulsen, Cam Clarke, Townsend Coleman, and Barry Gordon), as well as Jess Harnell, Jim Cummings, and Phil LaMarr. The Twisted Toonz reading was a blast, as always; and if you haven’t ever seen one of these live reads, you need to check out the link above. I recommend starting with the ECCC Star Wars Trilogy.

The panels were fantastic – but they weren’t the only thing to do at Awesome Con. I also walked as much of the con floor as I had time for, seeing great costumes and buying ridiculously fun merchandise (like my new tiny and giant My Little Ponypools). 17750292184_f6da133be9_bIt was surprising and cool how many friends I ran into just wandering the con floor, which really made it feel like a warm and welcoming con. Not to mention I got to catch up with fun guests I hadn’t seen since last year’s cons, like Alex Simmons, Andrew Aydin, J.K. Woodward, Joe Kelly, Marc Hempel, Noel MacNeal, Phil LaMarr, Rob Paulsen, and Sean Astin; and meet a few neat guests I hadn’t before, like Mark McKenna, Sorah Shibao, and Diana Leto. And don’t worry, for anyone who’s sad they didn’t get to be there and have these fun experiences too – I took pictures for you!

Not only that, but I also got the chance to interview some really fantastic folks. So stay tuned in the next few weeks for some words from Jess Harnell, Jim Cummings, and all four of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!!

And until then, stay Awesome, and Servo Lectio!

Emily S. Whitten: ComicCon Prep 101

SoldierConvention season is upon us, y’all! Well actually, convention season is sort of year round these days. As Jim Zub observed recently, “There are now so many conventions that you can’t even attend the ‘best’ ones. Too many great shows.” Too true. And technically for me, convention season started with Awesome Con DC, for which I was on the ConCom. But convention reporting season for me really starts with San Diego Comic Con and wraps up with New York Comic Con (because yes, I love HeroesCon, and I know I totally have to try one year, and C2E2 would undoubtedly be great, and OMG ECCC always has so many good voice actor guests so why haven’t I gone yet – but I just can’t do it all, you know? Much as I’d like to).

So for me, it’s now time to Get Serious about prepping for conventions because SDCC is about a month away (eep!). And when I prep for cons, I ain’t kidding around – I arm myself for cons like a general going into battle, because no matter how much you plan for a con, when you get there things are not going to go as planned (kind of like how “no battle plan survives contact with the enemy,” y’know?). And since I’m not the only one who might feel overwhelmed by the wonderful chaos of a con if unprepared, I thought I’d share some of my methods (and madness? and complete OCD?) with you. So here’s how I do things. It may not be how you decide to do things, but at least it might give you a jumping off point.

Step 1: The Spreadsheet

Okay, so depending on how many cons you attend (and how OCD you are) you may not need a spreadsheet. But if you go to several cons a year, like me, a spreadsheet can help you keep track of all of the important stuff for each con. Like, for instance, the dates of the con, when badges go on sale, what you still need to do well beforehand (like booking your travel and hotel), and particular events or plans you want to ensure you don’t miss (like dinner with friends, or, for reporters, interviews you’ve set). Also which friends might be going to the same con (because if I don’t note this somewhere I will forget who’s at which cons), or what costumes you want to wear (and if they still need work before they’re con-ready), your expenses or budget, and anything important that you really don’t want to forget to pack.

So if you want an easy way to keep track of all this stuff, be a spreadsheet nerrrrrd like me. Trust me, it really can help. And you can use other tabs to keep track of other handy stuff you need to prep for.


Step 2: The Schedule

So once you get your badge and travel and hotel figured out (try to get those nailed down first and as soon as you can to ensure you get a badge and hotel, since some sell out quickly; and to get better travel prices), you’re going to want to start thinking about allllll of the amazing things you can see and do at a con. The con’s website should have everything you need to start planning all that out, with guests you might want to meet (and get photos with, or autographs from, or commissions from, or even just tell them how awesome you think they are); and panels you might want to see; and all that jazz. Explore the whole website because hey, it’s fun to look forward to stuff by learning about it, and also you might discover some things you didn’t realize they had (like how Dragon Con lists each fan track they have, what each entails, and what they have featured on each track in the past).

Once you decide what’s going on your con Wish List of Excitement, you might want to keep track of some of it on your spreadsheet. Also for scheduling, you might want to download and use the con’s scheduling app if they have one and once it’s available (many of them use apps now, including at least Awesome Con, San Diego, Dragon Con, and NYCC). It will take some time, but it’s worth going through the whole app and adding things to your schedule or favoriting guests you want to see; and you can generally even set reminders to go off prior to panels. Note that inevitably if you’re going to a good con, you’ll end up with like, five conflicting things in the same slots on your schedule much of the time. That’s okay! You can decide later which (if any) you actually want to attend. Just throw ‘em all on there and see what sticks.

And now that you’ve got your potential schedule figured out, you can also think about:

Step 3: Costumes

(Note that this step can run concurrent with the first two, because it can take a while to get a good costume together.) If you are a costumer like me (sometimes), you may want up to three or more costumes for one con. These may require gathering of pieces, sewing, crafting, and more. I’ve talked before about how I make a convention costume so check that piece out if you want some tips on the finer points of how I do it (which is not to say there aren’t folks out there who do it with a lot more complexity and expertise than me). But generally, you may want to decide on a few costume goals, get your photo references or inspirations together, decide on your wardrobe pieces, and then (if you’re me and you just love making lists) list out all of the moving parts so you don’t forget to pack or wear any of them for the con. Again: add it to the spreadsheet! It’s good for so many things.


Step 4: Packing

Along with your costumes, there are some other things you don’t want to forget to pack for cons. Obviously this is going to depend in part on your own needs, but here are some things I recommend you wear or carry with you at the con:

• A decent-sized shoulder bag or small backpack with many pockets. The pockets are great for keeping your stuff in separate, easy to find places for if you need quick access to something.

• One of those lightweight cloth shopping bags that folds up into another tiny bag, which can later be used to carry whatever you end up buying (because if you are me, you will totally end up buying things.) I found one in the checkout line at an Office Max. You can probably also get one at The Container Store or similar.

• Comfortable socks and shooooes!!!!! And clothes, generally. But especially socks and shoes. You will be walking and standing around a lot.

• A hoodie or light sweater if you tend to get cold. If you are a gal like me, and you want something lightweight that rolls up fairly small and doesn’t wrinkle, I recommend the SeV Ladies Cardigan from ThinkGeek. I love that thing.

• Deodorant? No, seriously. Some of y’all may smell like springtime roses all day and all night long, but if you are at a con for 8+ hours, bustling through warm crowds, rushing to panels, and generally hanging out with a million other people, you might consider taking along a little travel stick of deodorant to use, because you might in fact find yourself being a gradual contributor to the dreaded con funk. And nobody wants to be that person.

• Snax! Ranging from bottled water to granola bars, trail mix, or whatever else your little snacky heart desires. It’s very important to stay hydrated and keep that blood sugar up during the go-go-go of a con. I tend to like chewy granola bars and those little applesauce pouches that look kind of like Capri Suns (which are also handy, by the way) because they aren’t crinkly or messy and are super-easy to eat while trying to be quiet in a panel or while in a hurry and barreling through a crowd on the way to your next fun event. I recommend keeping gum or mints on hand as well. Also, of course, it’s good to have some cash on hand for food and shopping.

• Your badge or badge confirmation, and ID. Seriously, don’t go all the way to the con and then realize you don’t have these. Also any medications you might need.

• Your camera, smartphone, charger, extra battery or on-the-go charging device, or any other tech you may need to communicate and memorialize your fun. Also consider an iPod if you are going to be waiting in line by yourself a lot and don’t always feel like talking to strangers.

• A small notepad, a couple of pens, and a Sharpie or two. They just come in handy, you know? Also anything you might want to get signed.

• Business cards, if you intend to make connections with folks for any reason.

• Aaaaand… anything else you can’t live without. Having all of these things, and having done the other steps prior to the con, will prepare you for the ultimate end game of…

Step 5: Having A Great Time, Even If Nothing Turns Out As Planned

Like I said, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, and no con plan actually works out the way you expect. You will miss panels you want to see or people you want to meet, you may discover that your costume is way less easy to navigate through a crowd than you would have hoped (oops!), and other things will turn topsy-turvy. But being prepared will minimize any panic, stress, or issues that you might have with all of that.

And after all, things not going as planned may turn out to be the best thing that could happen. Because cons are magical and wonderful things full of fun and excitement, and missing that first panel may mean you run into your favorite actor in an elevator, or step into a less-full panel that turns out to be epically awesome, or decide to roam Artists Alley or the con floor and discover a new favorite artist or an exciting piece of con merch. So if you want to have a good time, it’s great to be prepared; but also, to be flexible – be both and I guarantee you’ll have a great time.

Got some other prep tips that help you out at a con? Feel free to share them in the comments!

And until next time, Servo Lectio!