So given the time that has elapsed since my last posting, there is a lot that I could write about… but given that I attended my first Geek Con of sorts this past weekend (you know not an academic, Kiwanis, or Professional convention, but a primarily fun one!), the Edmonton Expo, I figured I'd type a bit about the fun and educative nature of Saturday.
I only attended the Saturday, as I was quite busy working on Sunday. But I prepared in advance: looking up the updated panel schedule that morning, budgeting money to spend on souvenirs etc. ([un?]fortunately I didn't find too too much to purchase this time, there being a lack of particularly Ali-esque take away items… but I believe with next year's doubling of exhibition space, there very well may be more to purchase/take away. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if my next geek con of sorts isn't in Edmonton, but even if it is these are things that I would love to see more of in the vendor area:
-handmade items (there were some but not enough!)
-non-t-shirt apparel items (again there was some but not precisely what I was looking for… but more socks [only ones I saw were Saskatchewan Roughriders socks for toddlers], fun apparel items, accessories like jewelry and so on would be great!)
-board games (I only saw like 5 non-Monopoly or Yatzee games with themes added)
-items that have use value as well as being nifty
-more trade paperbacks and hardcovers
-More Doctor Who stuff (most booths carried the same stuff for Doctor Who rather than a full range of items)
-More Firefly merch (well there was a bunch but more is welcome!)
What I did come away with from the Con was a couple packages of Jean Luc Chocolates (Earl Grey Hot!) and a wonderful photo of myself with the awesomely well-spoken, kind and genuine Jewel Staite (I splurged for the digital copy too which is visible in my FB and I think I tweeted it too). I attended two panels (both featuring Jewel Staite) and I totally enjoyed them — I think panels will be one of my favorite aspects of geek cons (as expected). Probably the only downside of panels is waiting for them (made more fun when with awesome friends!), and possibly occasional bad acoustics (Clarissa Carpenter's voice was rather too soft for example due to not enough microphones and people talking behind us in the audience).
Other highlights include everyone's costumes! I saw several Doctor Whos, an adorable stroller done up like a TARDIS, many video game characters, many folks I didn't recognize, an insane Hello Kitty Samurai dude, many Dead Pools, a great Thor, lots of Batman characters, an amazing Kaylee from Firefly, a fantastic Spider-man, many Jedi and much much much more! While I didn't dress up as a character (though I debated dressing as Death from Sandman, I did see at least one at the Con, so that was cool), I did wear my TARDIS skirt, a Doctor Who t-shirt and D20 knee socks, so I felt adequately geeky — in fact I was constantly getting compliments from women regarding my skirt and telling them how to get one themselves (it's from a FABULOUS Etsy designer, Go Chase Rabbits).
Probably the biggest downside of the Con was the fact that I received a number of misogynist comments regarding my TARDIS skirt (and me in general). Now, don't get me wrong, the majority of the geeks in attendance were wonderful — and the gender ratio seemed relatively even, there being many women, men, children, babies and more in and out of costume, and the most scantily clad person I saw was a man… but the comments I actually overheard were very much not welcome, and the fact that some of my friends heard others made me sad, and well… this is why I'm unlikely to want to go to another geek con without accompaniment if it is much larger — particularly not in a costume… but I do have a number of friends who would be willing to join me in future times, so this isn't an unreasonable plan for the future to avoid dealing with stupid people alone.
All in all it was a very positive experience, and I'm rather pleased that the event was a rousing success! I know that next year will be even better — I totally look forward to it!