• Conventions

    Quinte Mini Con Recap

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    A little later than I originally planned to get this up, but I’d like to state for the record that I want to go to more small conventions next year.

    Why?

    Because Quinte Mini Con was a lot of low-stress fun.

    There was ample opportunity for geeky shopping for me, my wife, and the kids I brought with me (4, including 2 of my 3). Panels were all volunteer run and consisted of a selection of things the girls were actually into: Anime, webcomic, plus cosplay stuff for the cosplayers, an evil laugh contest, some retro gaming, and a couple of celebrity guests.

    Now before you get too limiting with your definition of celebrity, let me tell you who the celebrities were at QMC from my point of view. You can have your own definition and get upset at who I haven’t included who was on the guest list, but the beauty of any convention is that it isn’t all things to all people. Yes, there were some high end cosplayers there, too, but that’s not who I was there to see.

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    John Stocker is a Canadian voice icon. He’s got well over 100 show level voice acting credits and has done voices for such disparate shows as Franklin and Friends, Totally Spies, Mario Brothers, the Care Bears, Tripping the Rift, and Tintin. He’s the also a voice director (Sailor Moon, anyone? How about Mike the Knight, or maybe Fugget About It?), and even spent a little time in front of the camera early in his career. I was able to spend a few minutes talking to him on the convention floor and he gave a great Q&A to an audience of a dozen or so.

    Dan DayDan Day is an artist who’s done work for both Marvel and DC in the comics world, as well as smaller publishers, and has a breadth of work in trading cards and gaming too, including Dragon Magazine, Magic the Gathering, and Steve Jackson Games. Dan was very friendly, very approachable, and also gave a fun Q&A to a small group. Actually, with the amount of time I spent talking to him during several visits to his table, I felt like I got a double Q&A. He also really needs a website, but he’s too busy drawing really spectacular stuff.

    The pressures at a bigger con would not have let me spend more than a few seconds talking to either of these two gentlemen, if I’d even been able to spend enough time in the right spots to see them. I like big cons, but there’s a lot to be said for a more personal touch.

    And being able to look around and see the whole floor at once offers a little extra freedom for the kids you have with you, depending on ages. Both of mine took advantage of that, and one of them surprising me a bit to do so. Plus, I was able to spend a lot of time with some good friends I don’t get to see very often.

    I’ll be honest, though, the highlight of the weekend for me was quite probably that my youngest daughter wanted to get Chibi-ized with her parents.

    Chibi

    This was done by the tremendously talented Kim Nguyen for a ridiculously low price.

    QMC is on my list every year that they want to run it.

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  • Conventions

    Quinte Mini Con Report

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    Okay, so I’m a little late getting this posted, seeing as how the con ended 8 days ago, but Quinte Mini Con Was great. Especially for a first year con.

    I’ll admit that I don’t have a basis for comparison. This is the first time I’ve been to a first year con, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it grows next year. I’ll also admit it’s the smallest con I’ve ever been to.

    But it’s local-ish to me, and the geek tribe always needs room to grow and express itself. Belleville’s not a big town, but the con drew out some vendors and artists, some local and some not, plus added a few panels, and enough of us came to see them that there will be a con next year, too.

    I was able to catch up just a little with Amanda Sun (and I’m still kicking myself for not offering to record her presentation on making it in publishing), getting her to sign the copy of Ink I bought (as opposed to the ARC I already had, which she signed at World Fantasy last fall).

    And I ran into some friends I haven’t seen in years, and we spent a little time catching up with them, both sets of parents able to say, “Holy cow, have your kids gotten big!” (Our oldest and their oldest played together as toddlers.)

    Both of these major events occurred on Saturday. Sunday was a shorter day with a little bit of geeky Christmas shopping and a panel about Hetalia for Oldest Daughter.

    And a small part of that Christmas shopping was for me. My wife is pretty awesome and spotted a very cool item to add to my slowly growing collection of geeky things (also fits in with my slowly growing collection of Star Trek things).

    Behold the glory of the 1996 30th anniversary celebration of Star Trek, the original series, in the form of Barbie and Ken outfitted in TOS uniform.

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    Back of the package copy: “Join Barbie and Ken as they beam aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the classic Star Trek Series! Ready for any mission, Barbie is outfitted with an authentic Star Trek uniform. Her badge and red uniform denote her status as a member of the ship’s engineering section. She carries a replica of a tricorder, the multipurpose scientific and technical instrument that incorporates computers, sensors and records in a convenient handheld device. She also carries a replica of a communicator allowing he to contact other Starfleet personnel. Ken wears a gold jersey and badge indicating his position in the Command division. He carries a replica of a phaser – an acronym for PHASed Energy Rectification – which is a directed energy weapon used by Starfleet personnel. Lieutenant Barbie and Commander ken join the internationally renowned original crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise: Captain James T. Kirk, First Officer Spock, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, Helmsman Hikaru Sulu, Communications Officer Uhura and Navigator Pavel Chekov on a special voyage. In the 30 years since it first aired, Star Trek has inspired generations of fans with Gene Roddenberry’s belief that people of various races, genders and planetary origins can work together to build a constructive future for all mankind.”

    Makes you shiver, doesn’t it? A tremendous deal for the tiny number of quatloos we paid for it. Of course, we spent too much money at the con overall. Big surprise.

    If you’re in the area or happen to be passing through next year, Quinte Mini Con is definitely worth your time.

    Now I have to go pick out a place to hang my dolls before I let them get wrapped for Christmas.

    Oh, and we have one final stop on our 2013 convention tour: Frost Con in Toronto on December 14th.

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  • Conventions,  Life,  Parenting

    Fall Conventions

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    We’ve been planning to go to Quinte Mini Con in Belleville since we first heard about it very early in the year. It’s the first Con in the area, and will become the closest without going to Toronto.

    A small con, and a first time foray, it looks like the con organizers are going to every effort to put together something people will want to go. I don’t expect Fan Expo, and one of those is enough, really, but I expect to be impressed. Guests, events, panels, and a vendor’s room. Should be fun.

    My daughters, particularly Oldest Daughter, made some friends in Vocaloid cosplay at Fan Expo (and created a FB group with them almost within minutes of arriving home). Several of them are going, so there’s an extra reason for us to go, even if we weren’t already planning to attend.

    Quinte Mini Con is taking place the 9th and 10th of November. If you live within a reasonable drive and have any interest in cons whatsoever, I hope you’ll think about it.

    But you’ll note the title of the post is “Fall Conventions”. The girls are trying to talk me into Frost Con, which is a 1-day event on the 14th of December. They want to go, mostly for the extra reason for Quinte: they know people going, and more than at Quinte because it’s in Toronto.

    I don’t think there’s been a day in the past two weeks when someone hasn’t asked me if we can go. Officially, I haven’t made a decision, but my current schedule says I should have the day off. If I’m honest with myself, I already know we’re going, though it’s probably just the girls and me. Which is okay, except that means it’s likely to be my girls absorbed into a pack of other girls, all in similar costume, and me stalking them from a distance. Which is less okay, but a very Dad kind of thing.

    Be well, everyone.

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  • Conventions

    My 2013 Convention Schedule

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    First off, if you see this twice in your feeds, I’m sorry. Because it’s relevant in several places, I’m cross posting it to both my author blog and my personal one, but a day apart.

    That said, to no one’s surprise, I’m raising a group of geek kids. My wife is the token non-geek, she thinks, but has either developed geeky attributes as she’s adapted to the rest of us, or she’s just letting her inner geek out to play a little more. Either way, we’re a geek family.

    And we like cons. Each of us for different reasons, probably, but a lot of those cross over. Cons are fun.

    I’ll be attending four conventions this year, with the possibility of yet to be scheduled day trips to a couple more depending on days off and budget at the time. This is on par with last year for me, but with some differences as one of those was World Fantasy which I went to on my own and two were day trips.

    But for 2013, we’re looking at this as a minimum:

    We (myself and my oldest daughter) will be at Ad Astra April 5-7. This is mostly a lit con with some other stuff thrown in. I’m looking forward to renewing a few real world friendships, conducting some interviews, going to some cool panels, and having a great time with my daughter. Tickets purchased months ago, hotel booked.

    On May 24, by request as a birthday present, I’ll be taking the same daughter to Anime North. She’s in love with anime and cosplay and it seems like a natural fit. Again just the two of us. Further, I have agreed to cosplay for the event. We will both be attending as characters from Soul Eater. In her case, the heroine Maka, and in my case Professor Stein. Tickets purchased.

    August 22-25, the annual family pilgrimage to the geek mecca known as FanExpo (also, I believe the third biggest con in the world after San Diego and New York comic cons). Four days of everything geek, and I do mean everything. Whatever it is, you can probably find it at FanExpo. Tickets not on sale yet, but vacation time booked.

    Finally, there’s a small con starting just down the road from us, Quinte Mini Con in Belleville on November 9 & 10. Shortest drive to a con ever for us. Both daughters are in, son debating, wonderful wife to attend if she’s not working. Tickets not on sale yet, but they’re supposed to be, so probably any second, we hope.

    It’s always the Year of the Geek, but it almost seems like 2013 is also the Year of the Con.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    Be well, everyone.

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