Back from I-CON 31!
I’ve returned from my first I-CON and, as you know, I went into it trying to have as much fun as possible. My last three con experiences (Connecticon, New York Anime Fest, and Gobblecon) were somewhat marred for the various reasons I already discussed.
Friday was devoted primarily to traveling and planning the rest of the weekend. Being low on cash, I cunningly planned to go to as many panels as possible. Fortunately, and to my surprise, there were a number of furry-related panels. Speaking from experience, I knew they could either be very informative, or a trainwreck, and could make or break my saturday experience…
Cue my mini rant on panels here:
Now I am not trying to say there is only one way to have fun at a panel, nor is one mindset better than another. However, when I go to a panel, I do it to simultaneously LEARN and be entertained by a discussion about a topic I like. I understand that not everyone may have that mindset, and may go to a panel for entertainment and nothing else. That’s fine, but I ask if that is your only goal, to be considerate of everyone else and respectful of the knowledgeable panelists.
People like me go to panels to be educated by the person running the panel, and NOT to hear some random fan rant on and on about whatever “clever” thing pops into their head at the moment.
Also side conversations during a panel are incredibly rude. Speaking from experience, a good panelist prepares for their panel, and wants to present their knowledge on a subject to fellow fans. However, if everyone’s just talking amongst themselves, then all that work is meaningless if it’s just going to be casual “shooting the shit for an hour.” If I was the panelist and knew it was going to be like that, then I wouldn’t have even bothered.
End mini rant on panels
I decided to cosplay as a Colonial Marine for this con, pulse rifle and all. However, after getting my pass, even though my gun was peace-tied, orange tipped, with no moving parts (the LED doesnt even light up anymore; it’s really more or less a solid block of resin), I was told that it would have to stay in the car as there’s no guns allowed.
I understood, and even felt a little foolish after the fact, since it was a campus and I can see why they would have such a policy. However, what did get slightly annoying was, while trekking all the way back from Registration back to the car, I kept getting told by passing staff that there’s no guns allowed. Walk of shame indeed, and it did remind me a bit of the TPS reports segment in the beginning of Office Space.
After putting away my prop (guess we’re supposed to use harsh language afterall, eh Sarge?), it was panels panels panels for the rest of the day. Of course I made sure to see Paul McGann and Big Finish Productions. I was especially exited to see Mr. McGann; not only is he the 8th Doctor, but also prisoner Golic from Alien 3!
I’ll resist the urge to rant here about why I think Alien3 gets a lot of undeserved hate, and confine myself to saying that McGann is absolutely brilliant in this role. Although, to fully appreciate it, look for the Alien3 Director’s cut. The theatrical version cut A LOT of material unfortunately, including about 70-80% of Mr. McGann’s screen time. It’s a shame really how that happened since Golic, the xenomorph-sympathizing homicidal maniac, is one of the most interesting characters in the entire Alien saga.
However, the focus of the panel was not Alien3, but rather Dr. Who. I thought it was absolutely terrific how much Mr. McGann had embraced the 8th Doctor character, despite the fan-reaction to the movie. He’s reprised his role in numerous audio episodes with Big Finish Productions (BigFinish.com) and has voiced his interest in a call back for the Dr. Who 50th anniversary special.
Afterward, I headed to a panel about parapsychology by The Parasychology Institute of America (NOT to be confused with The American Institute for Parapsychology). The group was started in 1971 by Dr. Stephen Kaplan. Dr. Kaplan, among his many positive contributions to the field, is most famous for his debunking of the Amittyville case. The group appears to be in the middle of a rejuvenation phase, under the leadership of Dr. Kaplan’s daughter, Victoria. Their main site: http://www.thestrangespace.com is still being worked on, as is their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Parapsychology-Institute-of-America/196257360440757 I really wanted to stay and pick their brains some more, but I didn’t want to be a bother.. plus there was a lot more to do/see at the con. Sadly, due to a late dinner, I missed seeing Voltaire and Gideon -.-
This was shopping day for me. One of the first things I purchased was a patch I mistakenly thought was referencing Wing Commander:
When I saw this patch I had to get it, since I thought it was referencing the A-14 Raptor-model fighters in the Wing Commander games. After I got home that evening, I realized this was actually a patch from Battlestar Galactica, which I’ve never seen.
I also got a bunch of comics for cheap, some misc buttons, four Episodes of the audio adventures of Highlander from Big Finish Productions. I also checked out one vendor that was selling classic videogames, hoping to score a deal on an Atari Jaguar CD, but no luck. They did have a Jaguar console, two controllers, and five games packaged together for $250, which is a bit steep, especially since the games were out of box and only two of them were good (Alien vs Predator, and Raiden… the others were Snowboarding, Cybermorph, and Bruce Lee: Enter the Dragon).
After that, I wandered into a random room and who should be there, but the legend himself, UNCLE KAGE!
He’s the Chairman of Anthrocon, a central authority figure in the fandom for years, and one of the founders of the online Furry community. Star-struck, I sat down without a peep, and listened intently as he shared his story-telling expertise and experiences.
The remainder of Sunday was spent talking and networking with some of the Long Island furs. While I was having fun, the rest of the Senpai team were hard at work, interviewing Mr. McGann While I was interested in doing the interview myself, I refused. I am a Dr. Who fan, but not nearly as knowledgeable as some of my friends, whom did the interview.
So all in all, thank you I-CON, I really needed a good con experience badly. The weather could have been better; it was very cold and rainy all weekend. Hence, here I am now, sick at home from work and able to type up this post.
Can’t wait for next year,
– Furry Senpai