Oh man, we've had a vacation and a half, starting off with the biggest unknown, the biggest monster ahead of us: CONvergence. Now, as you will recall from the previous comic, we came for the Gargoyles people, but none of our usual group was coming, and we were a bit worried about what we were getting into. So, how did it go? What was it like? Did we cry? In the interest of the frail consitution of some of the people reading this, I will spoil some of the upcoming story: I had a great time! To keep it exciting, however, I will not yet tell you how great.
What was it like, Arno?
I've been to Gatherings. They took place in a hotel, renting some of the convention space for events while the rest of the guests looked oddly at us. CONvergence, however, had none of that: they just took over the entire hotel. I mean this literally: for four days the entire hotel was all about CONvergence. People at the front desk wore CONvergence T-shirts. Every room was filled with a paying CONvergence guest (or an honoured guest, presumably). The walls were plastered with geeky posters advertising all the little things people were doing: having room parties, their own events, the works. No, seriously:
See? These often took place in so-called cabanas, special rooms designated for this sort of thing, presumably. These were the rooms situated around the big hall where they kept the pool. And they were made quite visible. Again, seriously:
So as you can see, they litterally took over the hotel. And that's a 22 story hotel, you guys. I have been informed that there were some 7,000 attendees in total! The only reason we even had a room in that hotel, and not one of the overflow hotels, is because our friend Kyshandra arranged one as soon as they became available. Sadly she had to back out herself, but it was a great convenience for us, since it saved us the pre-arranged shuttle rides between hotels. Instead, we could just take the elevator to our 18th floor hotel room.
Actually, I partly jest: the constipation at the hotel elevators was so enormous that volunteers were actually running the elevators, and we had to stand in line just to get to our room. I suspect this had to do with the gaming part of the convention being on the 22nd floor. We never once went there, though. I wonder what the view was like.
Bleh, sounds way too big to be fun.
Surprisingly, no. I never had the sense that we were in a giant event or something. Everything was pleasant, everyone was friendly, if somethimes shy. The atmosphere was actually quite open. I'm not sure how they managed that.
So what did you guys do?
Well, when we got there and registered, we received a giant booklet and a tiny booklet. As it turned out, the giant booklet is so big that by the time you're done reading it, the convention is over. The tiny bookletwas our friend, though. It contained the schedule in a nutshell. At any moment there were at least eight things going on, making it really hard to choose what to go to and what not!
We elected to go to nearly all the Gargoyles-themed panels, and most of the ones that had Greg Weisman, Gargoyles producer, in it. After all, we were there to represent, weren't we? Most were a lot of fun, truth be told! We also went to a bunch of writing panels, with real writers who were funny and interesting. Like half the world, we think we are special and could write our own book, you see. Most of those wiritng panels were on a single day, so it almost felt like school! Then there were panels that were just plain funny, like people guessing the plot to a book based solely on the cover art, or making up a presentation to a random Power Point presentation.
And then there was the merchendise area, where we bought a pair of fantastic Gargoyles themed CONvergence T-shirts, the afformentioned cabanas, and special events such as the big cosplay event.
You mentioned Gargoyles. Did you meet any of the Gargoyles people?
I would have thought you'd ask about the cosplay more than anything...
You're the one making up these questions.
Fair point. Yes! We met all the Gargoyles people! It was a blast, really. Our old group wasn't there, but there was a huge aspect of 'I know you, from way back!'. It was my favourite part of the whole thing. There was Eden (yes, I still use the screen names of old), CrzyDemona and her friend, Patrick Toman offered me a lanyard, I finally got to see Kanthara again, and Kythera with Chameleon Girl. Lynati, Sarah the Gr8, my (fake) ARCH NEMISIS from yonder years, Aaron (too briefly), Mara. A husband and wife pair who's names escape me for the moment reprised their dental themed "Gargles" T-shirts, which they handed out for free (Norcumi and...?). People I'm forgetting. And Greg Weisman. I finally got to tell him that Beedoo! and myself were a late addition to the 'married because of Gargoyles' club. :)
Special mention to Kael, who drove us to both our first and the main hotel. We really appreciated it, even if the car threatened to explode on him or something.
The first day of the convention featured a pie eating contest with Greg Weisman at one of the cabanas, the result of an in-joke that was unclear to me. The joke expanded when there turned out to be not 2 or 3, but 13 entries, and he had to eat all of them to declare a winner. Then the whole thing piled outside, where we had, so I felt, the closest thing to a Gathering in a long time, all crammed into one tiny space:
Greg Weisman is the one with the fancy hat. It's in-jokes all the way down, apparently. ;) The indespensible Eden is not in there, being crammed in a corner with me and Beedoo!, so here she is in all her glory and glamour:
I don't know what else to say. Wait, yes, I do: people have been very kind, and very happy to see me, and I got a boob punch for 'being down on myself', and really, I feel great for having been among such people.
Did the convention do a lot with the Gargoyles theme?
More than I expected! Aside from the shirts, there was the badge, wholey Gargoyls themed:
That's Goliath in the middle, one of the main Gargoyles characters. Surrounding him is Connie, CONvergences robot mascot, and Connie Mark II, her evil sister. One dressed as Elisa, Goliath's love interest, and the other as his evil ex that wants to destroy mankind, Demona. Very clever. I'll tell you about those ribbons attached to it later.
There were plenty of Gargoyels themed panels, plenty of Gargoyles guests, and most of the panels with them seemed pretty popular.
So what's up with those ribbons?
People hand them out. You can stick them on your badge and say that you got a ribbon from someone. Some you get by showing an interest in something someone is doing, some you get cause you're in the right group, some you get for participating in things... They're fun! I only have four; I saw people walking around with a whole tapestry of them, like a general decked in medals. I can't help but feel that maybe they have their priorities wrong, but oh well. Mine are:
Awesome concept, to be honest.
So, er, you mentioned cosplay?
Yes. It seemed like everyone was dressed up all the time! The very first day we stood in the elevator with Doctor McNinja and it didn't let up. I can't even begin to list them all. Some costumes were elaborate, some really simple but there. Heck, I felt underdressed just for dressing normal! Even Beedoo! wore her cactus 'cutie marks' (My Little Pony) and bought a pair of pony ears (all visible in the comic above). Sadly, I have no really good cosplay pictures. But have some anyway...
I think I'll call it a day. I have a whole rest of the vacation to write about later. Take it away, Beedoo!!
I always love seeing the vast variety of costumes people come up with at cons, and at larger cons like this, it's just a panorama of awesome. You can see someone wearing a Belle dress in the above photo, but what is a little hard to see is that she's carrying a little gargoyle statue; She's not Belle, she's Elisa as Belle! There was someone dressed as a very elaborate Weeping Angel. We found Waldo and Carmen San Diego hanging out together. We had breakfast next to two Shaun of the Dead cosplayers (Me: "Got some red on you." Shaun: "I KNOOOWW!!!"). At one point, we were asked to clear the way: "Mermaid coming through!" (Someone had a great picture up of three of them in the pool together.) And there was Inspector Gadget, complete with stilt Go-Go-Gadget stilts and copter. (He won the masquerade.) And of course, I got to Bro-hoof a lot of fellow MLP fans.
As mentioned, I was sort of stealth-cosplaying by wearing my cactus cutie-marks. This is something no one would get; pony OCs. But that's okay. Eden did shriek, "You've got cactus on your butt!" at one point, so that was gratifying. *l* I picked up some Apple Jack ears (close enough to Desert Rein's coloration) in the Dealers' Room on the last day and wore them around.
It was great getting to see our Gargs people. It's amazing how, though we barely know each other, we can be absolutely ecstatic about meeting up with each other again. Absence and the heart, ya know? I wish we'd had more time to just hang out instead of pushing ourselves to the outer limits of our sanity to do ALL THE THINGS. At this point, every one of us is saying that we HAVE to do this again, organize a mini-Gathering, link up with smallish (this was smallish?) cons or maybe make CONvergence our go-to con to go to. Maybe not yearly, but every two years. Everyone's circumstances can change, so if we keep the ball rolling, hopefully people who had difficulties getting to this con will have a chance in the future when things are easier on them. Anyway, we should work on that. Dragon out.
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