Excited for Supercon

I grew up in an era where it was an insult to be labeled a Nerd, Geek, or Dork. Everyone may have played a little Nintendo on the side, but they didn’t talk about it openly if they wanted to look “cool”. The world has changed and being a fan of superheroes and technology is a more accepted thing. One of the best places to relish your hobbies and gather together with a like minded fan-base is to attend a convention and Raleigh Supercon has fit that need for me quite well.

My friends have often regaled me with fantastic tales about DragonCon and I had always wanted to go. But to break the ice and attend something a little closer to home, Zach and I went to the first ever Supercon held in Raleigh NC in 2017. A few months later, I rode down to Atlanta GA with my good buddy John, and I finally made to the big show: DragonCon! Both conventions were exciting, with so much to do and see; they were truly havens for the hardcore uber-fans. DragonCon certainly had the longevity (since 1987) and the sprawl, stretching between several different hotels and venues. The party atmosphere was also high, giving a frenetic energy to even the narrowest of skyways between hotels. Costumes and cosplay abounded throughout every hall and lobby, so there was always something to see. But for my personal needs, Raleigh Supercon was my favorite.


REASON #5 – Ease of access

With all that there is to do at a convention, getting back-and-forth between panels in a timely manner requires planning. DragonCon has grown so large you will likely spend more time traveling between places than you will spend being where you want to be. Raleigh Supercon is contained in only the single convention center so getting from ballroom to ballroom is a breeze.

Raleigh Supercon is only now on its second year, with the team already successfully hosting Supercon in other states for years, bringing with them a surprisingly high-quality line up of stars. There are legitimate movie stars, television stars, childhood heores, wrestling superstars, amazing voice actors, as well as a cavalcade of talented artists… and they are all housed under one roof! It is impressive how they get that big convention feel without having to spread out between buildings. At least that is the case for now!

REASON #4 – The accommodations

I was very graciously invited into Zach’s home last year for the convention weekend, getting to spend more time with him and his wife. We weren’t very far away from downtown Raleigh and we could come and go as we pleased. At DragonCon, the hotel that John and I were staying at was a fraction of the price of the convention hotels, but it was about 30-45 minutes commute away, so our ability to return to base camp and recharge or change out costumes was essentially nil.

This year, I will have a suite in a hotel directly across the street from the convention center, which will open up all new possibilities that I didn’t have before. I got a reasonable rate on a decent room, but in a prime location. Now I can arrive as early as I like, stay as late as I like, and I don’t have to worry about coordinating travel! This also give Zach and I a place nearby to set up if we were to do costumes or if we were to host a panel. It feels nice to have a crash pad nearby, and I know why Zach always loves to stay at the Marriott Marquis during DragonCon.

REASON #3 – Maximizing my time

I treat conventions like an investment. Do you remember when you were a kid and you were taken somewhere like a theme park or a water park? Your family would get there nice and early, but around 4 pm you would see families packing up their stuff and leaving. I would always think to myself, “Why are they doing that? The park is open for 6 more hours!” And then those times when YOUR family was the one to leave before sundown and it always felt like there was money left on the table. That is how I feel at conventions.

I am there to soak in as much awesomeness as I can, attending panel after panel, learning and enjoying my entire day through. Especially now that Zach and I host The FoundryCast, this is a prime opportunity to explore my fandoms and bring in more content for the website. It is just about the most fun homework I have ever had.

Some of these panels are exceptional moments in time that you just do not want to miss out on. Ernie Hudson’s panel was so cool and so revealing about him as an actor, and I just felt so at ease in LeVar Burton’s panel because he was a genuine slice of my childhood. Plus, there are lots of cool costumes and cosplayers out there that you just want to see them all. At the convention center in Raleigh, there are a couple of good vantage points you can sort of take over for a time and get a great view of the populace as they thread through the building.

REASON #2 – Being among friends

I mean this in both a figurative and literal manner. This place is full of people just enjoying the convention for their own reasons, in their own ways, and they are all very pleasant about it. I have been to large convention and exposition settings before, and the group of humanity as a whole is usually on the Unpleasant side. They act selfishly, they are brisk, and confrontational. At Supercon, they act selflessly, they are breezy, and complimentary. If you wear a cool costume, people ask you to be in photographs…. and if you see an amazing cosplayer you want a selfie with then they are always happy to pose with you.

I enjoy going to conventions with my friends and I have had an amazing time with Zach, John, Gillian, and Laura in the past. Getting a little more time with some of my friends as life changes and the world turns will be a nice experience for me!

REASON #1 – The coolest guests

Raleigh Supercon has listed some great guests already, but there is still time for a few more to crop up. Half of the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy will be there including: Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff. Childhood crushes like Amy Jo Johnson, Joey Fatone. Science fiction icons like Michael Dorn, John Barrowman, and Walter Koenig. Larger than life figures like Alice Cooper, Lou Ferrigno, Barry Bostwick, William Shatner, Henry Winkler, Dante Basco, and Caroll Spinney aka BIG BIRD! Heck, a last-minute addition this week was a Karate Kid panel with Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, and Martin Kove.

There will be renown comic book and anime artists, voice actors, special effects and digital effects artists, as well as authors and other creators. Steve Blum (Wolverine) and Kevin Conroy (Batman) are hugely popular and recognized voice actors! Maile Flanagan who is the American voice actor for Naruto himself (herself?) will be there along with Tom Kenny (Sponge Bob/Ice King). Alan Oppenheimer who voice Falcor in the NeverEnding Story and Paige O’Hara who voiced Belle from Beauty and the Beast are also top names.

Some of my childhood wrestling heroes will be there like Mick Foley, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Hillbilly Jim, Tully Blanchard, and Sgt. Slaughter! More current stars like Trish Stratus, Diamond Dallas Page, Rey Mysterio Jr, and future mayor of Knox County TN… Kane!

With too many celebrities and artists to name, and dozens of How-To and Cosplay panels, I would have a full “must see” list alone. Add to that the great vendors, the costume contests, the dance parties, the gaming… it is going to be a fantastic time.

You guys coming, or what?