My Supercon Plans

Let's get down to the nitty gritty on Raleigh Supercon, and talk about the stuff I'm most excited about! The Big Stuff: From a grand perspective, I'm just excited to attend the convention in general. Cyrus and I were very excited last year to attend, because it was the very first time this convention was held. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect; a brand new convention can definitely have a lot of problems, because they are so hard to plan, organize, and execute. Luckily, the Supercon folks have plenty of experience running conventions in Florida, and it showed.

Last year's con was well laid out, well organized, and well attended (you never know if folks will actually show up!) So, given that, I'm curious to see how the convention has grown and changed this year. They announced a couple of weeks ago that 3 day passes had already sold out, which is awesome news. If they are selling all their tickets, that means they are getting the money they need to grow the con, expand the amount of panels, and invite more and bigger celebrities. I guess my only concern would stem from a small problem last year when they actually ran out of badges to give to attendees, and resorted to wristbands. They eventually got a hold of more badges, at least enough for me to get one, but I hope they learned the lesson this year and will have enough on hand.

With the huge crowd, my other concern will be the convention space. The Raleigh Convention Center is a nice facility, though I can see it being overwhelmed if too many guests show up at the same time. Even on Saturday afternoon last year, it never felt overly crowded, but the mass of attendees did mean I had to miss at least one panel. Assuming they want to grow the number of attendees next year, I'm curious to see how much longer they can go without expanding convention events to other nearby facilities. I'm also very curious to see how the convention culture is going to develop. I'm very used to Dragoncon, which is huge and vibrant. And...well, they like to drink. Dragoncon is a huge, 5 day long party, which is certainly part of the attraction for me and many others. But I don't see that happening with Supercon. It seems a bit more family friendly, with a noticeable younger age of attendee.

Last years convention also really wound down after about 8pm, but looking ahead to this year it feels like they are trying to have more stuff going on at night. They even have a late night party listed on the schedule now. So we'll see. I really do hope that the convention begins to develop a community and culture of traditions around itself that is unique and makes me want to come back every year.

And now, for the small stuff: I'll just run through the schedule overall and hit on the stuff that has me the most excited. First of all, there is the video game arcade, which last year was mostly newer consoles hooked up, with just a handful of retro cabinets. As always, I hope they expand the retro game stuff, but even if they don't, this arcade setup is what we have to thank for taking part in the Extra Life charity this year, which led us to raising a bunch of cash for sick children. So I'll always be thankful for that, even if they don't have a Robotron cabinet this year.

The vendors are also part of the scheduled fun. I'll certainly make the rounds at least a couple of times; I've actually reached the point at Dragoncon that I'm no longer all that interested in the vendors, since I've visited them for years and they don't rotate a lot. But there are a fair few vendors at Supercon that I don't see in Atlanta, so that has me excited, even if I don't have much cash saved up to spend. There are plenty of tabletop options going on, which is fun (though sadly, no panels on tabletop RPGs...booo!)

Cyrus and I in fact have signed up to play in a Starfinder game Saturday morning, which should be a ton of fun. Beyond that, I'm very curious to meet the folks who are running the games--I'll be living in Raleigh over the next couple of years, and I'd really like to get tied into that local community and potentially volunteer to help out next year.

On Friday, I'm hoping to check out "Weird Creatures of the Carolinas", which sounds like its right in our Oddities Observed wheelhouse. "Voice Over 101" sounds like it could be helpful; while I don't want to become a professional voice actor, there might be some tips in the here to help me when it comes to recording voice work for our videos. Later in the afternoon is Michael Dorn's panel, and I'll more than likely be in the audience, because I love me some Worf.

Members of the 501st Legion are giving a panel on building star wars props which should be awesome because those guys have insane standards. There's also an armor patterning panel, though it isn't until 10pm, so I might not make it to that one. And of course, the Fantasy Super Cosplay Wrestling guys and gals are back this year, with shows each day. I'll attend at least one of their shows during the weekend.

If last year is any indication, the crowd Saturday will be much, much larger than Friday. This will no doubt be the best day for checking out cool cosplay, and I might even don one of my costumes that day, but we shall see. Schedule-wise, I'll be there early, playing Starfinder. Depending on timing, I'd like to also drop in on "From Screen to Sheet", a panel about adapting movie characters to DnD.

After lunch, Sam Jones (Flash Gordon) has a Q&A that I'd be happy to check out. The Guardians of the Galaxy panel with Dave Bautista, Sean Gunn, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and Terry Notary is a must attend for sure. William Shatner is a possibility as well, though given his attitudes I'm not sure I want to bother. The Mick Foley Q&A is another must go for me...he's a legend and a true gentleman. Hearing Kevin Conroy, the greatest Batman ever, would also be great fun.

Sunday is always a sad day, since you know the con will be over soon. But there will still be lots of fun to be had! Another wrestling legend, Rey Mysterio has an early panel. Just after is Walter Koenig, and I'd love to hear a few stories about his time on Trek. I'd love to attend "Advanced Placement Cosplay and Props" and pick up some more costuming tips. That will be at the same time as Dante Bosco's panel, though, so we'll see. Also, something I've always wanted to do but probably won't (though I'd like to go to the panel): "So...You Wanna Be A Wrestler". Leatherworking is another skill I want to learn, so the panel on it Sunday afternoon is probably a go for me.

And with that, things will wind down. I assume that I'll attend most of the above; for Dragoncon, with all its myriad of distractions, that much planning would be pretty absurd. But with Supercon, everything is close by and it's very easy to stay on track, so hopefully I'll hit most of those highlights. And of course, Cyrus and I will be blogging and livecasting all along the way, so you'll get some of our thoughts all throughout the weekend. I'll see you in Raleigh!