Saturday, March 24, 2012

Con Geek History, Part One

Good day! This is your Virtual Tony, writing to you from yesterday. Since I’m in Lexington today, attending the Lexington Comic and Toy Expo, I decided to actually SCHEDULE a blog post or two, and remember my past conventions that I’ve been to.
My first convention was a Star Trek convention in Cincinnati, OH that I hit with a fellow Scout Camp counselor that we shall call “Waldo” back in the early 90’s. I remember that Majel Barrett-Roddenberry was there, and I THINK John DeLancie was there as well. That was my first real exposure to some of the different collectibles available for fans, having just gotten into Star Trek myself, and also my first exposure to movie prop and costume replicas. It was a good time, although Waldo’s car had issues, I had to carry the car battery to a shop, and battery acid ate a hole in my Spock shirt. Weird the stuff you remember, eh?
From there, I started hitting local conventions, like Starbase Indy or InConJunction, but mainly Starbase. I joined Starfleet Command, and started wearing costumes to cons, like a Star Trek: The Next Generation medical blue, or a fantasy-inspired cloak outfit. It was opportunities like this that got me into costuming and props, with garage kits available from groups like Paraphernalia from Beyond Planet X or Dimensional Privateer.
I also have had the chance to help run some small conventions in Anderson, IN. There were a few Paracon’s held at the Paramount Theater downtown, where we raised money for the Order of the Arrow chapter of the Boy Scouts and also for the restoration of the theater. There was also a small con at a hotel off I-69 that I worked with another group that I unfortunately don’t remember a lot about, even though it was a lot of fun. I also hit many smaller cons around Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, most of which were a good time.
When I moved to SoCal, I had a chance to hit the mother lode of cons, San Diego Comic Con, along with some smaller cons out there. It’s amazing how similar many cons are, it’s just the size and the scope. You’re not going to be stopped every 20 feet for a picture at Starbase Indy, where you will at a Comic Con or GenCon.
Back in Indiana, I’ve had a chance to hit Summit City Comic Con up in Fort Wayne for their inaugural convention, which was very nice and strictly comics. I’ve hit GenCon a couple times, once in costume and once in civvies. I’ve also continued to check out InConJunction and Starbase Indy.
Conventions also help provide some interesting experiences, some of which I’ll touch on tomorrow.
Until then, Live Long and Prosper.


  1. AnderCon I : the search for a better name

  2. Thank you, sir. My memory had completely failed me.