(Picture above: The State of Comics panel. I’m on the far right, moderating)
This was my first Con-Volution in Burlingame, CA, and the second that these folk have put on. My reflections are going to be from a guest experience, and only attending one of the three days of the con (which was not my intention, more on that later!).
When I arrived, guest registration was easy. Picked up my badge, it was simple, people directed me to the right places. It was happy. Very well organized, convention organizers! The Guests of Honor appeared to be treated well, there were a lot of fun activities and good, easy to talk to community. Everyone seemed to be open to conversation, and it was a lot of intelligent people on the same page. Though the con is still small, I imagine that it will grow due to word of mouth.
My panels were fun. I met some cool people, and some great discussions on Romance in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Worldbuilding, and The State of The Comic Industry. I’m sorry the folk I was supposed to meet on the Independent Author’s panel on Sunday, I was much to weak to be able to get up and head back to the convention at all, let alone speak. I should probably back up and get to that reason I only went one day.
Food poisoning. Horrible food poisoning. I decided to go risky, and order fish tacos at the hotel restaurant. Now I know you’re all thinking “this is a recipe for disaster, Jon, why would you do such a thing?” But these hotel restaurants are generally pretty nice. This is the Hyatt Regency, and I ate something else for lunch there. It was tasty, somewhat upscale, good stuff. Not the best, but good. So I thought anything was safe.
I was wrong. I spent all of Saturday night from about 11 pm through Sunday morning at about 4 am vomiting profusely. I know you didn’t want to hear that but it was horrible. I thought I was going to die.
But back to the convention. Con-volution seems a little different than most conventions I’ve been to, in that they’re open to creativity. They put on this wonderful “Goblin Ball” based on the movie Labrynth, which was lights out one of the coolest masquerades I’ve ever seen. Really a lot of work put into the theme, the immersion, making it feel really unique. I also liked that they had Guest of Honor chats at the bar. They just made it casual, had some people sitting around having cocktails and just chatting with authors. How cool is that?
Now there were the usual panels as well, of which I was on a few of them, but those little creative touches add something to a con. We’re a lot of like minded people, we’ve seen a lot of these panels before, so when you add a little flavor to things, it only makes for a better experience. Wait until next year when I’ll start trying to coax the organizers into some improv performance art type of things. Muahaha.