Hello Iggle friends! This past weekend, I had the honor of attending Indy Pop Con’s very first year ever! It was also my very first convention ever! Now I get the honor of telling all of you a bit about what it was like.
As someone who loves things to be organized, I really appreciated the set-up of the exhibition hall. There was an aisle for podcasts (also a stage at which each podcast got to record an episode live), a section for indie games, a portion for artists, a division for retailers, a row for celebrities signing autographs… whatever you wanted, you could immerse yourself in it pretty quickly. There was quite a variety of panels going on at any time, & it was really cool because the panels were proposed by the people who wanted to host them & then voted on by the people who wanted to see the panels. So you knew that what you were seeing was people speaking on topics about which they care deeply.
In the interest of full disclosure, my number one focus at the con was 1 More Castle. They’re a retro gaming website with great articles & videos from a multitude of contributors & a podcast that I listen to each week, plus… their booth had a NES & a Sega Genesis that you could play. Can you beat that? I think not.
The panels I attended were I Want to Play Your Indie Game (a lot of advice on what to do & not do when designing a game), My Life as a Meme (featuring the real people that have been turned into Bad Luck Brian & Almost Politically Correct Redneck), & Video Games in Today’s Pop Culture (conversation on how ‘gamers’ & games are viewed & portrayed by general society). They were each a lot of fun, very informative, & a great way to connect with people of similar interests. As far as the big celebrity panels/Q&As go, I only attended one, & that was Ron Glass. He did great, answering each question clearly & honestly, then pretty much each time also providing a story that may or may not have had a clear connection to the question. He loved getting a reaction from the crowd! This session was extra special to me, because I got to attend it with my mom. She knows Glass from both Firefly & Barney Miller. Good times. I also enjoyed showing her where to find Guy Gilchrist (he was hired by Jim Henson to create the 2d versions of the Muppets– comics & Muppet Babies & so forth) & Sammy Terry (a bit of a local celebrity, who provided banter during breaks on television showings of horror movies), as she has been a fan of both things for longer than I’ve been alive.
Celebrity guests included such big names as Kristian Nairn (Game of Thrones), Joel Hodgson (Mystery Science Theater 3000), Sylvester MyCoy (Doctor Who), & John DiMaggio (Adventure Time & Futurama), & more, but my personal leanings were towards artists– I got to meet Norm Breyfogle (Batman comic artist, who is so cool I talked with him all three days) & Kevin Eastman (co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), each of whom has been a part of my life for most of my life! All of the independent artists were fantastic as well; it was breathtaking to see so much talent all in one place. I also marveled at the talent represented in the indie game section, & had a blast trying out games in the presence of the people that worked so hard to create them.
In terms of cosplay… COSPLAY. COSPLAY EVERYWHERE. The big cosplay competition was on Saturday, so that was the best day to see everyone on their A game, but a lot of hard work & talent could be seen all around each day. My personal favorites included Mario & Luigi complete with props, Shredder, Mad Madame Mim, & a rather small Batman riding around in a Batmobile. Oh wait, & Nightwing, the Joker, Lumpy Space Princess, V of V for Vendetta… So many things!
In summation, I can guarantee you that Indy Pop Con was absolutely a highlight of 2014 & gave me many memories I will always treasure. I hope you’ll make a point to attend next year, so you can make memories too!
Links of interest:
Photos by Alex Weiss, used by permission. Thanks Alex, you’re a rock star!