Monday, March 17, 2008

OmegaCon 2008


This weekend saw the first in what will hopefully prove to be an annual event, OmegaCon, Birmingham, AL's very own comics/ scifi/ costume/ gaming/ nerd con. So, lets do the run-down on the Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful.

The Good
Overall, I had a blast! Its about time Birmingham played host to its own con. Its been about 12 years since the last time anyone did anything like this, and it was a disaster, so the fact that they even got the thing off the ground was a little impressive. Now, it wasn't a big event, at least not if you're used to DragonCon. But no one was expecting a 30,000+ strong crowd. At one point, I described it was what DCon would look like if you nerve gassed the crowd and dropped 5/6 the people. But it had all the basics -- costumes, old genre stars doing autographs, dealers room (where I actually managed to keep spending within some kind of reason -- next time, bring a dealer with miniatures), and drunk nerds. Seriously, maybe its a side affect of such low expectations (hay, half the reason I went was so that if it was a train wreck I could say so with authority) but I was really impressed with the event over all. Lets hope they make it to Year 2.

A lot of the people I talked to before hand were all, "Ya, maybe I'll go, but I might skip it and if its cool I'll go next year." Well, it don't work like that bub -- if no one goes for Year 1 there won't be a Year 2! But there was a turn out -- word around the camp fire has it they made enough to break even, which is pretty good for a first-year event -- and I ran into a lot of folks I know, like my friend Val and his friend the leprechaun here:

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And I met some new folks and made some new friends, like Dawn, John (I think that was your name, sorry if its not. But its always cool to meet another pipe smoker under the age of 60) and someone who's name I didn't get.

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Here I am, enjoying the company of Dawn and her friend, Alice (I'm not even going to butcher her real name by misspelling the hell out of it...) who we'll see more of later...

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I was also able to maintain my tradition of picking up new goth bands at scifi cons. This time, it was Mankind is Obscolete. Cool kids, I like the way they sound over all and the girl up front has an awesome voice. Thanks for coming to the show, guys. Maybe we can make a regular thing of it. For the record, I'm listening to their CD, Rise, as I type this, and I think I'll get the new one. (not my picture)

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I'm not sure who these guys are, but they played like hell. And when it comes to on-stage gimics, its hard to top the guitar player in the electric chair, taking the juice for his solo:

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This girl was attached to Cockfight Club. They sounded OK, but unless there was a problem with the sound board she was just eye candy -- I couldn't hear a single sound comming from her keyboard. But those boots are, in the words of MC Frontalot, "the kind to make a certain type of fetishist squeal."

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I drug a few buddies off their couches and made 'em pop their con cherries. That's always fun, but they left too early. In other words, they saw the carnival and retail portions of the show, and missed the party. I ended up doing the con zombie thing, drifting from room party to room party. Me and the Bard went on a quest to retrieve his guitar before getting caught up in drunk girl control operations. You can see Alice in this shot, and that should be a hint where this is going...

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For the sake of not being a giant dick I'm not going to share all the pics I've got -- and I put the camera down before she did any real damage, anyway. But we got her to a car and back home all safe and sound (thanks, Dawn!). So, for me, the party lasted until about 5:00 am.

I didn't go out Friday night (I gotta have SOME time on the workbench over a weekend...) and from the schedule nothing was going to happen Sunday, but I got there in the afternoon on Saturday and saw pretty much what there was to see. Like I said, I had a great time, and I've really needed something like this lately. I keep the emo shit off the blog, but ya, Utini needed to party.

The Bad
OK, despite how much fun I had it wasn't perfect so I'll mention something that sucked:

The Sheraton, host hotel, was utterly clueless about how to host something like this. Clueless to the tune of the in-hotel Starbucks closed at 11:00 AM on Saturday. No, seriously. No coffee, one hotdog stand, one restaurant/bar (who had the ONLY working coffee pot). Oh, well, they will either learn or we'll take the show elsewhere. It was a nice building, they were just clueless about how to handle 24-hour party people.

The Game Room was a total cluster fuck. There were supposed to be semi-organized (tournament, open, demo, whatever) games of Warhammer 40K, HeroClix, Magic, and Hammers Slammers. There wasn't any of that. The folks who were supposed to run them just didn't show. Losers. In the end, the game room was just a bunch of folks playing RPGs and Board Games. Which is fine, just not my thing and I would have liked to see some lead.

There really wasn't much else to bitch about, at least for me. I've heard about a lot of stuff being messed up in terms of guests, rooms, A/V and no one in charge to be found (kinda like last time they did this...) but I didn't see much of it myself, probably because I don't give a shit about guests or panels. In general the thing could be better organized (I'd wandered across the hotel twice before I figured out where to register and pay) but like I said, aside from the games and coffee (or lack of) I was pretty happy.

The Beautiful
And now comes the part of the post where I just slap up pictures of cute girls and funny costumes, maybe with a bit of commentary:

Eve will make ya feel welcome...
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Sith Twi'lik
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I'm not sure if this is from something, or if they just like bloody bunnies...
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King Vader!
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Everyone loved Fat Ranger.
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His look is priceless...
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Wolverine and the Irish Dancing Girls...
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I thought this girl was cool when she was walking around all day in a full kimono with a boken. Then that night she shows off the body art...
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I can do a lot of things with a sword, but I can't balance one like this...
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This girl was dancing all damn night. Seriously, if there's a tune she's gonna groove.
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Its hard to tell with his mask up, but this con had a Predator!
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She got this done last Thursday...
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EDIT: I wasn't going to do this, but I've had a slight change of heart and have removed the tiniest smidgen of material ever so slightly capable of, in the proper light, being seen as in poor taste. And I'm told she's a very sweet girl. So big up on you if you've already seen it and other wise, ya snooze ya looze, sucka!

So, ya, OmegaCon. Lets make this an annual thing, shall we?

5 comments:

Jeff Uglyshoes said...

Hi.. thanks for the compliment. I am the guitar player in the electric chair... the band is called the Cemetery Surfers.

The red headed girl who danced all night is named Sonja.. she comes with the band... and yeah she dances all the time :-)

if its okay, Could I use your picture on our myspace page?

thanks-Jeff :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing some feedback on the Con. I too really want to see it happen every year.
The guitar player in the hotel room pic is from the band Coyote Run - one of my biggest take-aways form the con (even bought a shirt).
I'll be supporting a Con for next year.

I'm trying gather all of the feedback I can on the Con and will be trying to help with "project management" for next year - send comments to rolnam@yahoo.com
Great pics
Onward,
Tony

Utini420 said...

Hells ya, you can use the pic! The one I used on the blog is cropped and reduced in size. The orriginal is about 6mb, high res, and shows the back of a woman on the left of the shot (to your right hand). If you want that one let me know, other wise just grab the one from the bog (it should link to a medium-size file on photobucket, which would look better than the small size preview on the blog but still be all easy-like.)

Utini420 said...

Actually, let me clarify that -- Jeff Uglyshoes, feel free to use that picture I took of you for whatever you like. All I ask is that if you use it for anything other than a blog post that you let me know -- I won't say no, I just want to know. :-)

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