The con season continues, with Birmingham playing host to its local party, ImagiCon. Now, this con has some issues, not least of which being its trying to play in freain' Birmingham, and this town sucks. A friend of mine says Birmingham has an identity crisis, and there may be some truth to that. I do know its got some pretty disparate groups of people, and they really don't care for each other at all -- the rednecks think we're a bunch of freaks, and I'm sure you can gather what I think of the mouth breathing knuckle-dragers in this town. I also know that running a con with its two primary venues 53 blocks apart is goddamned retarded. And that's all I'm going to say about the negative aspects of this event, because the bottom line is, I had a good time. I got to present my toys at a few steampunk makers panels, something I've never done before, and there seemed to be people I know every 25 feet or so. I had fun at the con, almost in spite of the con.
Friday night we popped by the SteamPunk meet-up to touch base with folks and hang out for a bit, but the main action we were after that night was Rock You Birmingham and CON*torage's Heavy Metal Karaoke at the Nic. Celeste got all dressed up for the show:
Mark and Andre, the guys behind CON*torage, are great. For one, they totally know how to throw a party, especially a con party, but beyond that they are just really great guys. Fun to hang with, and friendly as hell. They sort of have this knack for talking to people they've just met, and making them feel like they've been friends for years. They also like to play dress up:
Madeline kinda steals the show, though...
The ladies all love Axl...
I've never done kareoke before, as I can't sing and hate pop music. But I can get behind a little Metallica... even if I don't know the words to Sad But True, and can't see the monitors after head-banging my glasses off.
Also, the ladies like the hair. :-)
We threw down pretty hard that night, to say the least. It made the morning rather painful, especially for Celeste, who had to go teach art to children in the park. I slept in. Actually, I almost over-slept...
Saturday, the main day of pretty much any con... if one can be bothered to get up for it! I slept in so late, I just barely made it to the con in time for my first panel! This was basically a show-and-tell, with each maker given a table to spread out their toys. Then we just sorta hung out and chatted with people as they walked up.
Paige hooked me up with the gig. Thanks, Paige!
The lady in red had an absolutely sparkling personality, and a winning smile.
Pretty soon after the panel, it was time to take a wander around...
John Ringo and his spork-loving fiance:
It just ain't a con without fantasy swords.
And who do I find milling around but Adam... and he brought his banjo!
Good thing I'd gone with the Guitar Hero controller, instead of a rifle. I mean, everyone has a big damn gun, but who has this much fun?
We walked around working this act until early evening, and it was a real crowd pleaser. Now I gotta make another contraption, so sort of portable rhythmic noise making thing.
Along the way, dinosaur hunting was required. Maybe I should have brought that rifle...
The music at this con left a lot to be desired. I'm not going to harp on the negative, but I really look forward to finding new bands at cons, and that didn't happen. The girls out front of the stage were the only thing these guys had going for them.
Celeste tightens up, and powers though, ready for a bit more fun.
Saturday night, the CON*torage boys were at it again, this time hosting an 80s Dance Party. Melissa joined us for this bit, because who doesn't want to rock you like a hurricane?
By Sunday things were winding down, but I still had one more panel to participate in. This was more of a discussion, round-table type of talk, with all the makers at a table in the front.
It was fun showing off the toys and sharing tips with the crowd, and it was a great bunch of guys on the panel. I'm really glad for the opportunity to get to know them.
Stormtroopers will milling about outside...
And there were more freakin' dinosaurs! Good thing this time, I came prepared!
So, that was ImagiCon 2010. I sincerely hope the con was financial successful, as I'd like to do this again next year. I just hope they can find a better, preferably single, venue to host it in. Also, mundane drunk people of Birmingham: its a con, not a freakin' meat market. Next time, don't fuck up my con vibe, OK?