Monday, August 26, 2013

There's a con for that

This weekend marks the official end of summer. I hope that you spent this summer doing all the things that people do in the summer: sweating, complaining about the heat, getting sunburned, day drinking, making asinine comments about how it's not hot it's just the humidity. Maybe you went on vacation, maybe you stayed home. As long as you had some fun, saw at least one movie featuring an explosion, and took at least one day off work you have won summer. We're not eight anymore so that has to be enough.

I was supposed to be spending this last weekend of summer in Atlanta at DragonCon, one of the hundreds (at least it seems like there are hundreds) sci-fi/comic/pop culture conventions that happen throughout the year. My friend Jessica and I have been planning to go to DragonCon for two summers now and failed miserably both times. We want to practice at smaller cons before we go to the big show - Comic-Con. At the rate we're going now, we'll probably make it to Comic-Con by the time we're in our sixties. Last year was entirely my fault: I moved back to Virginia at the end of July and couldn't do a trip so soon after a cross-country move. This year, I blame work for our missing out on the con. Both of us work for the same company and we've just hit our busy season. We agreed that we'd try again next year. I think we're both also going to try smaller cons in our areas this year too. I intend to go to Awesome Con DC this April.

Like heavy metal, cons are not a thing most people associate with me but I have some very geeky/nerdy tendencies and cons are made for people to revel in all their geekdom. Historically, most cons were tied to comic books, animation, anime, and the worlds of different sci-fi/fantasy franchises. In more recent years, pop culture has taken over at most cons so now many of the larger cons are home to all sorts of fandoms from your typical DC or Marvel Comics fans to Star Wars and Star Trek to video games to horror movies and AMC shows (but not my favorite Hell on Wheels - make this happen Comic-Con). There seems to be a little bit of everything and there seems to be a con for just about everything. I like Marvel Comics (although I'm not a rabid reader by any means), Star Wars, Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright/Nick Frost movies, books like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galazy and The Hunger Games, and anything that involves Joss Whedon. For me, going to something like Comic-Con or DragonCon will probably be more about the phenomenon itself and less about the fandom which probably means everyone there will hate me.

What I'm getting at is that I need to make my own cons for the things that I'm truly and completely obsessed with. I'm certain that there are others out there that would agree and would attend. So here is my top five list of the cons I wish existed (and if they do, please let me know so I can attend):
  1. Pegg/Wright/Frost Con, or the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy Con: Yes, these gentlemen have found a home amongst the fans at Comic-Con but I would prefer a separate event devoted only to the works of Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Nick Frost. We can include the excellent tv show Spaced, the trilogy, and some of their other efforts that are worthy enough (Paul, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Simon Pegg's book Nerd Do Well). Maybe it could be held in various pubs named for the pubs in the three films. Also, I'd like to hang out with Paddy Considine (because I love him) so this might be the only way that would happen.
  2. It's Rex Manning Day: Empire Records is one of my all time favorite movies and I believe it deserves an event so that we can all come together to ask one of the most important questions of our time (and by "our time" I mean the mid-1990s) "What's with today today?" This particular con would take place on April 8 (the date on the poster for Rex Manning Day in the film) and would take place in Delaware since that's where the film was made. The day would end with us dancing on the roof of the abandoned record store where we'll meet to the song "This Is the Day" by The The. Magic.
  3. C-O-O-L R-I-D-E-R: This has absolutely nothing to do with transportation of any form but of course my obsession with Grease 2. Since Maxwell Caufield is also in this movie, in theory, we could combine this con with It's Rex Manning Day (it would save on the convention center space). I envision booths for buying the epic reversible Pink Lady jacket that Stephanie wears and food stands that never run out of ketchup. Panel discussions would include topics as Adrian Zmed's hair; Who's That Guy?: Deconstruction of the Mystery Man in Film and TV; Do It For Our Country: A Discussion of Sex, Teenagers, and Patriotism.
  4. All I Needed to Know About Love I Learned from John Hughes: Do I really need to explain this one? When I went to Molly Ringwald's book talk last year, half the people in attendance (mostly women my age or just slightly older) were there because Molly Ringwald's characters in the big three Hughes films were incredibly influential in their lives (I heard this over and over again as I waited in line to get my book signed) so wouldn't it be awesome to come together and celebrate the man and the movies that got it so right? We could expand to the other Hughes films too (since there are many between his writing and directing credits).  Maybe one of the events could be a "Make a Better Dress for Andie" contest because seriously, that dress is the worst.
  5. Our Little Corner of the World - A Gathering of Gilmore Girls: For real, why doesn't this exist? Think of all the themed events we could have - Firelight Festival, the Festival of Living Art, the holiday themed festivals - there are so many. There could be a town troubadour contest. I'd love to see a panel on the great Rory boyfriend debate as well as one on of the importance of the character of Jason Stiles in season four. Lane's band could perform. There could be a mother/daughter fashion show. We could buy stuff that Lorelai and Rory have in their home. I have so many feelings about this con that I don't even know where to start. The show may have  ended but the magic doesn't have to.
Maybe I've missed my calling in life. Maybe I'm not supposed to be a trainer but a niche fandom convention planner. This idea and "job" appeals to my love of lists and my obsessive attachment to fictional characters. I mean, if dude fans of My Little Pony get their own cons (and I have strong feelings about Bronies but there's a time to discuss that and today is not that time), why can't I get one for Gilmore Girls or John Hughes movies?

What do I have to do to make this happen?

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