Hey, fellow Trekkies, Whovians, Browncoats, Warsies, gamers, bronies, and whatever other flavor of geek or nerd might be out there reading this: Convention season is coming!
Okay, I realize that there already have been several conventions by this point of the year, but I’m still counting the days until I attend my first con of 2013. For those who didn’t get the memo, that will be Planet Comicon right here in Kansas City on April 6th and 7th, followed just two weeks later by one of my absolute favorite shows, Starfest 2013 in bee-yootiful Denver, Colorado.
In the runup to the first of these shows, I’ve been taking inventory of my stuff to see what I already have on hand and what, if anything, I might order so that I can have copies at our table during the weekend. Need a copy of That Which Divides? I’m your dealer. ReDeus: Divine Tales? Ditto. Something else from the backlist? Well…you just never know what I might pull out of a box.
Part of the fun Kevin and I have at shows like Planet and Starfest–because we have tables all weekend–is dressing up our space. We have rather swank banners for the wall behind us, and various bits and pieces and bric-a-brac for the tables themselves. For example, we have caricatures of us as characters who might have wandered the halls of the U.S.S. Enterprise on the old animated Star Trek series, as rendered by the rather talented Kail Tescar. We have Dante and Randal (from Clerks) figurines. I have Comic Book Guy holding what looks like a copy of In the Name of Honor (“Worst. Novel. Ever.”). I also have a pretty cool runner a fan made for me a few years ago, which is one of my very favorite gifts EVER. It’s made from some snazzy retro Star Trek material from the 1970s:
So, yes, we try to get into the spirit of things when we’re taking up space at a con.
It doesn’t stop there! While we don’t do costumes, we still try to have a little fun with our wardrobe. For example, you might see me wandering the halls with these, which I only break out on special occasions:
(You know you want a pair.)
And let’s not forget what is perhaps the most important part of one’s attire at any convention: your lanyard. Yes, the lanyard, to which we entrust the safety and security of our con pass, ID, or other credentials. But, does it just have to be a simple strand of cord or undecorated material?
Oh, hell no.
In recent years, the once boring lanyard has become the key piece of real estate for advertising at any con. Don’t believe me, just go to one of the bigger shows like San Diego Comic-con, where people fight over lanyards advertising the latest hot movie, TV show, comic or game. Last year alone, I came home with more than a half-dozen of the damned things, on top of the one the con gave me with my badge on it. None of them compared to the coolness that was the one I got advertising Mars Attacks, or even the “ENCOM employee” badge and lanyard I’d acquired a few years earlier as part of the whole crazy viral campaign in the lead-up to Tron: Legacy.
This year, though? I’m sticking with the classics:
And even that’s not enough, you know. Oh no…you can’t just walk around with a naked lanyard. You have to give IT some flair, too! Pins, buttons, badges, and so on and so forth. Most big cons will have stuff like that being given away left and right, affording ye merry con-goer every opportunity to bedazzle their bolo, so to speak. I usually find a few such trinkets to affix to my lanyard as a con weekend progresses, but then you have outfits like Roddenberry.com stoking the fire:
I first learned of these at the 2012 San Diego Comic-con, when I chanced across the Roddenberry booth. Yes, they’re cute, and in addition to the Trek-inspired ones, there also were ones that I knew my daughters would rather have, such as unicorns, rainbows, other animals, etc. You’ll note that in addition to wrapping around fingers, pens and other similarly sized objects, they fit rather nicely right around a lanyard.
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.
Indeed, the flair got so voluminous last year that I had to make some tough calls. As I remarked back then, I think I spent less time affixing ribbons, badges and other accessories to my uniform back in my service days than I did figuring out the proper application of con lanyard flair. After all, there’s a method, order, and hierarchy to these things.
Now, what I want to do is get something like Floppets made, using mine and Kevin’s animated/caricatured heads. That’d freak the shit out of some people, wouldn’t it?
So, look for me at a con or three this year. I’ll be the one in red high-top shoes, a gold bathrobe, and that lanyard thing you see up there, all loaded down with proper flair.
I may even wear pants.