ComicCon-ing: Pensacon 2017 Review

Pensacon 2017 has come and gone and it didn’t disappoint. Even though I was slowed down due to an illness, we still had a lot of fun at the con.

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The Vendor Area

This is the fourth year of Pensacon and Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple has made it to all four (I missed the first  year).  This year saw a change in layout in that Pensacon used the Bay Center for Vendors, Artists, and Celebrities only.  Panels were all off site. Downtown Pensacola is truly the venue for Pensacon.

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Pensacon even uses the Back Parking Lot!

The new setup worked well for Pensacon as far as we could tell.  The volunteers and con organizers made sure the setup went smoothly.  Because of the limited space, many lines had to form in hallways with escorts bringing small groups in for popular guests. Unlike most cons we have  attended, the Pensacon volunteers are truly about creating a great environment for the fans and celebrities alike.  We have never seen a Pensacon volunteer be rude or engage in throwing around their authority.  They weren’t pushovers, but they treated each situation as a solvable problem.  This to me is the mark of a great con and goes a long way to making sure everyone has a great time.

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The Henry Jones. Indiana was the dog’s name. 

Each celebrity we met made sure to give us that “30 Second Connection.”  Not one celebrity guest was there just to collect our money.  Well, actually, they were, but they never made us feel this way.  John Wesley Shipp loved my accent (I almost offered to speak to him all day), Henry Winkler listened to my story of Bacchus 1977, and David Ankrum remarked that our Rogue One poster was the first one that he signed. We will have more about our encounters in later blogs and/or podcasts.

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The artists and writers were also great.  Tony Isabella was a highlight for me (and I’ll talk more about meeting him another blog).  He did remark that Pensacon treats him very well, which again shows how well run the con is.  Most of the time artists and writers are second tier to celebrity guests, but he volunteered this information without prompting so that leads us to thinking it is genuine.

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Constantine cosplayers after a photo-op with Matt Ryan

While the vendor section is not huge due to space constraints, there was plenty of great merchandise.  Numerous comic book vendors, mom and pop artists vendors, nerd jewelry, and of course mystery boxes dominated. Again, I wish some of the comic book vendors would setup a box with comics from the artists present.  The vendor area was crowded but the flow kept moving and I didn’t see many of the problems we saw two years ago.

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Jedi Family taking a rest

The panels were all offsite, but with the weather that Pensacola had on Saturday and Sunday didn’t hinder people from attending the panels.   Even though they had free trolley services, the walk wasn’t bad mainly because the weather was perfect. Friends of ours that held a few panels remarked that the later the panel was the better attended they were.  In fact, their panel that took place after Bay Center closed was packed, and their after party game show had even more people.  Pensacon goers apparently love to keep the con going!

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The line Saturday at noon to get into the con. We didn’t really hear many people complain, though. 

Has Pensacon outgrown the Bay Center? It’s getting there.  The artists deserve a little more space then the Artist Halo, but if you move them too far away will it hurt their sales?  It would be nice to every thing under one roof. We probably would have attended more panels if they were in the same place as the artists and celebrities, but it didn’t stop us from going to the ones that we did. However, a larger convention center will not solve the problem of long lines of people getting into the center.  We have been to cons in New Orleans, Houston, and London, that have had the same issue Pensacon had in much larger venues.  In all cases, getting people into the venue is all about human man power. I really wish cons would charge more and mail credentials to pre-paid guests the way Star Wars Celebration does.  Now this might have looked to be a problem, but I heard very few people actually complain about it. In fact, when we asked people about it, not one complained even if they waited.  I think this is because it was so well run on the inside.

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An autograph seeker going from Celebrity East to Celebrity West

Pensacon will be back next year on February 23, 24, and 25 2018.  They have already announced Lou Ferrigno and Paul Blake.

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Dad Bane

The most important thing that Pensacon does successfully is that it makes us want to visit Pensacola.  Every time we have gone to Pensacon we have explored more of Pensacola and have enjoyed it more.  Pensacola has a lot of competition for tourists on the Gulf Coast with Gulf Shores, Destin, and Panama City Beach. The city, especially the downtown area, welcomes Pensacon guests.  They embrace it. By creating tours with IHMC Robotics, telescope viewing with the Pensacola State College Planetarium, and panels involving the The National Naval Air Museum and the National Flight Academy, Pensacon gave out of town visitors like us reasons to come back.

And we will come back to both, Pensacon and Pensacola.

 

 

 

 

ComicCon-ing: Fan Expo Dallas Updates

The next major con in drivable distance from New Orleans is Fan Expo Dallas.  We can’t make it to this con, but, man, do we want to it.  It’s shaping to be a fantastic con with plenty of great guests.

Since our previous post on Fan Expo Dallas, the following guests have been announced:

  • Karen Gillan and Alex Kingston from Doctor Who will be there.  They are fantastic guests and are always entertaining.
  • Khary Payton will make an appearance at Dallas.  This is a treat for Walking Dead fans in that he will be joining Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus.
  • Tom Wilson, best known as Biff Tannen from Back to the Future, will be going to Dallas.  We were among the first that met him in New Orleans and if you are a fan of the series, go get his autograph. He is very personable.
  • An actor who will be a Fan Expo who we always seemed to miss, which is shame for him because  would take all of our money, is Jason Isaacs.  We would really want to get him to sign Harry Potter and Star Wars Rebels stuff.
  • Willa Holland (Thea from Arrow) will be in Dallas. We have never met her, but we do have an Arrow poster that needs her autograph.
  • The stars of the hit animie series RWBR will be at Fan Expo Dallas.  This includes Lindsay Jones, Kara Everle, Arryn Zech, Barbara Dunkelman.

There is also a large line-up of cosplayers at Fan Expo. Here is a list of some of the cosplayers listed on their site:

  • Alexandria the Red
  • Leeanna Vamp
  • Jessica Nigri
  • Meg Turney
  • Brit Bliss
  • Heather 1337
  • Riddle
  • Ani-Mia
  • Karli Woods
  • MCubed
  • Chelsea von Chastity
  • Dee Rich Cosplay
  • Christina Faye
  • Calen Hoffman
  • Cecil Grimes
  • Koi Fish Asylum

Fan Expo Dallas is at the Dallas Convention Center from March 31 to April 2.

ComicCon-ing: Pensacon Links

Of course, we have been writing about Pensacon.  However, we are three hours away.  Here is what some Pensacola news sources and blogs have been writing about Pensacon:

We will be heading east real soon.  I will be wearing our Nola Nerd Couple shirts on Saturday and Sunday, so if you see us come say hi!

Have a great con!!!

 

ComicCon-ing: Guest Cancellations at Pensacon

Unfortunately, not all guests could keep their commitment to Pensacon due to job conflicts, health, and other reasons. The nature of their line of work is often random and hard to foresee. Many con goers get upset at this, but we find that kind of odd. If you are going to a con because you are a fan of their work, you should be happy they have work (which is the number one reason they have to cancel).

Here is a list of people who have canceled for Pensacon:

  • James Marsters
  • Beg Bergen
  • Tara Reid
  • Tony Todd
  • Sven-Ole Thorsen
  • Benard Rose
  • Gemma Whelan
  • Bill Morrison
  • Dave Dorman (I know I posted about him being there on Wednesday, but I missed the tweet on Tuesday that he had to cancel due to illness…we hope he gets well soon!)

Still, Pensacon has a great lineup of celebrity guests, writers, and artists.  We hope to see you there!!!

 

ComicCon-ing: Science Activities and Panels at Pensacon

As teachers, we are always looking for ways to learn. Apparently so does Pensacon!  If you download the guide to your mobile device, you can filter the schedule to show the numerous science activities that Pensacon will be holding.  In addition to these activities, there will be a few panels discussing science issues and technology.

Daily

View the Stars:  No, this doesn’t refer to the celebrity autographing rooms. We are talking about looking at the cosmos. The Pensacola State College Planetarium will be holding Solar Day viewing and Skywatching Night Viewing. The solar day viewing will take place on Friday from 1-5, and Saturday and Sunday from 10-5:30.  The Skywatching Night Viewing will take place Friday and Saturday from 9 to midnight.

Robotics: The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) will be presenting  an hour long walking tour of their new lab and their robots.  To ensure your place on this tour, they recommend you register here. They have sessions throughout the weekend, but one session is already sold out, so book ahead!

Friday

From the Past to the Future: 3D Technology in Terrestrial and Underwater Archeology: I am going to have a hard time fighting the urge to speed on my way to Pensacon (don’t worry I will not speed).  This is one panel that I really want to attend.  This is a great idea for a panel for science and history fans. This panel will take place from 5:15 to 6 pm at Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room C.

SciFi 3D Printing and 3D Modeling: This panel will include a dmonstration and will end with a printing of a model spaceship. This panel will take place from 7:45 to 8:30 pm at Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room C.

Saturday

Earth Needs More People:  Author John Cserep will make his case for expansion of our species. This panel will take place from 12:15 to 1:00 pm at Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room C.

From the Depths of the Abyss to the Outer Reaches of Space: Naval Aviation The National Naval Aviation Museum will have items on display from deep water exploration and manned space flight.  Plus, you can see some of the historical inspirations for Steampunk. This panel will take place from 4:00 to 4:45 pm at Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room C.

National Flight Academy Demonstration: The staff of the National Flight Academy staff will have a flight simulator and rador station to show the public what their pilots work with. They will also discuss the technology used in their program.  This panel will take place from 4:15 to 5:45 pm at the Pensacola Little Theatre Courtroom.

Colonizing Mars in Our Lifetime: A discussion of where mankind is on our endeavor to reach the red planet. This panel will take place from 5:15 to 6 pm at the Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room C.

 

 

 

ComicCon-ing: Pensacon Panels about Cosplay

Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple sometimes cosplays at cons.  Me, not so much.  Mainly, because…well, I don’t know why.  Laziness probably.  What I need to do is to go to a few of these panels so I can put my ideas to real cosplays.

Friday

Demystifying Cosplay: Official Pensacon cosplay guests Kimber Lee, Hythrall, and Cami Roebuck will talk about how cosplay is really for everyone, not just the sartorially gifted. This panel is located in Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A at 2:45 pm.

Cosplayers Guide to Convention Survival:  Cosplaying is hard work.  This panel will share experiences on how to make it to the end of con by having a fun and safe time.  This panel is located in Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A at 4 pm.

Wig: Purchasing, Caring for, and Styling: A great cosplay often depends on a great wig to complete the look.  Go to this panel to learn more!   This panel is located in Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A at 7:45 pm.

Saturday

Armor Crafting:  Learn how to turn PVC board into armor. How cool is that! This panel is located in Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A at 11 am.

Makeup and Cosplay! Cosplay makeup is an artform to itself.  Katherine Koenig and Paige Huges will give you advice how to enhance your cosplay through makeup! This panel is located in Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A at 1:30 pm.

Cosplay Posing: Official Pensacon cosplay guests Eitaya Designs, Miyu Miyu Cosplay, Rikativity, and LEONHART.cosplay will instruct people to pose for photography. Safety will probably be a big part of this panel’s discussion as well. This panel is located in Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A at 2:45 pm.

Sunday

Using 3D Printers and Other Machines for Cosplay and Art: Vinyl cutters, CNC routers and 3D printers can be used for cosplay and this panel discusses how.

Kids and Families in Cosplay:  The family that cosplays together stays together!  Besides everyone will swoon at how cute your family is.  Go to this con discuss how to get the whole family involved.  This panel is located in Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A at 4 pm.

Ladies of the Legion: Rebel, Imperial or Mando?  This panel will discuss creating female and gender neurtal costomes from the Star Wars Universe. This panel is located in Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room A at 5:15 pm.

Using 3D Printers and Other Machines for Cosplay and Art: Vinyl cutters, CNC routers and 3D printers can be used for cosplay and this panel discusses how.This panel is located in Grand Hotel 1st Floor Room C at 5:15 pm.

 

Of course, there will be Cosplay Contest Saturday from 8-10 pm at the Saenger Theatre (doors open at 7:30).  You did have to pre-register to enter (registration closed Tuesday).

Again, all information about Pensacon is in their guide and in their fantastic app which is available for Andriod and iOS.  We highly recommend you download it!!!

 

 

Star Wars-ing: Star Wars Links

How an Antique Camera Flash Became the Most Iconic Star Wars Prop:  A couple of years ago we went to a Dinner with a Curator event at The National World War II Museum.  I don’t remember how they made the dinner Star Wars (they might have had blue milk), but the lecture part by the curator was how lots of World War II materials (weapons, cameras, helmets, etc) were transformed into Star Wars materials.  This gives the story of one of them.

Actor Jimmy Vee will play R2-D2 in Star Wars: The Last Jedi:  No one can really replace Kenny Baker, but I’m sure Mr. Vee will do a great job!

Kieron Gillen and Jason Arron Reveal Marvel’s Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel Crossover: Their last crossover, Vader Down, topped many best of lists for all comics last year, including ours. No pressure guys.