The World of Cons

July 20th, 2011 • Kate

thumb_BadTasteinBoysFINALAs I type, the opening night of San Diego’s Comic Con is underway, and though I have clients there, I’m here. Now, to be fair, I did just spend several days at Leaky Con, but there’s a special draw to Comic Con, at least for this general interest geek.

The wonderful thing about cons, though, is how many of them there are! If you love comics, there’s Comic Con, in both New York and San Diego. Leaky Con has you covered if you’re a Harry Potter fan. Love RPGs? Try Gen Con. Video games? E3. All things nerd? You gotta go to PAX. And while those are the ones I can think of off the top of my nerd-head, I have no doubt there’s tons more. Knitting conventions. Spinning conventions. Cooking conventions. Car conventions. Doll collecting conventions. If you’re a nerd for something (and everyone’s a nerd for something), there’s probably a convention for you.

So, in honor of Comic-Con, and my new Twitter followers who brought me up to 5,000 last night, a little contest: you tell me about the nerdiest convention you’ve ever been to (and if you haven’t been to one, make up a story!), and I’ll pick a random commenter to win a copy of Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris AND a kt literary tote bag. Because, if you’ve ever been to a convention, you know some of the best swag are the bags themselves.


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15 Responses to “The World of Cons”

  1. Sara Says:

    *envies Comic Con goers*

    I will be IN SAN DIEGO next week and yet I will NOT BE GOING TO COMIC CON. This is the greatest injustice of my life.

  2. Jessica Wisniewski Says:

    Back in 2003, I attended Gen Con in Milwaukee – the only female RPG-er and (eep! I'm SO outing myself right now!) LARP-er in my group of seven guys. Not only did I go and marvel at the nerd plumage, but I participated in the madness and chaos with zest – nay, fervor! Day One: tabletop Dungeons & Dragons – a marathon, eight-hour event filled with feats of great nerdiness, rules-lawyering, and braggadocio. After coming down from our Mountain Dew and Cool Ranch Dorito high, we got busy dancing really poorly at someone's after-party. Day Two: Touring the Convention floor with all its delectable oddities and moments of "is that REALLY Nathan Fillion? Oh, gah! He just turned around. Definitely not him." and "Don't the armor makers realize that a chain-mail bikini is impractical for an infinite number of reasons? Guys? Hellooo?" This is the time when you realize that not all gamers are the upstanding, HYGIENIC citizens that your particular group of gamer friends are. That night, is of course, the Vampire: the Masquerade Live-Action event. You get tarted up in your best gothic-punk frills and furbelows and run around trying to look mysterious while studying the tiny print on your character sheet to determine if you have two or three levels of celerity, just in case that Gangrel dude tries to jump you by the soda machine. Go to bed, exhausted – your black lipstick and six pounds of eye makeup smeared on your pillow. Day THREE: Contemplate why you thought you wouldn't need earplugs when sleeping in a room with three grown men. Growl something about coffee and a shower. Return to convention center for the final day, only to be hit at the door with the stench of the unwashed masses, some of whom slept in their cars AND their Romulan costumes for the third night straight. Turn around, beg the boys to meet you at the Denny's in two hours. Read a romance novel, just to get the estrogen flowing, while savoring Moons Over My Hammy and a steaming cup of caffeinated love. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

  3. @Jadehearsvoices Says:

    Well, I was just at LeakyCon and that was AWESOME! I would love to go to Comic Con, but I'm flying back to Australia tomorrow. LeakyCon was my first Con, but it certainly won't be my last!

  4. @FzngWizbee Says:

    I think the nerdiest con I've been to would have to be Terminus in Chicago. It is still the most epic of all HP cons…though this year's LeakyCon was a pretty close second. It was lovely meeting you there!

  5. Amy Sonnichsen Says:

    Edible insects con.

    I learned how to roast a tarantula over a fire like a marshmallow. The thing was as big as my face. It tasted like crab.


  6. @DirtyCarrie Says:

    @Jessica If you're going to GenCon in Indy, we should hang out!

    Nerdiest by far was PAX East. The attendees there are freaking amazing, and THEY ALL SMELL GOOD. Mostly because they are afraid of becoming comic-fodder, I think.

    In all seriousness, PAX East 2010 was my first convention ever, and I volunteered. I slept maybe 6 hours over three days, because every second I wasn't working or at a panel or grabbing swag I was helping my best friend move or trying to sleep and failing because my brain was still saying OMGOMGOMG OTHER PEOPLE LIKE POKEMON TOO.

  7. Alex Chan Says:

    I’ve never actually been to a con *sadface* although there are several I have my eye on for next year. Just depends when I’m free. I do, however, have a true and interesting story. When chatting about organising a similar sort of thing, we decided to organise the timetable by assigning room numbers based on the digits of pi. The first session would be room 31, the second 41, the third 59, and so on and so forth. We got quite far into the idea, before we began squabbling about whether to use pi, phi, tau, i^i or something else. Sadly, the idea never saw the light of day.

    So not really a story about a con, but that’s the best I can do, and I suck at making stuff up? Is this ok? πŸ™‚

  8. @lizwrites Says:

    It's 4:50 AM and I am awake getting ready for Comic Con right now!

  9. @lizwrites Says:

    Oops it ate the rest of my post. Anyway, can't wait to see Stephanie Perkins and get my copy of Anna signed. πŸ™‚ This is my 4th Comic Con, and I love it every year.

  10. Lori M. Lee Says:

    I attend Anime Central every year and I love dressing up too!… (I'm the one in the white rose headgear πŸ˜€ )

  11. Krista V. Says:

    JW Con

    The JW stands for John Williams, who composed the scores for films like Star Wars and the first two Harry Potters. My husband's a huge soundtrack nerd.

    Can't wait to read BAD TASTE IN BOYS! (Even if I don't win…)

  12. @sararielle Says:

    I've been to 4 HP conventions but I think the nerdiest con experience I've had was this past March. I wasn't sure what I was going to do for spring break this year and I didn't really want to spend the week on my parents couch. My mom pointed out that SIGCSE was that week in Dallas. For those who don't know SIGCSE is the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education conference. (ACM is the computer science professional organization in the USA.) This is a normal academic conference so most of the people were there to present papers or posters about their research. I arrived a day early so I could volunteer and help out in whatever way I could. I then spent the week going to paper presentations, panel presentations, and poster sessions so I could learn as much as I possibly could about the awesome new things happening in computing education.

  13. Mandy P. Says:

    I've been a die hard DragonCon attender for four years now. (DragonCon being a huge Con in Atlanta every year that despite the name is not necessarily about dragons, though my story does involve dragons. The Con has everything a geek or nerd could possibly ever want). But the first time I went I was hesitant. I only went because my friend had recently broken up with his girlfriend, who had been planning to go with and didn't want to go alone. I committed to going one day with him…and was sucked in forever!!

    But my greatest con story has to be the time when I simultaneously waited in two lines for author signings. Anne McCaffrey was supposed to do a signing at 5:30 and as I had been reading the Dragonriders of Pern since I was eleven, I could not pass it up. So I got in her line 5 HOURS in advance. (I was person number 11, so no, I was not the first). BUT Tamora Pierce, my little sister's favorite fantasy writer, was supposed to start signing at 4:00 and I swore to myself I would get her a signature for her birthday (I connived with my parents to get a copy of one of my sister's books for this). And geeks are such NICE people. When the Tamora Pierce line started forming, I asked the people around me in the Anne McCaffrey line if they would hold my place for me and they agreed to. So I jumped in the Tamora Pierce line. But then I still hadn't gotten my book signed by the time the Anne McCaffrey line started moving, so I gave my sister's book to the girl right behind me and jumped back in. I then proceeded to get Anne McCaffrey's autograph (while stuttering like a tween meeting Edward Cullen because I was so star struck) and then saw my place in line had not hit Tamora Pierce yet so I jumped back in that line just in time to tell her it was for my sister's 19th birthday and wouldn't she please sign it Happy Birthday, Sammi. Somehow I had managed to pull off a "be in two places at once" of Fred Flinstone proportions! Which forever convinced me that geeks are the best, nicest people in the world. And I have been an avid Con-goer ever since. πŸ™‚

  14. Jenna Wallace Says:

    Oh, CADCon, for sure. As the conference for AutoCAD software (computer aided design software used by engineers and architects), this must be the geekiest conference EVER! I went with my publisher when I was a textbook editor and was one of maybe 35 women in a hall with a 1000 men, not counting the booth babes. One of the booths had Ms. Georgia promoting their drawing tablets. Our little publishing booth (with we editors in our suits) barely got a look. As for swag, yes I stood in line for floppy disk holders. Yeah, it was a while ago.

  15. kt literary » Blog Archive » We have a Winner! Says:

    […] one winner of this copy of Bad Taste in Boys and a kt literary tote bag, and that winner is… @DirtyCarrie! What’s not to love about a con where everyone smells good? DirtyCarrie, email me at […]