The weekend of December 5th started out bright and early. Ok, not so bright, and maybe not so early. Anyway, on that Friday I traveled north to Morristown, NJ to attend DerpyCon, a gen con right in my own back yard. This was the first year for this convention, and it actually did pretty well! Now to get over the stigma of being a pony convention.
I ended up just walking around on Friday, checking the place out, getting the feel of the location, and relaxing in my room for a bit. Was pretty surprised to see that a first year con spent the money on custom room keys. They were cute, and definitely a nice touch.
None of the panels really stood out to me name wise, and many of them were done by the same three or four groups, that I wasn’t really very interested in seeing anything. The video game room had 6 or 7 stations set up, and of course the most popular was Smash Bros. Anytime I passed the room there was always a crowd around that setup.
The dealers’ hall and artist alley was set up very nicely. There was plenty of room to maneuver around, the venders weren’t crowded on top of one another and I didn’t feel as if a mob of people were rushing me through a line. The only real downside is that the main door to the parking deck was right in that area, so there was a lot of foot traffic and general hanging out.
Before hanging out with Ranma while he worked Karaoke that night we decided to check out the Full Moon Mardi Gras Gala. There were very conflicting ideas on what this event was supposed to be. It claimed to be a formal, but also said they would be playing dance and rave type music. When we got there, it was a formal rave type dance, and the little bit I stuck around for was very disappointing. Formal and Rave just don’t mix. The music was too fast to truly slow dance to, but too slow to rave. Tables were set up, and while decorated very nicely, basically held a bunch of stuff that jerky “dancers” could swing around. The lightsabers, while a nice touch, had a bunch of people just mock fighting instead of dancing. There was stuff all over the floor, and as a female in heels, because it said formal, I was slipping on stuff just walking across the dance floor.
I left and watched a bit of Knotz Your Every Day Panel, run by Michele Knotz. Her panel is always fun, and showcases talents that other’s may have, instead of her just talking about her own.
From there Karaoke started, and there was a pretty decent turn out, even for that late at night. There was no rhyme or reason to the songs chosen by other’s to sing, and it was pretty full right up until Cosplay Burlesque started. So after an empty room for a while, we just packed it up and walked around before heading to bed.
Saturday started for me heading to our own podcast’s panel, however, while that wasn’t until noon, the panels actually started at 9am. I get wanting to get an early start at the con, but some of the panel choices for that early in the morning were just not good. One of the more popular things attendees like to do at conventions is get the guests autographs. Having the main autograph session for three of your voice acting guests be a 9am is silly. Most people haven’t even gotten to the convention yet.
I was asked to help judge the Karaoke contest, and unfortunately there were only two contestants. We tried to find more people that wanted to compete, but that failed.
From there I headed over to the Cosplay Showcase. The few skits were pretty good, and the Karaoke contestants both sang again as well. The only thing that confused me was the addition of the hall cosplayers all doing walk ons. I’m not sure if this was done to kill time or actually planned, but the execution of trying to get that many people into the greenroom was something I don’t think anyone really realized.
From there it was more karaoke, which was not very popular at all that night and then a run over to the con chair roast. If you haven’t gone to a con chair roast you really need to. Most are humorous, with stories of pre-con drama, issues at the con, and general crap talk from staffers as well.
From there I headed over to check out the last of the dance. Not a whole lot of people, and while no weapons were in use this time, it was still a small group that were actually dancing and not just playing around.
Sunday I woke much earlier than I wanted to, but at least was up, and ready for the day in order to catch at least one of Antipode’s shows. Antipode Geek Belldance is a geek belly dance troupe. There costumes and routines are based around various shows, anime, and video games. I missed their My Little Pony inspired show, so I was happy to see the Pokemon show. If this group is at a convention near you, I seriously urge you to go see them!
The rest of Sunday was just lazing around and meeting up with friends to spend those last few minutes together. There was very little cosplay on Sunday, when we usually do our cosplay interviews, so we were unable to get that done, and I’m kind of sad about that. While it was nice to just relax, it seemed that many decided to either do the same, or leave early. Even going down to do a last minute run through of the dealer hall and artist alley saw most of them either packing, or already gone for the weekend.
Pros: Location, there was everything around that you needed, food, booze, and general needs shopping. The venue was great, clean, open, well lit, and signs everywhere. The staff was amazing as well.
Cons: Schedule, either panels were too early for their popularity, or occurred too late at night. The “formal” was a confusing mess with many using it as a playground. Panels run by the same few groups instead of more diversity. Children in the dance. I get that there really wasn’t an age limit for the dances, but just because Santa may be in the room that late at night doesn’t mean children under 10 should be hanging out in the same room.
Overall: I had an extremely fun weekend. It was small and intimate, with a great venue, great guests, and awesome location. I will be back again!
To see more photo’s from this weekend, click here.