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Con Report: I-CON 31

2012.04.02

Emmacchi, Hazard and, our friend, Repto went to check out one of the oldest Sci Fi cons on the East Coast, I-CON! I-CON is a decent sized convention with around 6,000 attendees annually to its location on Stony Brook University’s Campus.

I-CON 31 Logo

I-Con started off great on Friday with Emmacchi and Hazard donning Reborn and Colonello from Katekyou Hitman Reborn! to meet up with Repto and Scott, a friend from school. After we all joined up, we decided to go say hello to Kevin, another friend and fellow Reborn! fan.  We met Kevin at Halloween, when he knocked on our door trick-or-treating as Lambo!

Reborn! at I-CON 31

Hazard as Reborn, Emmacchi as Colonello, Kevin as Lambo, and one of Kevin’s friends as Yamamoto.

East Blue Reborn! Close Ups

East Blue close-ups.

Noogies for Lambo!

Noogies for Lambo!

We took some photos of our mini Reborn! group then decided to check out the dealer’s room before calling it a night.  Emmacchi bought a t-shirt and treated us all to some snacks, but mostly, we just walked around.  We miss having Ben at the HKT booth!

On Saturday, we returned in Eva-Beatrice and Battler from the Umineko no Naku Koro ni.  We’ve worn these costumes to other conventions and have never had a problem before, but, as we discovered, I-CON has very strict rules regarding props and weapons.  When we entered the SAC, Emmacchi was stopped by a volunteer who needed to peace bond her Eva staff.  While normally this isn’t an issue at all (it’s simply a brightly-colored zip tie affixed to the prop, symbolizing the prop holder’s promise not to use it as a weapon), at I-CON, props must be zip-tied to the person’s body.

Unhappy Eva

An unhappy prisoner of her own prop.

After attempting unsuccessfully to zip-tie the staff around Emmacchi’s ankle, the volunteer daisy-chained zip ties together to attach the staff to her wrist.  This was a lot better than having it chained around her ankle, but it was still very inconvenient; Emmacchi couldn’t put the staff down and couldn’t take her glove off.  We had intended to wear Eva-Beatrice adn Battler all day, but after Emmacchi discovered she couldn’t wash her hands or use the bathroom with the staff tied to her wrist, we decided to change after only one panel.

That panel ended up being Disney’s 2012 Preview Panel where a rep showed the Brave trailer… and that’s it. After showing up 45 minutes late to the panel, the rep had apparently not been able to get the other trailer he was going to show (The Avengers) so instead only showed the same Brave trailer that had been airing in theaters for the past month. This panel was a big disappointment.

Meanwhile, Repto went to the board game room where he tried out a game called Puerto Rico. He apparently found it quite entertaining, if not a bit complicated; apparently, it took 30 minutes to explain the rules.

After we changed, we decided to grab some lunch with our friends from Level Up Cosplay, Agent Bishie and Roserevolution at John Harvard’s. We had such a great time that we totally forgot there was a convention going on. We ran back to the convention in time for Repto and Hazard to go check out the Legend of the Hidden Temple panel. Unfortunately the panelists forgot their laptop and were basically just asking people what they thought of the show. So we took off to go check out a game show going on in another building.

This game was called “Press Your Luck.” We ran into Roserevolution again as she was competing (and winning). After this we stayed in the room for the 18+ “Most Dangerous Anime” Panel, which was basically a summary of last season’s ridiculously gorey Blood-C.  Disappointed that the panel only discussed a single show, Hazard and Repto departed I-CON for Saturday.

On Sunday, it was just Hazard and Repto because Emmacchi was getting ready for StolenValkyrie’s visit (as well as next weekend’s Anime Boston). We spent some time searching for Repto’s lost iPod (to no avail) then decided to check out a story writing panel entitled, “How to Slaughter Your Children.”  This panel of authors discussed when and how it is appropriate (and sometimes necessary) to kill characters in the story you are writing. We only intended to stay for part of the panel but it was so riveting that we ended up staying for the whole thing. After that we headed home to pack and clean with Emmacchi.

We both had very different experiences at I-CON this year, so here are some thoughts from both of us.

Hazard: Overall, I think that I-CON taught me some valuable lessons about what can happen when people don’t follow common sense and do things like whack each other with props. You force the convention to take drastic measures to ensure the safety of all attendees and ruin it for everyone. As a result, I-CON is no longer a very ‘cosplay friendly’ convention. The dealer’s room is enormous and the panels relating to sci fi are great. I would also complain that many of the panels suffer from disorganization or miscommunication and as a result can be disappointing at best. I did really enjoy the panels offered by the sci fi authors who were very cogent and good about arriving on time.

Emmacchi: Without question, the highlight of my weekend was having lunch with Level Up Cosplay.  They are two of my favorite convention-goers, and it’s always a pleasure to see them.  Sadly, most of the rest of I-CON this year was a bust for me.  I was disappointed with the lack of preparation and content at the panels I attended, and was very frustrated with the way my staff was peace-bonded.  I try very hard to be positive in the face of difficult convention experiences, but I also always try to learn from them.  My experience at I-CON taught me that it’s important to respect convention rules, even if you don’t agree with them; you might inadvertently ruin the experience for someone else later on!

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