This past September the whole family went to our first convention. Not as a family, first individually for all three of us. Well, at two years old if the wee one doesn’t count this as hist first one I understand. He might want to remember the first one. Also it wasn’t the first one for me either, technically. See way back in about 1996 (give or take) I thought I was going to some Beenie Baby collectors thing with my then girlfriend and her family. Turned out to be a mini comic convention, where people also happened to be selling Ty crack. Adam West was there, the artist of the Nancy comic strip, and I’m sure other things I forgot. I bought some comics and the Star Wars Holiday Special on bootleg VHS. While I did have fun, I feel that because I didn’t know where I was going until I was there it doesn’t really count.
That’s a long way to say hey look at what we did at Scare A Con over at Turning Stone Casino in central New York.
Here is the family on the way to the venue. Look how happy we all are together. This will be the last time that day that we are all in the same spot and all smiling. All because… who knew that a two year old might not enjoy being pushed around in a stroller all day in a crowd full of strangers and scary images?!
We were all excited still when we got to the parking lot and started making our way in.
Before we were even in the doors of the convention, the excitement started. First I got to step into a full size TARDIS.
Then I met one of my blogging friends for the first time! The one and only Chad from Horror Movie BBQ was there in the rotting flesh. Chad and I had a great talk and it was our first of many this year. Even more conversations look in 2016!
I surveyed the show floor and was amazed. So much cool stuff fit into a small space. Good times were ahead. Or so I thought. The little guy had already had enough. He was tired, scared, cranky, wanted to run around, all sorts of miserable emotions. But this was our first family convention! We wanted to experience everything. But it wasn’t happening. So the Mrs took the stroller away and I started walking the aisles.
I found so much cool things. Books, magazines, toys, VHS, celebrities, and more. Check out this amazing creature. And her pet! I kid I kid. But seriously this thing was amazing.
I also got a nice picture with these two cool people in costume. There were so many others but at this point I was trying to salvage the day for my wife who graciously agreed to watch the upset child so I could have fun. I’m not a monster though, well not that kind, so I tried to hurry up my exploits so that maybe we would switch and she could have some fun as well.
I wish I did get more fun pictures though because my next few items were negative. First is this video of a GhostBusters group. That’s about all I know. Are they fans, or cosplayers, or ghost hunters? Not a clue. They were just there. No one says hi, no one hands out a flyer, nothing. I saw this happen at table after table. I’m really not sure what to think of it. On the one hand I could see these convention veterans becoming familiar with people walking by their tables with no interest in their wares and no money. So why bother wasting time on these people? I’ll admit my budget was small and I was going to be very careful deciding what I bought. But a friendly conversation with someone running a table may have swayed me to spend money there.
In addition to the lack of conversation, the prices for some things were absurd. Hey, here’s a great picture of me with a zombie. Cost me nothing.
But look a little closer.
$15 to take a picture with a car. A car!!! That’s two hours pay for some people. No sitting in the car, no one poses with you and the car. Just a car. If you notice I have that car in this picture. For free. And a zombie too.
Also while these little pipe cleaner things were very cool and very well made near $50 was far too much to pay for such an item.
Now, that being said, I would have totally spent $100 or more on some rare VHS. Over the last year I have become obsessed with rare videos and hunting for them. Most places don’t care about VHS anymore and I’m picking up tapes for everywhere from free up to two dollars. There is a good chance I could find these tapes for a quarter each at some forgotten shop. But having them right in front of me, even at that price, was tempting. If I haven’t found any in the wild by next year’s show these ones might be coming home with me.
Now to summarize: I was looking for a friendly booth, I was looking for something to buy that I would cherish and be happy with the purchase, I was looking for something my whole family would be excited about. The answer came from… New Jersey. The answer was Troma.
Lloyd Kaufman fed my child Goldfish! The actual cheese crackers, not a living creature. This kind of convention you never know. I now have mini posters, and autographs, and cherished memories. Any time I’m at any con I will be hitting up the Troma booth and spending money. Lloyd and crew made me feel so happy and while I liked his movies before I am now obsessed. That is how you build a loyal fanbase and that is how you make the convention going experience a cherished memory for fans of all ages.