Home sweet home.
Now almost a week later I finally find myself with a little bit of time to sit down and reflect on my first trip to NecronomiCon but where to begin?
I wasn’t really sure what to expect since my only other Con experience was PAX East and that’s a whole different beast. Listening to people exclaim how much bigger NecronomiCon would be this year made me chuckle when I found out that they were expecting about 2000 people. Of course PAX is casting a much wider net, so like I said different animal.
Since the Con officially started on Thursday I decided to head out on Wednesday and get a hotel room by myself. We would be staying with Pete Rawlik from Thursday on but I didn’t want to miss a minute of the Con. After traveling all day I checked in and then decided to do a little bit of exploring.
The old architecture is really cool and quite a few of the older buildings downtown are preserved or renovated. It takes you back to a different time and I can just imagine Lovecraft walking around looking at the same buildings, albeit with a different eye.
It wasn’t tremendously hot but it was muggy as all get out. I don’t miss that at all. Anyway, I grabbed a Lovecraft Ale and some dinner at Murphy’s then went back to the room to crash. Registration started at 1100 so I set my alarm for 800 so I could eat and get myself ready.
I grabbed a sammich and coffee at Dunkin Donuts (I hate charbucks) and started chatting up @cyenobite, who it turns out, lives in the same geographic area of my hometown. Small world. We hungout for awhile before I finally met up with Vince and Rick Lai.
The first night I stayed at the Omni but the rest of the time we were staying at the Biltmore. What a cool, old hotel. The architecture and the art were awesome. Sadly the hallways and elevators weren’t air conditioned but it was worth the tradeoff. Once Vince and Rick got situated we went to the airport to get Pete. Dinner at the Mexican place and then partying in the room until the wee hours.
Friday morning was rough, hungover is not how you want to start the day. We grabbed some breakfast and then headed to watch a panel that Pete was moderating. Next up was the M.U. Podcast live show. That was a cool experience and one of our group made it into the “orchestra” during the history segment. I met up with Brett Miller a metal guitar player who has Lovecraft themed CD coming out on Kickstarter soon. He’s a cool dude and we’ll have him on the podcast when his project goes live. You should go checkout his stuff. The other standout was getting a chance to hangout with The Dragon Fisters.
They’re a Actual Play podcast using the Pathfinder system. I’ve been playing with them for about a year and a half now and we had never met in person. This alone would have made the trip worth while but as they say the stars were right and there was still much more to come.
Along the way we ran into a number of people and rubbed elbows a little bit. I had T-shirts and business cards printed for Vince and I so we were leaving cards everywhere we went. A little inside baseball here, we were hoping to be able to use the Con to propel the website forward and ride the post Con wave. The thinking was maybe we could generate some interest and maybe score an interview or 2. Our expectations were low but the potential upside was sky high, could this possibly work? Some of the groundwork was being laid, a tentative inquiry there, an oh that person is going to be here at such and such a time, we should go talk to them.
Saturday found us at more panels and the HP Lovecraft Literary podcast live show where I got the chance to talk with Chris Lackey for a bit. Later we went back to see their comedy trivia session where I got to talk to both Andrew Leman and Ken Hite.
The T-shirts paid off in spades. As we were sitting with Mike Davis of the Lovecraft eZine the woman in charge of gaming for the Con stopped us to ask about our shirts. She was on her way back to the gaming area but asked us to come up and talk with her later that afternoon. So we went up later and told her what we were about at which point she said that we should back back and do a panel in 2017. Say Whaaa…. We of course very calmly and coolly agreed that would be a wonderful idea. While we were up there we also ran into @imperialscum. while we didn’t get a chance to hangout it was nice to be able to meet in person.
By far the craziest thing to happen was yet to come.
Chad and Brian from the M.U. Podcast said there would probably be a meet up Saturday night. I was in for that as I wanted to pick their brains a little bit and just get a chance to hang out. It’s not everyday that you get to meet the people on a podcasts you listen to. As it turns out the meet up is actually a party in Oscar Rios’s room. It’s a Golden Goblin Press hotel room party and I’m going………mind blown.
Now inside I’m freaking out a little bit. I don’t do real well in groups, I’m not what you’d call a people person. If I know somebody yeah, you can’t get me to shut up but I was going in alone as Vince was headed to Pete’s Lovecraft trivia session.
So I made a little small talk while we’re waiting for everyone and then head up to the room. It was amazeballs! I had an absolute blast, I was in a room with giants of the industry, Oscar Rios, Adam Scott Glancy, Mike Mason and more. We were doing shots, drinking beers and eating cake. It was loud, it was fun, it was crazy! Then all of a sudden it got real quiet, security was at the door we were getting kicked out. I had never been to a hotel room party before no less kicked out of one. It was a weekend of firsts.
Sunday we went to the prayer breakfast, we didn’t stay. It was a bit too hokey for me and Vince saw it last time. We spent the rest of the time talking to people and reinforcing contacts we had made. Then I sadly bid Providence adieu reflecting on everything that had happened.
Needless to say NecronomiCon 2015 exceeded my wildest expectations. Vince and I thought that maybe we’d be able to get a little something out of this but I am just blown away. Everyone we spoke to was super approachable and more then willing to chat and I think that because convention is “small” it lends itself to that sort of accessibility. At least tentatively scheduled we have Oscar Rios, Ken Hite, Adam Scott Glancy, Sandy Peterson, Mike Mason, Chris Lackey, Nicholas Nacario, Jason McKittrick, Pete Rawlik, Cody Goodfellow just to name a few. Our Cthulhu quotient is going through the roof!
The convention for me was all about the people. I was able to hangout with old friends and make a ton of new friends and connect on a personal level. We made some great connection on a “professional” level and look forward to making them into new friends as well. Even if none of the other stuff came to fruition it still would have been a great convention because of the people.
Providence is a great little town and they seemed to embrace the convention. We’re looking forward to going back in 2017 and making an even bigger splash!
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”