Ah, ConnectiCon. Of all of the cons I’ve attended, it’s probably my favorite (Editor’s Note: he’s only attended like, 4 cons). It’s a bit on the smaller side, true, but that affords it a more personal touch and gives you a chance to actually interact with the guests, as opposed to most of the other Cons I’ve attended where you wait in line for 4 hours to get to shake hands and run off…not that I’m bitter or anything. Also it’s the only convention that’s allowed me to host a panel thus far…which come to think of it doesn’t speak too well of their sanity, but never mind.
But despite that, I found myself unable to enjoy the Con as much as I usually do this year. I has spent the entire week before the convention battling an illness and was, as a result, rather out of it during the actual Con. But I have a duty to report to you my ConnectiCon experiences, regardless of how limited they were.
Of course the biggest difference between this Con and Anime Boston (the only other convention I’ve covered for Moar Powah…thus far) is that we had actual press junkets to attend, where we got to speak to and interact with some of the guests. And the most important person I got to talk to at the press junket I attended was, the one, the only, Ellen McLain, AKA GlaDOS from Portal. Oh and I guess her husband John Patrick Lowrie (best known for playing the Sniper in Team Fortress 2) was there too (I kid John, I love TF2).
The thing that stuck out to me about getting to meet Ellen McLain is that I’d always assumed she’d be a little…well resentful of being best known for playing a psychotic robot in a video game. I don’t know where that assumption came from, perhaps it was knowing she’s a trained opera singer and remembering how Sir Alec Guiness hated being best known for playing Obi-Wan. But to my surprise she seemed more than cool with being best known for a video game character.
Overall she seemed like an incredibly genuine person and I’m glad I got to finally meet her, even if I did forget to bring my copy of Portal 2 for an autograph (I also forgot my copy of Bioshock: Infinite for Jennifer Hale). Among a few stray observations: she still hasn’t heard anything about Half-Life 2: Episode 3 (at what point do we just assume it’s not coming?). Similarly, John Patrick Lowrie hasn’t heard anything about a rumored sequel to No One Lives Forever (did you know he was in a Lord of the Rings game? Yeah he played an eagle. Too bad the game was kind of meh). Also, her favorite opera is The Marriage of Figaro, but I tend to assume no one on this site is overly interested in that…but I think it’s interesting.
The other major guest I got to speak to was Lauren Landa. She’s a voice actress, currently best known for playing Annie in Attack on Titan, who is [Spoilers Removed by Editor] and therefore might end up like [Spoilers Again, this time for Game of Thrones] but that’s all dependent on The Winds of Winter. Anyway, I did feel a little guilty talking to her, as the only thing I’ve seen that she’s in Attack on Titan. As I stated in my review of the DVD, I can’t really watch the American Dub (the actor playing Eren bothers me too, which is pretty much a deal breaker) but I do like her performance as Annie. I guess she’s also in the One Piece movie? I’m assuming that no one anywhere on the internet watches One Piece.
Aside from that, my experience at the Con was somewhat limited. As stated, I was fighting an illness, and wanted to keep my voice as rested as possible for the panels I had to host (more on those in a moment). I did get to go around and meet some of the other guests; I got a signed Disney’s Anne Frank poster from The Nostalgia Chick (google it before you inform me there’s no such movie) and I got to shake hands with Maurice LaMarche (once again, forgot my copy of Futurama…did I mention I was battling an illness?) and managed to resist asking him to do his Orson Welles impression.
Oh and about those panels. As I mentioned in my announcement post, I was involved in three panels (along with new Moar Powah writer: Guyinthe3rdrow), on Phillip K. Dick, Game of Thrones, and The Phantom Menace. All three of them went off more or less without a hitch (except for the mics being down at my Phillip K. Dick panel), nothing as exciting as a representative from Jackey Neyman showing up dressed as the Master like at last years’ MST3K panel. I even managed to return with video of my Phillip K. Dick and Phantom Menace panels (the room given us for the Game of Thrones panel was far too large for us to set up a camera). The audio is kinda spotty on them (and at time of writing, Youtube is still processing my Phillip K. Dick panel video) but hey, why not watch them and get a sense of what I’m like in person. Spoiler warning though: it’s very similar to how I am on this site
If I have to have a complaint (and contractually I probably do) it’s that it seems like ConnectiCon is getting a bit larger than the current staff is prepped to handle. As one of my companions made me very much aware, the lines seemed to be getting longer and slower. ConnectiCon is beginning to get to be a big con with a small con’s staff, which might not be the best thing for it. Still, I enjoyed it quite a lot (what little I got to experience) and I’m quite looking forward to going back next year. As all of you are probably looking forward to Starshine’s much better report on this Con. [Editor’s Note: Damn straight.]
Elessar is a 24 year old Alaskan born cinephile and he also managed to pick up a Dark Angels codex for 10 dollars…what do you mean no one cares?