When I read there was going to be a con in Appleton, Wisconson my first thought was, “Appleton? Where’s that?” I hope the Appletonians will forgive me but it sounded like it was going to be in the middle of an orchard. When I read about it I was impressed with the guest list, and when I emailed the Con director, he responded immediately, so I figured it was worth a 6+ hour drive.
I must admit that, when I rolled into town and looked around the con I wasn’t impressed.
Its a nice town but I was in Washington D.C. last weekend and New Orleans before that, but the people were nice and I saw a couple vendors I have seen elsewhere so I figured I was going to have some laid back, casual fun.
Happily I severely underestimated this con! They’ve packed the place with Otaku and the schedule with fun!
I wandered around a bit and the room that said it had Vic Mignonga signing autographs was empty so I tracked down the “Boffer” room and watched the participants whack each other with padded sticks for a bit. That sort of thing is always entertaining and I usually get one or two good action shots.
The Opening Ceremony was short, sweet, and to the point with the guests being introduced – Tiffany Grant, Chris Cason, and Johny Wander, but no Vic Mignonga – then followed by a pause in the main events where I went back to watching the boffers.
By that time I was convinced Vic hadn’t made it but they already had an impressive line up of guests and I was enjoying myself.
About 7 p.m. the con hit its stride when Tiffany, Chris, and Vic walked into the main events for their Voice Acting v. Stage Acting panel. They told fun and humorous stories while talking about the differences and similarities of voice and stage acting. Being stuck in a small, hot room with the director and sound man staring at you through a window being one significant difference. Many stage actors can’t handle playing to an audience that is only in their imagination with no feed back and, of course, the need to time their words with the animation.
Then at 8 Vic was part of a panel on “Who Would Win” in various fictitious fights such as Enterprise D and a Death Star (the conclusion on that depended on whether Kirk or some other captain was aboard.) Other characters involved in the discussion included Han Solo, C3PO, Ewoks, the Firefly, and, of course, Jar Jar Binks.
Looking at the schedule I was hoping for a lull in the excitement when Main Events had scheduled a panel with Tiffany Grant talking about Hello Kitty. I mean, lets face it… Hello Kitty just doesn’t hold that much fascination for me. I was wrong. Tiffany held my attention and made my bladder swell as I didn’t want to leave the room and miss any of her panel. I walked out of her panel with a knowledge of Hello Kitty history and a smile on my face.
Immediately after her panel they started “Tales of Con Horror” with Chris, Tiffany, Rez (Mitch Muenster – Kitsune’s Con Director), Michael C. Terpening (from NATSU Con and ASTL), and Adam Pulver (Geek Kon Chairman.) Did I say I walked out of Tiffany’s panel? I lied, but so did they as their one hour panel ran for two hours! They told tales of con travels, con stalkers, and hilarious mishaps. It was a hilarious panel that had more balls than Craig Ferguson.
For five hours straight Kitsune kept me entertained and laughing, (though I did finally sneak a trip to the bathroom in.)
From checking in with Rez, they were hoping for 500 (850 today alone!) and now they are anticipating breaking 1,000 for the weekend.
All in all, they are doing great for a first year con and better organized and executed than some with years under their belts.
So, if you are in the area, come on in for a great time and if not, come anyhow!