A friend of mine who'd never been to a slash or fandom con before made a very important observation after she watched the dance floor for a while: everyone was either dancing in sensible shoes or barefoot.
That, I think, is the ethos of fan cons.
The bus rides there and back were fine, and I remembered to get the name of that one taco truck
at the gas station I swear I saw last time I took the bus to Pittsburgh. At the convention, there were a good balance of fandom-specific and fandom-general panels, and I don't think I've ever been to a vid show before where it just started
. No trouble or A/V fiddling required. I never quite got the hang of how to play to the judges for "Cards Against Humanity" but maybe next time I'll have some idea, and I bought the absolutely most delightful necklace
in the dealer's area. Which led into probably the most intense twenty minutes at the convention discussing the source show. Which was fun.
It was such a small con this year - first year, odd time of year, plenty of good reasons and a couple of excuses - that pretty much every panel could have been a round table around a small table. Maybe a long table for the bigger fandom panels, like the Buffy one, where we ended up moving from how we got into the show and preferred pairings into how fandom platforms change, how that leads to the loss of content and fanworks, and the necessity of central archives and open communication between fans. Even Star Wars, where we talked about merchandising and the shifting of approved canon versus official discontinuity, weren't that heavily attended. Simply because there weren't a lot of people.
That didn't mean it couldn't be intense. The round table for Stranger Things
had a lot of laughter, a lot of heady discussion on long-form serialized media as a storytelling platform and how it can be most effectively harnessed, and much delight over nostalgia and future possibilities. Classic ships veered into displays of emotional intimacy, and frustrations over social expectations of prescribed heterosexuality and its seeming contradictions with genuine affection. There were a lot of good murmurs around the room in "Fandom as Genre" though it was a little hard to keep the focus, and I know I should have written stuff down before the disability in media panel to help keep activity levels up. But even so. It was all good time spent in the company of fans.
I got to see new faces on old friends, and hugged people I'd never before been able to. I didn't win at arm wrestling but I put up a fight, and I made a lot of people laugh. So all in all, a pretty fabulous time.