The Wrath of Cons


Something’s in the air. It’s an excitement, intangible, yet physically stirring. Con Season is upon us. And it’s going to be a busy, crazy year. With so many comic book movies coming out, plus Wizard running around buying up all the cons in the country, there’s going to be a major con to attend just about every weekend throughout the spring, summer and fall, including one that yours truly is organizing!

I just added a handy-dandy schedule (or shhhedule for my beloved Brits) in the right column over there, so you (and I) can keep track of my comings and goings. For the first time ever, Fanboys of the Universe will be exhibiting at a couple of shows. What will we be exhibiting exactly? Good question. I’m not sure yet, but I do know there will be buttons. So, please stop by and say hi.

My first con of the year occurred this past weekend. I went to Gallifrey One in Los Angeles. It’s a major Doctor Who con celebrating its 21st year. It’s a three-day event, but I could only fit one day into my shhhedule. I had never been to a Doctor Who con before, so I went in there wide-eyed and virginal. At the end of the day, I was considerably more sullied, but still yearning for more. I’m really not a fan of hotel-based cons, though. I know there are a lot of reasons to do it, but I can never quite shake the vaguely sad feeling I get when I attend them.

They had an unbelievable list of special guests, and I was impressed, despite my obvious lack of Who knowledge. My first panel of the day was on Torchwood. Writer John Fay, who wrote two episodes of the dreadful Children of Earth miniseries was in attendance. For an hour, fans speculated about the future of the series, what the US version might be like, etc. I couldn’t believe no one was instigating a lynch mob. I always carry kindling in case an impromptu sacrificial pyre is needed. But no, I remain the only person in Whoville who still resents what they did to Torchwood.

The second panel I attended was loads more fun. Louise Page, the costume designer for David Tennant’s entire run on the series, presented a slideshow of her work and told stories about the mad production shhhedule, the actors and working with Davies. The highlight was a lovely story about the top-secret wardrobe fittings for Catherine Tate for the “Runaway Bride” episode. Plus lots of stories about Tennant’s involvement in the design of his costume and the unusual sources of the fabric. (The material for his trench coat was sofa fabric.) It was a fascinating presentation, though it could easily have been two hours long.

After perusing the surprisingly small vendor area, I headed into the crossplay panel. Crossplay, of course, is cross-gendered cosplay. Doctor Who and Torchwood apparently inspire more crossplay than any other genre, with the possible exception of anime. The panelists chalked this up to the inclusive nature of the properties, as well as the growing popularity of genre slash fiction among women. One of the women on the panel was dressed as Ianto Jones and she did a lovely job of it. The women on the panel (and in the room) represented a wide range of sexual orientations, and I made a note to step up work on a Fangirls of the Universe spin-off site.

I really wanted to attend the LGBT panel, but it was shhheduled for 10:30 at night! There was no way I was going to leave, then drive back to the LAX Marriott for that. Next year, I’ll just book a hotel room and hang out all weekend.

Next up is WonderCon! This has traditionally been my favorite con of the year, so I’m really looking forward to it. Be sure to let us know which cons you’re attending over in the Meet-Ups & Con News Forum. And feel free to offer suggestions for the FBOTU booth. Besides buttons. We have the buttons.

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