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Returning to What Passes For Reality…

Steampunk Gneech is steampunkishWell! I’m home after what has been a … unique … Dragon*Con. You remember all that stuff that happened to Mrs Gneech and me? The pet hotel debacle? The fall on the escalator? There was also a fire at the hotel. What a weekend!

On the other hand, I met some cool new folks, completed my long-worked-on collection of MST3K signatures, got a ton of development work done on the new comic, and took part in a World Record attempt (for largest collection of steampunk costumes in a photo).

As you can probably tell, I spent a lot of time in the steampunk track, where apparently I fit in like the proverbial bug in a rug. Having hitherto not been much involved in the contemporary steampunk scene, I spent most of the time simply going to panels and soaking up what people had to say, but I was pleased to discover that a lot of the people in the fandom have similar opinions to mine in regards to such things as the preponderance of brown, the rather silly nature of goggles on a top hat, and the fact that “steampunk” is kind of a crap term. It was fun to sort of come into it as an outsider (Technomancer’s Toybox and similar things notwithstanding) and still feel like I had something to offer. One of the editors for Kerlak Publishing, when I mentioned that I’d be starting a steampunk(-ish) comic early next year, perked right up and was eager to be in the loop about it.

As for Dragon*Con itself … it’s suffering from growing pains in a major way. The ratio of costumers to non-costumers took a serious nosedive this time around (particularly as many members of the 501st Legion didn’t come this time around, I hear); and there were entirely too many panels that you simply couldn’t get in to see. I’m seriously worried that Dragon*Con will fall prey to the famous Yogi Berra quote, “Nobody goes there any more, it’s too crowded.” If I wanted to go to a con where I couldn’t get into any panels, couldn’t navigate the dealer room for the crowd, and couldn’t see any costumes, I’d go to San Diego Comic-Con. :P There are also way too many non-geeks (who don’t buy badges and don’t support the con) crashing the party. One commenter I heard referred to it being like “Nerdy Gras” — partiers with nothing better to do are coming to get trashed and get free entertainment by looking at the geeks.

The good news is, people are starting to recognize the problem; what steps can reasonably be taken to deal with it, have yet to be seen. Personally, I think we should start a major advertising campaign talking about what a bunch of totally uncool nerds the people at Dragon*Con are and how unless you’re the kind of person who thinks math and historical romances make an interesting combination, you’ll be bored stiff there.

Anyway! I did have a very good time, down to sitting right among the MST3K cast members in the audience of the “Servo vs. Servo” panel and heckling Kevin Murphy and J. Elvis Weinstein with them. :) Got a lot of work done, met a lot of cool new people, and generally had a ball, so overall I’d say it was a smashing success.

-The Gneech

Originally published at gneech.com. You can comment here or there.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 7th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
Now that's just not true about Comic-Con. There's plenty of costumers. The dealer room traffic would flow 50% faster without everyone stopping for pictures ;-p They just tend to be girls in skimpy outfits.

BTW, you have lost weight, haven't you?
Sep. 7th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
....and what's wrong with girls in skimpy outfits? :P
Sep. 7th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
They'd be better if they were men in skimpy outfits?
Sep. 7th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
Dammit, don't beat me with logic! (it hurts :P )
Sep. 7th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
Depends on the man, you want to see ME in a bikini for example? :P
Sep. 7th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
Not the average man at Comic-Con...
Sep. 14th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC)
Speak for yourself, give me the ladies. n_n
Sep. 7th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
I don't consider "police tape" to be a costume! ;)

re: Weight, thanks! More than I'd thought, apparently. :)

Sep. 7th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
That outfit would have looked just the perfect part at CF'09 (the theme was Victorian Britain) :)

Glad that you had fun and that the world didn't quite end, despite all the apparent threats along the way :P
Sep. 8th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
Thankee, me too!

Sep. 7th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
My mother mentioned to me a story on one of the Atlanta news channels that said Dragon*Con hit 40,000 memberships this year for the first time. Since moving away from Atlanta two years back, I haven't been to the con, but my "I miss it" feelings are somewhat ameliorated by reports (like yours) that it is getting WAY overcrowded nowadays.

And I'm sure all the hotel closings and cancellations this year didn't help.

Sep. 7th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear you had a good time - despite the... interesting aspects of the weekend.
Sep. 8th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Thanks, me too!

Sep. 7th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
Having a good time in spire of the crap = victory!

Nice outfit :P

Regrettably there seems to be a point where a con becomes TOO bug and starts to swamp it's self.... hopefully they can come up with a way to prevent this.
Sep. 7th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
Watch What You Wish For (Or: You Can't Please Everyone)
A lot of people think a con is "too big" when it surpasses [some arbitrary number] attendees. This is only partly true.

A con is too big when it no longer has the infrastructure to support the level of attendance.

The solution to this is attendance caps, which seem like a nice idea until you aren't able to go because you didn't register for the con early enough.

No attendance cap: "I don't want to go to that convention, it's too big!"
Attendance cap: "I wanted to go to that convention, but they have an attendance cap!"
Sep. 8th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
Oh, c'mon.. is there anyone who DOESN'T think math and historical romances would make a pretty cool combination?
Sep. 8th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
People who shouldn't be going to Dragon*Con, for starters!

Sep. 9th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
There should be MANY more historical romances devoted to Sophie Germain...
Sep. 8th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
Glad to hear you had a good time at the con :D
Love the outfit, even if I do profess a bias towards waistcoats and pocket-watches...as I think about this, I reckon the George Pal version of The Time Machine is to blame.

(out of curiosity, what do you use to post to your site and here? is it automatic?)
Sep. 8th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
Thanks! :)

It's the "LiveJournal Crossposter" plugin for WordPress on Gneech.com, and yes, it's pretty much automatic once you've set it up. :) I also use "Twitter Tools" to send a tweet when a new post goes up.

Sep. 8th, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
Cheers :D
I was initially confused why my wordpress.com login didn't work on another "wordpress" site ;-)
Currently debating running a open/employer-friendly blog to showcase various shinies and programming/hardware projects.
Sep. 8th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
Sounds like a blast! (Can I be you when I grow up?) Sure, not perfect, but nothing is; and some great moments from the sound of it.

You look really sharp in the photo, by the by. Though it is odd to see you without the hat which is so often there one the rare times I get to see you iRL. :)
Sep. 8th, 2010 11:11 am (UTC)
re: being me, believe me, you don't want the side-effects!

re: looking sharp, thanks! =) The hat has become more reclusive these days, especially in hot weather.

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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