I’m back on the scene, apparently. Orillia’s first ever comic convention had brought me and my game design prototypes out of hiding. This is a good thing. It was less than 2 years ago when I swore off big conventions. After the 2015 Fan Expo in Toronto, I felt as though my con-life would slow down. Maybe hit a few small one-day cons around southern Ontario, pick up swag and a few discounted art books, chill with the boys and be on my merry way. BUT NOOOO! Rinky-dink cons gotta pop up out of nowhere. Not to say Orillia’s Comic Con was of the rinky-dink variety, but the town is small and boring (according to the locals youths that cared to share at the show).
Orillia’s fandom has been begging for something like this for a long time. My sister-in-law had mentioned it to my wife, who brought it up several times. I figured “Yeah! Little comic con and a little town. Should be fun to just pass through”. Boy was I mistaken. The con proved to be very successful, guaranteeing the organizers a second year with 2 days instead of one. They had just over 7500 people pass through and everyone was in high spirits. It got crowded. Like, really jam packed during the afternoon. I hadn’t left my table except to get drinks for the pizza lunch Dean brought back. It took me 5 minutes to navigate 3 rows of tables. Totally packed.
It hasn’t been since 2015 that I’ve presented the funny little prototypes I created. After finding out about this con, there was probably a month and a half until show time. I passed it off as a secondary action to my spring activities. If I was free I would go. Then I got to thinking. And from thinking to contemplating. Should I do the con? It wouldn’t hurt, seeing as I don’t really have to set up a whole lot of things. I still had my 2015 Fan Expo setup. At this point I wasn’t going it alone so I fired out a communication to the TYL crew. I received positive responses, but only 1 was down for sure. Enter Altered Earth Studios: 2015 Fan Expo setup ready to go. I got online and started to look up details. Tables were reasonable, and after I had checked with the coordinator of the show I found out there were 6 spots left. At this point it’s exactly 28 days til the show.
After confirming registering 2 tables side by side, Kurtis and I were set. Fan-con bound. It was exciting. I really didn’t think it was a big deal, but my mind knew better. Every evening I was instinctively fiddling and fine tuning my demonstrations. The prototypes weren’t changing, but I wanted to make sure my presentation and examples were tight. Coming down to the last 2 nights, I was anxious. Couldn’t sleep, couldn’t focus on work. I don’t know what it is. It’s not like I’m scared or nervous… well, a bit nervous actually. I never think I’m ready for a show. And with only 2 weekends to tighten up any loose screws I felt the games could have used more marketing support. I didn’t have all my rules printed. I didn’t have the online demos I wanted to share. I didn’t have any of my brochures or postcards from the prev cons. I was technically not ready for this show.
After about a 45 minute rest I woke up late and headed out right away. I had everything, or so I thought. SHIT! Forgot my folding chair and only remembered after I was already at the show and setting up with Kurtis. I ran back out to buy one so I didn’t have to pay $15 for a rental. With setup near complete, Dean comes rolling in. It was getting real, and exciting to have the boys roll with me to this con. After Capt. Zapstrap (Kurtis) built his fortress we were pretty much ready to go. Dean hooked up a little setup to one side of my table. Everything was looking good and we were feeling great.
So where do I go from here? Well, seeing as the con organizers are already contacting vendors and exhibitors about next year, I’ll be doing Orillia once again. Pretty exciting stuff. Until then I have a truck load of tasks to complete, such as: