I won’t dwell on the negative, so much has already been said, tweeted & facebooked about the endless queues, the poor layout, the shambolic organisation, the turning people away, the overselling tickets, the disappointment and outrage. Just look for the #emcon hashtag if you want to delve deeper.
In spite of everything, we had a lovely day at Emcon, and it was nothing to do with the convention itself. At the heart of every convention are the fans, and their warmth, goodwill and acceptance is a truly wonderful thing to be a part of.
The best example of this goodwill is the ‘cosplayers’, ordinary people with incredible costumes; handmade with meticulous detail and imagination, with no expense spared.
The Ghostbusters, the Judge Dredds, the Stormtroopers from UK Garrisson (a UK convention institution), the multiple incarnations of Dr Who, the Batmans, Jokers, Steampunks, the anime characters (I’m a little rusty on my anime sorry) … they do it for the sheer love of it. They work the crowd, entertain, pose for photos and make everyone feel welcome. They’re unpaid and often raise money for charity. Kudos to this fantastic bunch of people! (I’m still annoyed with myself for leaving my star trek uniform & pointy ears in my wardrobe!)
Growing up as a nerdy, goth, star trek loving teen in Nottingham, the first place where I ever felt like I was ‘amongst friends’ was at a book signing at the old Forbidden Planet upstairs in Broadmarsh. That wonderful, eternally sweaty little shop! It was the 90’s and I was ravenously snaffling up batman action figures, horror VHS tapes, back issues of SFX magazine and making ‘in jokes’ about buffy the vampire slayer. Finally, in this little shop, there was an overwhelming feeling of acceptance, like ‘were all in this together’! This important ‘feeling’ is created by the fans and was certainly present at Emcon, in spite of all its problems.