Apr. 23rd, 2012

lazypadawan: (Default)
1992 not only marked my entry into the weird world of fan fiction, but also the convention culture.

I'd known about cons for years, mostly Star Trek cons, but had never gone to any. There was a small annual sf con in Miami when I lived there in the '80s but never went. The Star Wars 10th anniversary con was on the wrong side of the country while I was a high school senior. Comic Con was some far off legend...I never managed to visit out here when it was happening. When I was in college, my geeky friends made an annual pilgrimage to Archon in St. Louis:


The problem was Archon was at the time in the middle of summer, while I was back home in Florida.

Anyway, after graduation, I was living in Northern Virginia and while visiting a gaming/comics store in scenic Sterling, VA, I saw flyers for a now-defunct event called Castle Con. It was a mixed bag con, with no particular focus. The guy who ran the store, an amiable ol' hippie turned mountain man (he had great stories about working rock shows for the likes of The Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd back in the day), told me all about the con which was conveniently at a hotel located right by Dulles Airport. It was about 10 minutes from where I lived at the time.

So, in June 1992, I decided to go both Saturday and Sunday. It was HOT both days and my poor car overheated on the way there but I made it. Even though Castle Con was pretty small it was to me like entering an insane asylum and coming home at the same time. Sort of anyway. There was not a lot of emphasis on media but there was a lot of emphasis on live action roleplaying. There was a movie/video room and I did get the golden opportunity to meet the only surviving cast member of "Plan 9 From Outer Space." The guy was a trip. He was visiting relatives in Glen Burnie, MD and figured why not make a few extra bucks over the weekend while he was around. Other than that, there was lots of chaos, people watching, and perusing wares in the dealer room.

There were no Star Wars collectibles or tchotchkes on sale, which was a disappointment. But I found a lot of cool crafts. I ended up buying a pair of earrings I used for years afterwards and a black satin cloak that got a lot of use on Halloween. I think I might still have it. It was really cheap too, like 20 bucks from somebody who sewed the things herself! You can't find bargains like that anymore.

Other than that, I remember watching old episodes of "Land of the Lost" and some of ANH in the video/movie room, and going to a couple of panels. One was on mythology, using Joseph Campbell's work as a guide and the other was a creative writing panel where we got to critique other people's work (thankfully not mine).

Castle Con 1992 was my last Castle Con. Within a couple of years it relocated to Ohio and it must have ended sometime after that. It wasn't exactly my kind of party and I've been to much bigger shows since then. But cons were a part of my life ever since then...I've been to at least one con somewhere every year since then.

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