Conventioning: An Informative Introduction

Conventioning: An Informative Introduction

Conventions have been a great passion of mine for over ten years. And with their growing popularity, more and more are cropping up across the US and across the globe. We live and breathe pop culture, memes and fandom references. Picking up a new (legally obtained) comic or manga is as simple as going to your local bookshop, library or your couch with digital copies available from most major publishers. Mainstream audiences are sitting with bated breath for the next episode of the Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. and Game of Thrones.

Hell, being a geek is finally cool! A badge from San Diego Comic Con is thought of as a badge of honor, not just that dorky thing you drove 18 and a half hours to get to so you could wait in massive lines for a weekend. So why are conventions such a cool phenomenon? What's this blog really about?

Well to quote a very famous filker: 'A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away...' the popularity of Science Fiction was on the rise, caped heroes were starting to capture our imaginations and the fans wanted to share how they felt about the works they had come to love. They started fan conventions, Zines, mailing lists and wrote to editors, publishers, and the creative minds behind their fandoms. Eventually fan conventions were joined by industry produced conventions. Zines have mostly been replaced by forums, Facebook, DeviantArt, Tumblr and other forms of social media.

And now, for better or worse, almost every company that has a stake in the entertainment industry is involved in conventions. From huge cons like San Diego Comic Con, Comiket, and Dragon*Con, to single day events run by school clubs, conventions and the people who run them seem to be here to stay. Which for fans, industry and career con staffers is completely awesome!

Conventioning is meant to be a blog detailing the various aspects that make conventions a reality. Without the fans to attend, without the staff to dedicate long hours, without the industries to bring new and exciting news and products, conventions would not be what they are today. Conventions come in all sorts of flavors, some of which appeal to wider audiences than others. They also can come with conflict, controversy, and complete frustration at times. For instance: 'cosplay is not consent' has become a huge topic of discussion among staff, attendees, and even non-conventioneers. It's an example of how convention culture is bleeding more and more into mainstream media.

-Cay Fletcher

Originally published on 9/9/2014 at conventioning.wordpress.com

A Conventioneer's Toolkit: The Unconventional Guide to Surviving & Enjoying Conventions

A Conventioneer's Toolkit: The Unconventional Guide to Surviving & Enjoying Conventions