It’s now been three years since I called Connecticon a dark horse among busy conventions. I still stand by that claim, though if you take a look at the con’s featured guest list this year, most folks would call me crazy.
In 2012 the show ran smoothly and went by quickly. It was by no means a small con, but it certainly felt like one. I had the pleasure of returning last year, taking my youngest sister once more, and we somehow had even more fun at that convention than the first.
This “massively multi-genre convention” continues to rep fandoms all over the map–with special guests from television and comics and online media, events that cover cosplay and panels featuring George Takei, there’s really nothing you can’t find at Connecticon. Every year the stars get brighter and the halls get…fuller…but that family-friendly feel hasn’t disappeared.
Here’s our schedule for this year’s show:
Connecticon Panels: Saturday, July 11th
Tea Time 12:00 to 1:00 pm
The Evolution of Disney Princesses 1:40 to 2:40 pm
The Samurai, Cowboy and Stormtrooper 3:20 to 4:20 pm
Fantasy in literature 4:40 to 5:40 pm
Super Art Fight 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Animated Horror from Around the World 7:40 to 8:40 pm
Art the Hypnotist Hypnosis show 11:00 to 11:59 pm
Connecticon Panels: Sunday, July 12th
How to Build an Alien 9:00 to 10:00 am
Voice Acting in Television 12:00-1:00 pm
Unsettling Pokemon Questions and Answers 1:20 to 2:20 pm
Come say hi if you see us at the con this weekend.
Okay so I spent three solid days in Hartford two weeks ago, and they were amazing. I took Lauryn—our youngest reporter and my younger sister—with me for her second con ever, and we both had an amazing time. We posted our pre-con schedule before heading out for the weekend, and it was chock-full of great events that had us totally pumped. The convention halls did not let us down.
The first thing I noticed that has changed since the last CTcon is that is has grown exponentially. Two years ago almost all the events were contained in the convention center. This time around they took place not only in the convention center, but spread out over the hotel ballrooms and halls, as well as throughout Hartford itself. There were even con-sanctioned pub crawls on all three nights.
Something that continues to strike me as remarkable about CTcon is the way that it magically blends the grassroots feel of a tiny con with the star power and professionalism of a huge show. This year was the same; if anything about the balance has changed it is even more remarkable for attracting bigger stars and somehow retaining that backyard barbeque feel.
Connecticon is the Multi-fandom con for the ages. This year’s special guests spanned video games, television, and film. Webcomic artists, writers, and voice actors drew crowds from all over. The cosplay competition filled up the main ballroom, and a League of Legends tournament lasted for several days. CTcon was and continues to be a little slice of nerd heaven.
Over the course of the three days, we attended press junkets and Q+As, panels and special events. There was very little time to rest, and even if there had been we were so excited that we fairly hopped from room to room, only stopping to take photos of the amazing cosplayers that filled the spaces like bees in a hive.
Some of the best things we learned at CTCon:
Ellen McLain and John Patrick Shanley met on a touring production of Showboat, where Ellen was acting and John was in the orchestra. The first time they met Ellen asked for assistance playing the guitar by asking John, “Have they told you how pitiful I am?” Ellen got into voice acting when John insisted she send out a reel. Her major objection was that they didn’t need women.
Tim Buckley is rebooting his Ethan/Lucas/Lilah storyline in the next few months. When asked where he got the title for his webcomic, he told his audience “I stole it from Bill Gates.”
If they could make any episode of Invader Zim, Richard Horvitz and Rikki Simons would create a musical episode. Richard suggested “Les MisZIMrables, and sampled some ideas he had for original themed songs at the Invader Zim panel.
Walter Jones is not Wayne Brady. He is still immensely proud of his work on the Power Rangers, and he learned to jump by playing a game he calls “let’s jump over each other” when he was a kid. He also took the idea of being a role model for kids to heart, and he is very upset that we are all taller than him. Last but certainly not least, he’s down to dance battle anyone that challenges him and salsa is his shit.
Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarch are adorable together and really miss working on Pinky and the Brain. When asked about the orientation of Pinky, Rob Paulsen said “I don’t like thinking of myself as gay so much as ‘ecstatic’. REALLY gay.” Rob can still perform the entire ‘Nations of the World’ song.
Janet Varney loves her castmates and sometimes has them call her cell when she is doing a panel. She’s a huge fan of Korra, and an adorable nerd about her show.
Noah Hathaway recommends that if you want to learn about life, you should travel. He also says an important part of life is “You just have to not wanna be a piece of shit.” He revealed that on the set of Battlestar Galactica the computers had games on them, like the guy playing Galaga on the bridge of the helicarrier in The Avengers.
Jennifer Hale is trash at video games.
Keep an eye out for more photos, especially the cosplay gallery, and videos on our facebook and youtube!
Jen and her roving reporter sister are returning to Connecticon after a sad one-year hiatus. This year they are arriving armed and ready with a full schedule ahead of them! You will notice they sometimes have more than one event scheduled for a specific time slot. We are an ambitious group here at S-C, but we haven’t mastered time travel quite yet. Multiple panels for one time slot just means we have a back-up plan, or can’t decide between two excellent-looking panels!
Want to hit up our writers? Here’s where they’ll be: (more…)
IHoGeek was being represented this weekend on both coasts, and while Killerrqueen and Ladyvader99 partied it up in San Diego, I headed to Hartford, CT for Connecticon.
I often prefer smaller “grassroots” conventions to the oversized, overcrowded, long-line mess that is…well… comic-con. Something about the intimacy of smaller panels, the humility of lesser-known celebrities, the openness of the artists tends to warm my heart. Somehow, CTcon has managed to keep these traits while growing in numbers. This year over 10,000 guests converged in the Hartford Convention center, enjoyed over 200 panels, and met with celebrities who have worked on projects like Final Fantasy video games and webcomics with massive readerships. But still, the dealer room was only slightly squished, and only for about a half hour on Saturday. The artists were happy to chat for however long you’d indulge them. And the longest line I waited in was an hour.
The con’s slogan is “A Massively Multi-genre Convention”, and I could tell from the moment I arrived they would be able to deliver on that promise. The Games room, which was actual a games hall, had tabletop, card and video games all incredibly well represented. Tournaments were held for everything from Magic to Munchkin and back again. The Dealer Room, too, was varied and exciting. It held Artists Alley as well as the first ever “online media guest” hall, where digital artists and webcomic creators sat side-by-side. As far as vendors themselves, there were the usual sellers of comic books, Japanese snacks, and movie posters, but there was something familial about all of them. No, that’s not a spelling error. They felt like family members instead of someone trying to sell their stuff. Vendors were willing and happy to strike up conversations about whatever you were looking for–in my case I needed some Doctor Who literature as research for an upcoming paper (Yup.), and I found it with the help of the lovely folks at M&T Comics.
On Saturday, I brought my youngest sister along for the ride. She had never been to a convention before, but she’s a rather nerdy gal herself and I love sharing my fandoms with her. She fell in love with CTcon almost as quickly as I had, and I was so pleased for her. By about an hour in she was picking panels instead of letting me pick them all, and doing plenty of exploring and asking questions and high-fiving and taking photos… It was a beautiful thing. Not all cons are as welcoming, not everyone is so kind and friendly and approachable. While my sister and I were waiting in line for Jim Cummings’ panel, the Director of Publicity and Public relations came over and said hello. He asked what my favorite part of the con had been so far, introduced himself to my sister and welcomed her, made sure we had seen some of the most interesting panels on the list for the day, and invited us to stop by Con Operations if we needed anything. Maybe this is treatment I will get used to the more I’m wearing a press badge, but it still impressed me.
I didn’t make it up for Sunday’s events–I was exhausted all weekend because the con was an hour and a half away, and I just passed out Saturday night. This means next year I’ll have to get a hotel room. And bring all my friends.
The weekend was so great, in fact, that I can’t cover it all in one post. Later this week, I’ll be posting an interview with Aaron Wood, who is a digital artist specializing in social media propaganda. I’ve got some other feature ideas up my sleeve, but lets keep those a surprise for now. You can see all my photos from the event on our facebook page, in the Connecticon Album.
A huge thanks goes out to Paul Comeau, the Director of Publicity & Public Relations at CTcon, who made the weekend slightly more spectacular, as well as Aaron Wood, who sat down with me to do an interview. Keep your eyes out through the week for more on my time at Connecticon.