So…saw my Dad and did a con yesterday. Not a combination that happens every day, but seemed to work out.
I don’t normally go to D-con (or Doj-con as it was known this year) despite it being closer than any other, on the grounds that it’s not really a ‘con’ in the usual sense. It’s just one day, with very little actually happening that I’m interested in. However, this year a friend reminded me about it, with a not so subtle hint that a few people I hadn’t seen in a while would be there, and we could all catch up. At the time I thought I could at least give it a try. Meeting with my Dad beforehand was a very last minute addition, consisting of me discovering there wasn’t much on until 3, I hadn’t seen him since January, and this was the one free afternoon we both had for the foreseeable future.
We ended up meeting for lunch in a pub we’d been to before – one of the unexpectedly good tasting secrets of Dundee, while discussing my future travel to Oz, my living accommodations, Dad’s impeccable choice in catering (if I’d gotten a pound for every time he bragged about choosing the pub…but that’s just him). He was slightly distracted by the football game though – continually leaving the conversation to watch it (I don’t get football, but my understanding was a very small mediocre team were creaming a very big professional team on Saturday). Afterwards there was some walking round town, before we parted ways and I went to the main meat of the day.
Doj-Con…was pretty much exactly what I expected. Lots of people crushed into a building that wasn’t fully prepared for the numbers. The bottom floor was dedicated to sellers, and everyone came through the first floor, meaning the two were full and required a lot of patience and navigation to get through the masses. The next floor was a bar for games; the next one had a bar for relaxing and rooms for panels, while the top one was for games again. Thankfully the higher you went the less people there were in the halls, so you could breathe.
However, I spent most of my time in the basement level. Ironically not to buy things (though I did come back with more than I probably should have), but to see friends who were spending the day selling stuff from their own stall. Most of it was second hand gear, but there were a few things they’d made themselves, as well as quite a few costumes. They run their own commissioning business and it’s a good way to get rid of old costumes. Sadly, they were wedged in a corner that had a very bright light shining at an angle that resulted in multiple headaches all round.
Though at their stall I got the highlight of my day. An attendee dressed as Gentaro from Kamen Rider Fourze. Not something I expected to see at this con – KR is still a very small fandom that most people haven’t heard of. I introduced myself via a Fourze keychain, and we got to gush about our tiny fandom to another party. Not something I get to do often.
The one event I did stick around for was the masquerade, which was small and sweet. Unlike the large conventions where the masquerade takes several hours and a team of volunteers behind the scenes to keep elaborate costumes in one piece while they wait, Doj-con’s less experienced attendees had simple outfits and were of a small enough number to get through in less than half an hour. I headed home myself not much sooner after that, deciding the evening events weren’t enough to keep me interested, especially as most of the people I knew had headed home themselves and I had a headache from the lights and crush of people.
Although I can appreciate these smaller cons, they’re not something I really enjoy – and despite its proximity doubt I’d go to another ‘day con’ unless there was some kind of incentive or event I really wanted to attend. For me, a convention is about going somewhere and leaving the outside world behind, just for a little bit. You’re surrounded by people who are expressing themselves physically and mentally in a manner not considered ‘normal’ by many people, and there’s little you can do and be judged for it. Having 3 days to seep this in and live allow you to truly appreciate it. Day cons – by the time you’ve arrived and have to leave, you have logistics of what to take and how you’ll organise the day – it’s just a mouthful of what the con experience truly is. It makes me hunger for the real thing rather than tide me over.
There is another shorter con coming up – Glasgow’s first Comic Con which I’ll probably attend, but then I’ll be stepping out of the con scene so I can focus completely on making my cosplay for Ayacon. Time to focus on the big boy.