When I say I love Halloween, I mean cute Halloween: roly-poly kittens in witch hats sitting on pure orange pumpkins, not Netherworld, jump out with a chainsaw, horror movie marathon, I-peed-my-pants-I-was-so-scared Halloween. I prefer faeries to zombies and teddies to grizzlies. I mention this only to draw attention to the fact that a single word, such as Halloween, or Sci-fi Con, can hold different expectations for different people.
Having been asked to give a review of AnachroCon, held February 25th – 27th in Atlanta, Georgia, and in light of the video coverage elsewhere on this site, I’m going cover the sweet and clever things. First and foremost, AnachroCon is a class act. There are drinking cons, reader cons, performer cons, party cons and just plain awful cons, (and Anachrocon did have it’s fair share of drinks, books, parties, shows and even a little ick) but Anachrocon could very well earn the moniker “FriendlyCon.”
From the ConSuite to the front row, the conviviality was outstanding. The staff catered to each person’s need (about 700 members and guests), whether they be guest of honor or single day member. Oh, wait, there WAS no guest of honor. Perhaps “Equali-Con” is better, as every guest was treated the same: like family. (OK, better than family. I checked out the green room and it was by far the best hang out for con guests ever. Really. EVER.) Similarly, every member was enthusiastically shown a good time.
The best of the best:
Best performances at the con: I loved Play it with Moxie at Friday Night’s “Gaslamp Gala”. Again, the event was made ever so classy with table service by Pinky, the pink haired vision of elegance with a silver tray of chocolates. Saturday Afternoon brought the Vauxhall Garden Variety Players to the center of the convention floor, along with waltzing lessons for the hoi polloi. Quality dancing is so hard to find in public these days.
Best History: AnachroCon has a history of inviting some interesting historical figures. I chatted up Ben Franklin in in concourse and da Vinci walked by. Later I saw Thomas Jefferson in hot conversation with General James Oglethorpe. Vincent van Gogh, bandaged ear included, slumped by in misery. The authenticity was entertaining, remarkable, and – in van Gogh’s case – bordering on the creepily realistic.
Best Session Track: Fabrication! Leather to electronics and back again. If you want to make it, the help was there to show you the way. One of the most diverse makers tracks I have seen. Very well done.
Best Party: I know I was the host and all, but, really, Men WITHOUT Pants was the hottest ticket of Saturday Night. There were rules, chief among them was “Men may NOT wear pants.” The panted men, stopped at the door by the lovely Ladies of the Wandering Hands, who made sure that there was nothing under there that a Scotsman wouldn’t wear. Some ran back to their rooms for bath towels, and others just pulled off the table skirts from the hotel’s session tables. That’s how one ends up with Dr. Who in a towel held up by suspenders.
Miscellaneous things that made me laugh out loud: Steampunk Fett’s new friend Steampunk Lando (complete with VERY fake moustache and very real can of Colt 45). The Bustle with the Birdcage. Steampunk Janitors. The guy who used the hotel comforters at a kilt and came into the room yelling, “Arrg! I am Angus Holiday of Clan Holiday… Inn!”
I leave you with one last clever and cute thing: Mr. Barns & Dr. Nobles Infinite Electric Reader. I thought this fellow’s Nook case was charming and sweet, as was Mr. Carter himself. I’ll be back next year, if they will have me, at FriendlyCon, er, Anachrocon 2012.
Cute and Thrifty. Sarah Black shows her marvelous cutaway coat. It’s simply a woman’s long suit coat from the secondhand shop cut to shape and finished off with double-fold bias tape. The hint of the con: thrift shop bed skirts! The make great bloomers out of pajama pants, or stitch round and round for a fluffy – frilly skirt.
Kevin Trotman is a photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia.