Posts Tagged ‘Conventions’



“Which Side Are You On?” — This Winter’s Pensacola and Lexington Cons

John "Dak" Morton | April 8, 2014

John Dak Morton with the 501st

One of the last conversations I have at the March 2014 Lexington Comic & Toy Convention is with a miner from Eastern Kentucky. He comes to my table with his teenage daughter, a pretty cosplayer all decked out in pink, heels a tad too high for her rail-thin legs. A rugged, handsome man, he says proudly he’s a fracker who has coal-mined all his life — except during the years when he had an unhappy experience out West working in oil and gas. “It was crazy out there,” he says. He’s glad to be back in Kentucky, in coal.

“Which Side Are You On?” is a protest song from the late 1930s famously covered by Pete Seeger. The legendary folksinger/activist left us this winter at the age of 94. As one who began his entertainment career in the early Sixties as a Greenwich Village-inspired folkie, I regard Seeger, along with Woody Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, as one of my pre-Bob Dylan Yodas. The song is about a 1931 miners’ strike in Harlan, Kentucky. It was in fact written by a coal miner’s daughter, Florence Reece, who was also the wife of one of the strike organizers. The Eastern Kentucky Coalfield also spawned another folkie, Jean Ritchie — and well-known country music artists like coal miner-daughter Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, The Judds, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoaka, and Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley’s dad.

So, which side are you on? Well, Dak’s a Rebel. Those of you familiar with his backstory know he was raised in captivity in the Kalist VI labor colony. As a teenager, he worked in a mine as a laser drill operator blasting away one of the ores that is a constituent of transparisteel.

Recently I have been asking fans at conventions that very question. In February, Peter Mayhew, Daniel Logan, and I were in Pensacola, Florida, at Pensacon. The first day, we three were on a Star Wars panel before a packed house of fans, and I put it to them. The show of hands indicated: 30 percent Imperials, 30 percent Rebels and 30 percent Underground, consistent with what I have found in my previous surveys.

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Rise of the Mandalorian Mercs, Part 3: SDCC and Mando Weddings

Tom Hutchens | March 24, 2014

Mandalorian Mercs

By the end of 2007, Mandalorian Mercs had started to really take off as a group. Our scattered membership had taken part in many events, and we had gotten our first European Clan. By the time 2008 rolled around, we had five very active clans and just over 50 official members. We had our first real test in damage-control in late 2007 with the death of our website and forum, but we came through that, and by 2008 had a brand new platform running strong for the group. In fact, it’s the same website and forum we continue to use today.

One of my most memorable moments of 2008 was participating in the “Mandalorian Wedding” at San Diego Comic-Con. Two of our members (who had been married in May) had wanted to do a Mandalorian-themed Star Wars wedding. After speaking with them, we all decided that San Diego Comic-Con would be the perfect place to have the “Mando” wedding. It was Mandalorian Mercs’ first year as a fan-group at SDCC, and making sure we presented ourselves and the organization well to the fans was a top priority. I booked a ticket, packed up my newly finished Mark 2 armor, and flew from North Carolina to California to help with our presentation, and the wedding.

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Tips: Get Yourself in Star Wars Celebration 2015

Mary Franklin | February 27, 2014

Jabba's Palace at Star Wars Celebration

As mentioned in my most recent blog, new Star Wars Celebration 2015 announcements are coming up this April, probably later in the month, to commemorate the one-year-out point of what promises to be one really big Star Wars show.

A integral part of every Star Wars Celebration is what fans bring to the event, both informally and as part of the official program. Just like Bantha Tracks, with the motto, “By the Fans; For the Fans,” Celebrations are as much fun as they are because fans are involved; because they contribute talent, energy, ideas, and creativity.

Want to be part of the show at Celebration 2015? Read on for some tips on what we’re looking for.

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Star Wars Celebration Questions I Love to Ask

Mary Franklin | February 12, 2014

A few weeks ago I was in Anaheim meeting with members of the Reed Expo team, reps from the Anaheim Convention Center, and a few audio/visual companies. We are more than a year out from what will likely be the biggest Celebration we’ve ever done, but planning is well underway.

Now is when we get to ask questions that I’m frankly quite passionate about answering: “Where are the best places for parties?” “How large a screen can we fit in this room?” “Where will the fans naturally gather and meet up?” “Where do we queue up the overnight line folks?”

It’s all about making sure we do the absolute best for the show, and it starts now — before we sign all the guests, before we create and schedule entertainment, and before we sell a single pavilion to a licensee, or create the first exclusive merchandise.

I LOVE this stage of planning. I might be alone in this affectionate obsession, but hopefully some of my site photographs and questions get you wondering too, and looking forward to April 16-19, 2015, in Anaheim. We’ll start the announcements soon at www.starwarscelebration.com.

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Star Wars at GeekGirlCon 2013

Tricia Barr | December 2, 2013

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In its third year, Seattle’s GeekGirlCon highlights what fans can accomplish when they put their hearts and minds into a passion project. The convention, which is run by fans for fans, sold out before the doors opened. My experience with GeekGirlCon exemplifies the best thing about conventions: getting to meet new people — specifically, in my case, lots of new Star Wars fans.

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F.A.C.T.S. 2013: Report from the Largest Convention in the Benelux

Tim Veekhoven | October 29, 2013

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One of the most enjoyable aspects of collecting is returning home from a convention and unloading your loot. Where will the new items find their rightful place? Didn’t I already have this figure? And sometimes, to your delight, you might have even forgotten that you bought a certain item. F.A.C.T.S. (Fantasy Anime Comics Toys and Space) is the largest convention in the Benelux (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg) and this year the organization celebrated its twentieth anniversary. The convention has evolved throughout the years and you could easily call it the “Benelux Comic Con.” F.A.C.T.S. has always been organized in Ghent, one of the largest cities in Belgium (Flanders), and like Bruges, the city is often visited by tourists because of the medieval streets and buildings. For the fifth time the place to be was Flanders Expo, a large complex with several halls near the city.

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An NYCC Snapshot of the Ever-Expanding Star Wars Universe

John "Dak" Morton | October 24, 2013

Dak approves The Making of Return of the Jedi

Rebels and Imperials converged on Gotham earlier this month for the New York Comic Con at the West Side’s Javits Center. The convergence from both Core World and Outer Rim gave evidence of the ever-expanding Star Wars universe as we continue moving into the new century and another generation.

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WonderCon Wonderment 2013!

Lawrence Green | April 9, 2013

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As many fans of the Star Wars universe know, 501st and Rebel Legion members across the globe dedicate time and effort year-round in support of local community and charitable organizations to help raise funds and bring smiles to Star Wars fans of all ages. And with spring just around the corner, that means “con season” is back! Officially kicking things off for everyone on the West Coast, Comic-Con International presented WonderCon 2013 with three days of convention fun.

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Star Wars in the UK: Farthest From Toy Show

Mark Newbold | January 23, 2013

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“If there’s a bright center to the universe you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from.”

Any Star Wars fan worth his or her salt knows that Luke Skywalker was talking about his adopted home world of Tatooine, but last month, Farthest From — a retro Star Wars toy show — was right here on planet earth in the UK, in the middle of the New Forest and a small village called Fordingbridge.

For the past three years, event organizer Dave Tree (you may know him as the brains behind Celebration Europe’s massively popular 2007 Palitoy Archive exhibit, a display so incredible it reduced Dengar himself, Simon Pegg, to nostalgic tears of joy) has held events in the town. First he hosted two Fordingbridge Film and TV Festivals, the first of which saw original trilogy and Indiana Jones producer Robert Watts present the UK’s only showing that year of Raiders of the Lost Ark and then bringing Farthest From to the Town Hall in September and now December of 2012.

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Long Beach Comic Con: I Should Have Expected To Find You Here

Lawrence Green | November 8, 2012

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Star Wars fans from around the globe have their minds full of possibilities and excitement since the spectacular news broke that Disney had acquired Lucasfilm Ltd., and the eye-popping announcement that after many years of speculation and hope, additional episodes of the Star Wars saga will be released! While global fandom and movie news sites wait for the next bit of news on what the future has in store for Star Wars, fans in Southern California were able to enjoy a weekend of Star Wars glory and fun, turning out en mass for the 4th annual Long Beach Comic Con.

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