Toronto Con 2017!

It’s Supernatural premiere week, so this will be a drive by Toronto con write up. As in, I’m writing this at the con between panels since I’m not a vendor here. That’s my only hope of actually getting a con report posted before the season premiere. Squeeeee!!!

This was reputed to be the last Toronto con, though it looks like Creation might now be considering coming back in 2019. But the chance of it being the last one was enough to make it emotional for me – for anyone who was here the year that Rob Benedict had the stroke here at the con, or for anyone who was here the next year for his triumphant return. When I first read Rob’s intimate first person account of having the stroke that he wrote for Family Don’t End With Blood, I couldn’t make it through without reaching for the tissues – not many other people have told me they could either. All those emotions come up when I’m here in Toronto, but it makes this con a special one.

The other thing that made me emotional was having Rob and Rich back. I loved NJCon (as you know if you read my con report) and I think Jason Manns and company did a fabulous amazing job. But I just miss Rob and Rich when they’re not here. They’re part of the family, and not having them with us just feels wrong. Unfortunately I got here so late that I missed their intro and rushed to my seat just as Julian Richings was starting his panel.

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The #WoManns Con – Supernatural New Jersey!

New Jersey con holds a special place in my heart, simply because it’s the closest con to my hometown of Philly. That means I can actually drive there instead of flying, which makes being a vendor a bit easier. That also meant I could caption this con ‘Adventures in Vending’ because we definitely had some adventures – and some misadventures.

Being a Supernatural con vendor is like joining a tribe of frankly awesome people. For the SPN Creation cons, it’s mostly the same group of friendly, creative, resourceful folks at every convention – and because those cons happen a few times a month on average, the vendors get to know each other very well. They’re like a group of traveling carnies, moving their wares from one city to the next. They have each other’s backs just like the rest of the SPNFamily does, and I would trust any one of them if I was in a tight spot.

That doesn’t mean vending is easy. My friend Karen offered to help me out at NJCon, so we drove up together. The day before, the FedEx guy delivered my many many boxes of books, each of which weighs over 40 pounds. I bolted out the door as soon as he pulled up and asked what the policy was for leaving the books in my car instead of on my doorstep, and luckily the very nice FedEx man agreed. When Karen and I got in the car the next day, I swear it felt sort of like getting into a rocket ship – the boxes of books in the trunk and back seat made the front of the car point dangerously towards the sky.

With apologies to my poor overburdened Honda Civic, we started out, slowly making our way north to scenic Secaucus. The giant convention center had a back loading dock where we could unload the books, so we drove up there and asked where we could park to unload lots of boxes of books. The bored looking man waved us into a spot and said we could park there. Karen and I looked at the very long ramp across the lot where we would have to enter the convention center and exchanged a look of dismay. That was a steep ramp and a long way with forty pound boxes of books!

True to my always-frantically-busy-and-not-quite-prepared state, I hadn’t been able to find an actual hand cart but I’d brought along my green and white striped beach chair on wheels that doubles as a transport cart. You know, for taking your cooler to the beach or whatever. If it can transport a cooler, I thought, why not a box of books? So Karen and I heaved a box out of the trunk and onto the beach chair. The canvas sagged but didn’t break, so we counted that as a win. Then we began the trek up the long steep ramp. After a few minutes of struggling, we finally got up and into the convention center, wheeled the books and the chair down the hall and found our vendor table. One box down, ten to go!

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PittCon – The Saturday Night Special

Post and Photos by Kim Prior

I have written several articles about the Saturday Night Special and my love for these events. I don’t think I could find the words to say it any differently this time – I simply love Rob and Billy and Mike and Stephen. I love to watch Mike play that guitar. I love to watch Stephen as he passionately pounds the drums. I love to watch Billy pour his heart and soul into his guitar. And I love to watch Rob sing, and dance, and smile as he commands the center of the stage. Simply put, Louden Swain gives me joy. This concert gives me joy. I have said it before, and I know that I will say it many more times to come… the Saturday Night Special is special because of Louden Swain.

The concert in Pittsburgh apparently had some technical issues – mics not working properly, guitar issues, and so on. But let’s be honest, I didn’t care, not even a little. These guys could come on stage and sing the phone book completely a capella and I’d be so okay with that.

So without further ado, and without a lot of commentary, here’s a recap of PittCon’s Saturday Night Special.

The night got off to a rockin’ start as Jake Abel introduced the band.

The first song of the night was “Present Time.”

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Lynn and Kim do PittCon – Part 1, Friday and Saturday

Lynn didn’t make it to the Supernatural con in Pittsburgh until Saturday, thanks to having to work all day on Friday (boo!!), so this first part about Friday is all Kim.

Kim:

Conventions are always super busy, jam-packed weekends. Panels. Photo ops. Autographs. Sometimes I do meet & greets. Hanging out with old friends. Meeting new friends. It is a full schedule, to say the least. For the convention in Pittsburgh, I added another thing… I helped Lynn with her book sales (Family Don’t End With Blood) at her table in the vendor area. How many ways can I spell exhausted? I have newly found respect for vendors, for Lynn. Working in the vendor area and trying to do all the convention things is beyond exhausting. And for the record – I would totally do it all again. And again.

Lynn: I have that in writing now. Excellent… *evil cackle*

Kim: Thank Chuck for my dear friends Kim and Stacy, for helping me set up Thursday night, for sitting with me at the table all weekend, for giving me the time I needed for photo ops and autographs (and a meet & greet with Kim & Briana). Thank Chuck they were there to make sure I had water and food, and a few stolen moments to breathe and pull myself together for photo ops.

That said, entering the airplane hangar – at least that’s what the theater feels like – to sit down for a panel was a like entering my zone… sitting down, taking out the camera, watching the panels through the comfort of my lens… yes, this is where I belong.

Rob could not be there on Friday, so we had just Richa…

No.

That is one million percent Inaccurate. Wrong.

When did the word ‘just’ become an adjective? When did it begin to carry that negativity? Every day of my life, I have to tell people that, no, I don’t have a job, that I’m ‘just’ a mom… as if being ‘just’ a mom is somehow less, somehow unworthy. Sure, the popular phrase “Just Do it” implies a positive message of strength and endurance, but usually adding the word ‘just’ to describe anything is somehow, less. So can we stop saying that? I’ll stop using the word to describe myself, and ya’ll stop using the word to describe yourselves, and let’s just simply stop using the word as an adjective of negativity, ok?

So starting over…

Rob could not be there on Friday because he was attending a film festival. As a result, we were treated to the impeccable hosts of the utter effervescence that is Richard Speight, Jr, along with the always delightful Jason Manns, and the incredibly talented Louden Swain band members Billy Moran, Michael Borja, and Stephen Norton. We were given witty banter, and fabulous music, and as Richard put it, we were in the “warehouse of fun” and it was awesome.

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Supernatural Minncon Friday and Saturday – Misha, SNS and More!

 

The Supernatural convention in Minneapolis is notable for a couple of things. First, it’s in the grandest theater on the whole tour – an actual slanted floor tilted and cushioned seated amphitheater style theater with two clamshell balconies that open up like magic on Sunday for J2 Day. The stage is so big that some of the guests aren’t quite sure what to do with it and it makes the Saturday Night Special seem like a rock show in a bona fide concert hall – and Louden Swain and guests know exactly what to do with that!

The convention center, and the city itself actually, is also notable for being connected by a series of hamster trail elevated tunnels that allow you to make your way from the hotels to the convention center without being pelted by the inevitable wind and rain. My hotel was also playing host to a furry convention, so we had furries and Supernatural tee-shirted fans sharing space and high fiving in the hallways. I was struggling to transport my hundreds of copies of Family Don’t End With Blood the mile and a half (okay okay, exaggeration, but it felt like that…) of hamster trails to the convention center when a very nice young man at the furry convention offered to help. He pushed the overloaded handcart the entire way to the convention center, while we chatted about what our two fandoms had in common and why nobody should be ashamed of what they’re passionate about.

I was in the vendor room throughout the con, and was so honored to meet many people who had read Family Don’t End With Blood and been inspired by what the actors and the fans shared in their personal essays. I also was thrilled to collaborate with Jodi from Eldwenne’s Fantasy – she created an original Women of SPN – FDEWB necklace that I adore, and was kind enough to give one to me. The necklace symbolizes that for the women of Supernatural, family means more than just blood – there’s a blue backdrop that matches the cover of the book, hugged tight by silver to symbolize the found family that surrounds the Winchesters, and black for Baby. And of course the drop of blood red. Gorgeous. Jodi is giving $5 off the necklace to anyone who purchases the book, or $10 at a con!

The con kicked off on Friday with Rob and Rich a bit overwhelmed by the amount of greenery onstage – not just the usual couple of dead trees, but a whole forest of them, along with some equally-dead potted plants.

Rob and Rich rearranged them, made a makeshift Supernatural Christmas tree, and generally had way too much fun with inanimate things. They even had a Christmas story, with Richard sitting crosslegged on the stage.

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