BY JAMES FW THOMPSON
I have to be honest: I’ve never attended a CaperCon.
To anyone who knows me, this might come as a bit of a shock. I have always wanted to, but each year something comes up to keep me from attending. It’s as if I’m cursed! However, I AM not only attending this year, but I am also taking part in a panel and a Q&A and, really, I have no idea what to expect. Frankly, I’m just a bit nervous—I like walking into situations with some level of expectation.
So, I thought to myself: who would know better than the CaperCon community itself! Those that HAVE gone to the weekend-long convention in the past. So, I hit up Facebook (my media outlet of choice when I want to know who’s yelling about what) and asked the community for some feedback.
For one, CaperCon gives home to some artists and some art forms that sometimes go unnoticed in the Cape Breton arts scene. One local artist, Jeff Wilson, has taken part in the weekend in previous years, and will be returning this year. “I enjoy the diversity of commission requests I receive. To me, CaperCon also legitimizes the comic book/pop culture scene that thrives in Cape Breton, and serves as a reminder that we offer more than just fiddles and folk art.”
That’s true! There are more comic book and gaming stores in the CBRM than there has been for as long as I can remember. Not just around, either but thriving! We have a thriving comic book and gaming community. As someone who loves board games (and also comic books) I am super excited that such a thing exists here. And if CaperCon can help me get in contact with others that share those interests, well then that’s just grand.
Speaking of which! There will be board game demos! Over 35 games will be available for play. Also there will be old school arcade machines, game discussions, game purchasing, etc, etc, etc! All your gaming needs in one place!
There are also quite a few interesting panels if you’re more interested in using the weekend as a chance to be informed as well as entertained. One in particular that is getting a lot of hype is “Geeks Vs. Nerds,” a debate-style comedy show that explores topics that no one else has the “guts, tenacity, or interest to debate.”
There are also panels on writing, the “Black Mirror” universe and the terrors of technology, LARP, bad fan fiction, and, of course, cosplay.
Wait… you don’t know what cosplay is? It’s when people dress up in often highly elaborate, creative, beautiful, and just plain impressive costumes and accessories to represent a character. Video games, movies, TV, comics—it’s all covered. If you want a photo with Princess Peach, then you can probably get one. If you want a picture with Steampunk Princess Peach, you can probably get that too. The options are endless.
“I love seeing the huge variety of extraordinary and creative costumes on display by everyone into cosplay,” says Sherry D. Ramsey (who is also running a number of panels on publishing, editing, and writing).
If there’s anything I missed, I also asked one of the weekend’s organizers and dwarven-barbarian, Eric Lortie, to fill in the blanks: “Retro video game consoles & arcade machines. Boatloads of interesting panels. Two of the biggest and best anime voice actors in modern history. A dance. Geeks vs Nerds doing something awesome. A great big pile of cosplay. Way more stuff than I could quickly list in an off-the-cuff Facebook message. Check out capercon.ca for more!”
That pretty much sums it up. Oh, wait! There’s also this from Nancy Shepard Metzger Waldman:
“What I love about the limited experience I have had at cons, including CaperCon, is the inclusion. EVERYONE is welcome to come, participate and have a good time. It’s quite a contrast to… pretty much the rest of life.”
Well, awesome. Now I know what to expect, and it sounds like a good time indeed. Now I just need to decide on what to wear: Bruce Campbell or Skeletor?