Fandom Fest: The Good

Claire and I have both posted our opinions on what went wrong at Fandom Fest. That is not to say there weren’t bright points, and we didn’t try to have a good time. There were some shining examples of geek brotherhood that made the whole thing worthwhile, and made me proud to be a member of the geek community.

The Fans

Fandom Fest Fan Andrew Beattie

Andrew Beattie poses with his con binder and freshly signed Spiderman comics.

I’m assuming most of the Fandom Fest attendees were Bill and Ted fans, because overall everyone was excellent to each other. Hanging out in a three hour line? Never a better time to meet your fellow geeks! You already know they’re a huge fan of whatever you’re in line for, so you know you have something in common. I had more in-depth conversations at this con than I have at any other.

Not only that, but we were the ones spreading the word on the ground about cancellations and schedule changes. It wasn’t uncommon Claire or I would look confused, or say something along the lines of “where is this” and someone would jump in with a “what are you looking for?” We’d extend the same courtesy. Not to mention the #FandomFest hashtag on twitter was the best way to know what was going on.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what geek culture is all about. Knowing that no matter how bad things get we all have each other’s backs. We’re all in this together as fans.

The Vendors

Fandom Fest vendor Fandom Cosmetics

Nicole gets a manicure from Fandom Cosmetics.

Faced with empty booths as everyone waited in line, Fandom Fest vendors ended up with a rough weekend. You would have never know it though talking to them. They were still upbeat and keeping a positive front. I spoke with a few of them and not one mentioned anything negative about the con. I loved this approach, negativity breeds negativity and they were trying to keep things fun. I may be off base, but I’m assuming most vendors at cons are fans themselves. I’m also assuming they took this approach to try and make things fun for fans.

I’m working on a list of vendors, the few that I have are posted here. If you were a vendor, please send an email to so I can add you to the list.

The Shows

Fandom Fest show Star Wars in 60 Minutes or LessI saw two shows while I was at Fandom Fest, and they were both great. Star Wars in 60 Minutes or Less was my favorite. They broke down the original trilogy to a sixty minute low budget play. It was hilarious. There were jabs at the edits, inside jokes, and everything you’d want out of a Star Wars parody. Claire even got to participate!

I also saw Firefly: The Final Episode. Confession, while I love Firefly it’s not one of my fandoms. I feel like I missed several of the jokes, but the show was still hilarious. Guessing by the reaction of my fellow show goers they agree. The same troupe, The Alley Theater, put on Buffy Season 13 which I had to miss.

In addition to the live action shows, there were several movies being screened. I did not attend any of the screenings but I’ve heard nothing but good things (and apparently they were all on time, imagine that!)

The Celebrities

Fandom Fest guest John Barrowman

John Barrowman’s Q&A was quite animated.

The one celebrity I wanted to see the Q&A for at Fandom Fest was John Barrowman. I’ve viewed/read clips of his Q&As, and I’ve seen the photos he takes with fans. This is a guy who truly wants his fans to leave happy. This Q&A was no different. It was raunchy, honest, and hilarious. He called out show promoters for their bad planning, and didn’t let them rush him off the stage (as far as I know, he was the final guest in that room). It made the whole fiasco worthwhile to see Barrowman.

I’ve heard about other celebrities being awesome too. They were making the best of a bad situation and wanted to do what they could to keep fans happy. 

Was it Worth It?

In the end, I suppose so. But I still won’t be returning, not until they have several good years in a row. And I’m not even sure I will then. There are too many other options in the Midwest to go to a comic convention to put up with the fiasco that is Fandom Fest. However, even if Claire hadn’t been there to assure me that this is not normal of a con, I’d still be looking for the next one to attend. And I can’t wait to see how the experience changes when everything is well organized. Our next scheduled convention is Gen Con in Indianapolis, and I hope to see some of you there.


Check out all the photos on Flickr or on Facebook (Star Wars in 60 Minutes has their own album on Facebook).

2 Responses to “Fandom Fest: The Good”
  1. Andrew Beattie says:
    • Nicole says:

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