Our Excuse for Skipping Three Conventions in One Weekend

Wedding Cake!

Actual wedding cake.

Dear Mr. Kotter,

Please excuse Randy and Anne Golden for skipping the Superman Celebration, Wizard World Columbus, and Indy Pop Con all at the same time. As evidence of their whereabouts, I submit Exhibit A: a photo of the official cake from the wedding they attended Saturday afternoon. Anne’s cousin and his new bride were the heart and soul of a wondrous occasion that marked quite a happy ending to a story that’s none of your business, if I may say so without you giving everyone detention. Also, in reply to your weird expression, yes, that is too a wedding cake.

In their defense, scheduling all three shows simultaneously wasn’t the best idea in the world. Believe it or not, June has more than one weekend. So does the entire summer, for that matter. Sure, they were in three different states, and the ongoing glut of Midwest events makes it harder and harder to keep everything spaced apart. It was inevitable that fans would have to start making tough choices about which shows to skip. The more you keep relocating some of those cons, the likelier it is that some fans will get left behind with schedule conflicts.

That’s one of the many reasons why the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL, is their favorite of those three shows. Every year the Goldens know it’ll be on the second weekend of June and they can plan accordingly. They pin it on their calendar and they wait for the guest list announcements. Alas, their cousin staked his “Save the Date” claim months before Metropolis made a move and basically called dibs on that Saturday first. If Metropolis could’ve afforded to bring in, say, Henry Cavill or one of those nice youngsters from The Flash, they might’ve had a real quandary on their hands and the opportunity to be total jerks and let that cousin get stood up. In looking at it, though, they’ve already met this year’s main guest, that exceedingly nice young man Brandon Routh, at the polar opposite end of Illinois in previous years (Wizard World Chicago 2013 and C2E2 2018). As for the other two headliners, the Goldens can’t bring themselves to watch Syfy’s Krypton and intentionally missed that boat.

On the other hand, Wizard World Columbus had a couple of guests they wouldn’t have minded meeting. Anne loves classic TV stars, and Randy has two (2) cast members from TV’s Firefly who haven’t autographed his DVD set yet. Each of them would’ve had one guest to look forward to at WWColumbus. They’ve proven they can handle a one-day trip to and from Columbus. (They owe big thanks to Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, the impetus for them to learn that lesson.) Unfortunately for WWCol, those two (2) guests weren’t added to the roster till Randy and Anne had already made up their minds not to check it out. In a world where actors can cancel an appearance with less than twelve hours’ notice (ANNE IS GLARING IN YOUR DIRECTION, KATE MULGREW), it’s understandable that some showrunners might be hesitant to unleash all their announcements too early for fear of the cancellation blues (THOUSANDS OF US ARE GLARING IN YOUR DIRECTION, FANDOM FEST). That hesitation is unhelpful to fans who pride themselves on being planners and need to know this stuff ASAP.

Then again, even the earliest, most diligent announcements from a top-of-the-line social media team may fall flat if fans and guests don’t click. Indy PopCon has some of the liveliest staff and volunteers around when it comes to drumming up enthusiasm from their followers on Facebook and Twitter…but each year their guest lists keep skewing harder toward Generation YouTube, which has been a bonanza for them in reaching a totally untapped market. From a convention perspective, that’s sharp-eyed geek-world acumen. From a fortysomething’s perspective, that’s reclassifying the proto-geezers as an undesirable sales demographic. PopCon effectively covered all the Goldens’ YouTube fandom needs when they brought in Epic Voice Guy for their 2016 edition. But it looks like there’re approximately seventeen million other famous YouTube all-stars out there waiting for their turn at an Indy PopCon invite, who’ll no doubt receive adulation and attention a-plenty from all those youngsters and their parents. It was nice of PopCon to add a few actors from geek-fave shows into the mix as well…but, again, the Goldens either met them already or don’t watch their shows. There’s one legend that Randy might’ve liked to meet, but that actor is also scheduled at a September show that’s still on their radar. There’s that competition between cons creeping in again, even between shows in different states and different months.

To be fair, Randy and Anne gave a few seconds’ thought to attending PopCon on Friday, thus bypassing the wedding dilemma altogether, but (a) the one actor wouldn’t be there Friday, (b) they had some time limits that day, and (c) paying $30 apiece just to walk into the exhibit hall, say hi to friendly familiar faces, maybe buy a graphic novel or two, take fifty cosplay photos, then leave the Convention Center an hour later…it was tempting for a few minutes, until it wasn’t.

In conclusion, please forgive the Goldens for missing out on three major opportunities for geek reunions, geek networking, geek shopping, all-out wall-to-wall geek fun, and some much-needed exercise. But in this case, family came first. If the wedding hadn’t been on this Saturday of all possible Saturdays…well, who knows how this weekend would’ve turned out for them. The only real certainty they can affirm in that alternate timeline is that they still wouldn’t be watching Krypton.

Juan Epstein’s Mother, who refuses to explain her own pop culture significance to any puzzled youngsters reading this and insists they go ask their parents or maybe go YouTube her or whatever

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