Whoosh! Online Edition Whoosh! On The Road



NEW YORK '98: THE NON-INTERNET CON
By Betsy Book [25-30]
(654 Words)





[25] As we hopped the D train for the Con on the morning of February 21, Tom and I tried to guess how many people would actually be at this convention. We hadn't heard much buzz on the Net about it, and it seemed like only the "usual suspects" (the NYC Xenafest committee and, of course, SAL_FAN) would be there. We were afraid that Creation was saturating the market with too many events in succession, and we discussed our fears that this Con would be a big flop with a half-filled room. We were worried that such a disaster would not bode well for future NYC Cons, and we would be forced to brave the wilds of Valley Forge forevermore in order to attend future East Coast conventions.

[26] I am happy to say that we were wrong and our fears were unfounded. The place was packed and the Con could not be considered a flop by any stretch of the imagination. You see, we Net folk can get pretty absorbed in ourselves and we often forget that there is a whole other segment of the Xenite population out there-- people who *don't even own a computer* (gasp!). For someone who has always experienced Xena fandom via its Internet subculture, it was an interesting experience to suddenly be surrounded by non-wired Xena fans at a convention.

[27] I have to admit that this put a damper on the socializing aspect of this Con for me. I mean, heck, one of the main reasons I go to these things is to hang out with my Net buddies and meet new people face to face that I've already met online. (Gotta do *something* during the umpteenth showing of the "Salute to Whoever" music videos, right?) But I did get to have one first time F2F Net meeting (Hi Gloria!), do a little schmoozing with some cool New York Times people (Hi Jude and Andy!) *and* I got to have lunch with Bret "International Playboy" Rudnick (Hi Bret!). So with those important socializing needs taken care of, I was able to relax after a while and enjoy the Non-Net Con experience. (Note to self: I think I've been hanging around Laura Sue Dean too much.)

[28] There was a certain energy missing from this Con that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but I have chalked it up to the fact that we Internet fans are probably just a bit rowdier than the non-Internetties. I mean, we didn't earn the term "Hard Core Nutballs" for nothing, now did we? Although the crowd at this particular Con was very well-behaved, they did not seem bored and responded quite well to the various events that were going on, especially Danielle's and Ted's appearances.


Ted
Photo courtesy of Debbie Cassetta

[29] I must say that in addition to this being a Non-Net Con, one could also say that this was a "Joxer Con." Coincidence? Or does this say something about fan demographics? I sense a Whoosh! essay in this somewhere. Anyway, there were tons of Ted Raimi fans in the audience and he got an overwhelming welcome from the crowd. Ted was in his element and he was a lot of fun to watch as he interacted with the fans. The single most entertaining moment of the Con for me was when he called for volunteers to come up on stage with him to sing "Joxer the Mighty" and tons of crazed Joxer fans rushed the stage, much to the horror of Creation Entertainment representatives. That alone was worth the price of a general admission ticket.

[30] So, although it was not the most exciting Con of my life, (remember, at the last NYC Con Tom and I got kisses from Lucy--a very hard act to follow) it was an excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I enjoyed seeing Danielle and Ted in person and it was amazing to see all the new XWP merchandise that has popped up.


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