Con Review: Genericon 2005

by J. Andrew World


Genericon 2005
January 28-30, 2005
Troy, New York

There is nothing more invigorating then Albany in January, except going there with someone from Virginia who didn’t bring a hat or gloves. “Eight,” he said, “Eight is not a temperature. It’s a date or a time or something.”

This year’s Genericon was held, as always, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and run by their sci-fi club with a focus on webcomics and Anime. This year saw a few changes. First, they moved to the last weekend of January to make sure they weren’t overshadowed by Arisia. Attendance was higher this year then in previous years.

Also this year was their most successful Art Show. Nick Jones, who has been running the show for the past three years worked hard to make it great. Sadly, this will be Nick’s last year running the Art Show.

I arrived Friday night with fellow Nth Degree-er Rob Balder to a warm Genericon welcome. This was my third Genericon and Rob’s first. As usual, Friday night didn’t have much happening other then gaming and movies. I went to set up in the Art Show while Rob went exploring.

Saturday was spent at a two-hour webcomics panel which featured Rob, Chris Battey of Scatterplot and Josh Phillips of Avalon. Rob dominated the panel, although he tried not to. We had lunch after the panel and I went to the Art Show to move some swag. I missed the guest dinner, but made it to Rob’s Filk concert.

The concert was a lot of fun. Originally, Worm Quartet was scheduled to play as well. However, they couldn’t make it due to a scheduling conflict. So Rob did his set and then lead the audience in a sing-a-long.

Sunday, Rob wanted to immediately hit the road, but I made him stay until the Art Show closed. The show was a big success as I watched an overwhelmed Nick take in more money in twenty minutes then the previous two years of Genericon.

Thanks to Nick and the rest of the Genericon staff that made this convention a success once again.


Con Review: Genericon XVII

genericonxviiby J. Andrew World


Genericon XVII
January 16-18, 2004
Troy, New York

I returned, quite welcomed, to Genericon again this year. Coincidentally, the con had record-breaking attendance this year. Once again they had an incredible array of web comic pros, such as Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance, Randy Milholland of Something Positive, and Ian Jones-Quartey of RPG World. There were other guests including Bard and Vicki Bloom, creators of the World Tree RPG; Tom Van Zandt and Aaron Wood of Captain Drew and his Crew of Two; and Fuzz Face of Looney Labs.

I arrived late on Friday because of traffic problems, but that was fine. I quickly ran into an old friend and we passed the time catching up and ended up playing in the Play-Doh Wars. I made a head that looked like an Easter Island statue crossed with the Martian Manhunter. The competition ended in a three-way tie, which included my friend Dan Marsh who made a Bun-Bun, complete with switchblade and Easter egg. By this time it was kind of late so I went to check into the hotel.

I woke up early the next day to get to the Art Show. After setting up I ran to the panel on Fandom that I had been invited to take part in. It turned out to be a pretty relaxed panel with Fuzz Face and me talking to the other people about Fandom for about twenty minutes. However as it came closer to noon the room filled up more and more in anticipation of the next panel. I began passing out ’zines to the people as they came in, I even threw some to people as I pranced around the room. By noon, the room had filled for Pete Abrams’ Sluggy Freelance panel which was a great deal of fun. After lunch I decided to spend some time in the Art Show chatting with the other artists. I even squeezed in some time in the Dealer’s Room talking to Tom Van Zandt and Aaron Wood.

That evening Genericon took the guests out for dinner. We went to a small pub in a rowhouse called “The Holmes and Watson,” which looked appropriately like it was straight out of Victorian England. The place was rather posh and had dark wood everywhere. They fit thirty of us upstairs. We had a blast, eating, joking, and creating a panel-by-panel comic. I added a picture of a ninja pulling a pair of lips from his eye. After dinner we all split up—a few went to set up the party, a few went to Lego Wars (just like Play-Doh Wars but with Legos), and I hung around the convention.

I eventually went to the party and had a blast. There weren’t many people, but we had fun turning Munchkin into a drinking game. The game lasted until 4:00 AM.

The next morning I crawled out of bed and grumbled my way to the con complete with hangover and obnoxious cat girls shrilling in decibels that should not be hit. I caught the “Business of Web Comics” panel and the “Web Comics Jam.” After the Jam I got the weather report—snow—and decided not to stick it out until the end like I was hoping. I missed a good chance to make some extra cash (they let guests pimp their goods at the end of the con) but I did avoid a massive snow storm.

Next year’s Genericon will be held January 21-23, 2005. There are no details online yet but stay tuned.


Con Review: Genericon XVI

GenericonXVIby J. Andrew World


Genericon XVI
January 24-26, 2003
Troy, New York

Genericon is a small gaming/anime convention that clearly has the potential to be a bigger one. But, since it’s a school-run event, they are limited by what the school gives them to work with. I was a guest of the art show, and did have a good time.

I arrived Friday night and the art show wasn’t ready yet, which worked out well seeing as how I didn’t have the cloths I needed to make my display look right. So, I puttered around and passed out copies of Nth Degree. One of my illustrations was in the program book as well as my bio (there were only five guest bios in the book) so people almost treated me like a celebrity. To kill time, I checked out the dealer’s room and then went for a drink.

I woke up at 9:30 the next morning, showered, and went to set up for the art show. After I set up my two tables I went for breakfast. I got back and met two other artists from the Artist’s Alley. Both were amateurs and one was still in school, but a talented anime-style artist. We traded stories and got to know each other. I showed off my art to other attendees and discussed my technique. After lunch, I went to speak on the one panel I was invited to sit in on: Web Comics. Strangely enough, I have never done a web comic. I went mainly because (as I mentioned) there were only five guests at the con. The panel consisted of six web comics creators and me. We went through the introductions and showed our comics. I seemed to score the biggest laughs when I showed the Sluggy Freelance where Pete Abrams put my clothes on Torg ( I ended up taking on the job of panel moderator; I asked the artists questions when the audience wouldn’t. It worked out nicely. At one point I asked how the panelists promoted themselves and one person answered, “Name dropping,” to which I replied, “That’s how I got on this panel.” Afterwards I tooled around the con and went to the dance. Which sucked. Mainly because the DJ thought that the only danceable music was anime music, which (in my opinion) is totally undanceable. I tried to get him to play something decent (this seems to be a common complaint at convention dances – ed.), without any luck. I left to go to bed at 4:00 AM.

The next day my voice was wrecked, I was exhausted and could barely get out of bed. I got to the con around 11:30 and once again hung around the art show. It closed at 3:00. I hung out with some new friends and played “Star Munchkin” until the closing ceremonies. I said my good byes and went home.