I was lucky enough to be able to attend Connecticon again this year. I reviewed it last year, but I was only really able to attend for a full Saturday into Sunday. This year I was able to attend the whole weekend, and experience the con for a full weekend.
Last year was a lot of fun; it was a great con for relaxing and meeting up with friends. This year was no different. It had a few great spots to meet up with others and relax. But I think the downside to this year, is the con is starting to get pretty big. Saturday was really rather crowded, so it was difficult to find a place to stop and relax. There’s a big set of stairs that a lot of people like to sit on and hang out, but one of the biggest downsides is people end up taking up most of the space there, making it hard for people to go up and down them.
I think of the biggest problems this year was how the event was set up alongside the Riverfest event. The main events for Riverfest were on Saturday, which was the busiest day of the con. The main bridges connecting the con center to the streets were almost completely crowded during the late afternoon into the evening, and at one point one of the main bridges to the con center was closed off, making us walk around the whole perimeter of the con center just to get in. It made it impossible to get anywhere. We made the mistake of trying to get through the crowd of people around the time the fireworks went off, and we had to fight our way through, in costume. I’m not sure why these were scheduled around the same time, I’m hoping with next year this can be avoided.
I got the chance to attend a couple of the panels this year. One of the things I really like about Connecticon is how varied the panels are. You can get a lot of different panels, rather then just the typical anime and video game ones. One of my favorites was the super art fight panel, where artists were given topics, and they would have to draw something based on the topics they were given. The people competing were super creative, and the picture when finished was pretty funny in the end.
The dealer’s room and artist alley was combined this year. The dealers end seemed a bit smaller this year, but they did have a really wide Varity of vendors. From the typical anime/video game merchandise, art supplies and even a booth for six flags. They had a good deal of booths for web comic artists, not quite as much for artists who were selling single prints, which is what I tend to prefer. The groupings of guests they tend to get are probably some of the best that I see; from Walter Emanuel Jones, the first Black Power Ranger to voice actor Jennifer Hale. It seems like they really take the time to get some interesting guests.
I got the chance to check out the masquerade this year; it was interesting to see all the different skits that there were. Connecticon has this unique approach to their skits and major events, where the people running it have storylines running in-between each act. I’m not sure its something that I would go to the events just to see, but it is a rather different approach to hosting a masquerade.
Overall I had a good time. This isn’t a con that has a lot of space for walking around and exploring. But it’s a great con if you have friends in the area, or know people going to it. I’ll look forward to checking it out next year.