What keeps you going when you are having a bad day, week, month, year? When you are a fan there’s always something grand ahead -- a fannish event horizon.
In one of the episodes of my favorite telly show, "The Big Bang Theory," Leonard has just broken up with his girlfriend and is feeling blue. Sheldon comforts him by telling him that it’s only nine months to Comic-Con.
I suppose that it would take more than the mere mention of a convention that is three quarters of a year away to erase the feeling of loneliness that a relationship break-up brings. Still, when something has ended, the thought of something great to come helps.
There is always a new comic, movie, television show, convention or gathering of fans on the horizon. This is particularly true as we approach summertime.
We know that late spring and summer will bring us a bevy of movies aimed at us. Though we’ve already had "The Avengers" and "Dark Shadows," we’ve got "Men in Black III," "Prometheus," "Snow White and the Huntsman," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "The Dark Knight Rises," the remake of "Total Recall" (don’t get me started on the first one), and something called "Robot and Frank" reaching theaters in the next few months.
"Robot and Frank" intrigues me. I couldn’t find out much about it but it says it’s got a robot friend in it, so, you know, I need to see it.
For those who go to conventions, some of the biggest in the land are coming up in June, July and August.
Anime fans can go to quite a few big cons around the country. We have one in my area that gets anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 people. Some of us from my science-fiction club host panels there. We give the Metrocon fans a little view of what you get at a general science-fiction convention. I have to admit to having no clue what most of the costumes are at the con, but I love seeing all those people dressed up in fancy garb.
I do get a few. There are always some Doctors Who, Super Mario Brothers and Sailor Moons. If you are into costuming, anime cons are wonderful places to satisfy your desire to see amazing and beautiful things.
San Diego Comic-Con is the pinnacle of conventions. You can’t even get a membership for this year’s con at this point, but if you already have one, I envy you and so do a kajillion others. I’m such a geek that I watch all the coverage of SDCC on G4 each year. This is only about four hours, but if it were more, I’d be watching.
One of the coolest things about the con is that after it’s over, you can find a lot of the panels have been recorded and you can watch them on YouTube. So, even if you can’t go to the con, there are some SDCC things for you to anticipate.
For gamers, there is Gencon. This is where I go to LARP and to see fantastic costumes. This con is not as big as SDCC, but it’s pretty darn big at 36,000-plus and you can still get a membership for it.
If you have roots in old –time science-fiction fandom, there is Chicon 7, the world science-fiction convention. This is where you can meet your favorite authors, attend the Hugo Award ceremony, go to great parties and schmooze with fans from all over the world. Membership is only about 4,000 to 5,000, so it’s an intimate gathering compared to SDCC’s 125,000 or more.
I’m going to Chicon this year and I’m going to be on panels there, which makes me excited. It’s been 17 years since I’ve been to a Worldcon and it’s time I get back to my roots. I’ll be skipping next year and going to either SDCC or DragonCon instead.
In 2014, I will go back though because Worldcon will be in London! I love London so much that I welcome the excuse to go there for a third time.
DragonCon is about equal to Gencon in size and its focus is more like SDCC. It’s a wonderful costume con and many actors are on panels there, so it’s great for movie and television fans. I’ve never been but many of my friends have and they love it.
If you can’t go to the big conventions, there are many, many others around the country and you can find listings for them all over our friend the Internet. They cover all aspects of fannish interests and you are sure to find some that interest you.
Summer is a bit bleak where television is concerned but you can look to Sufu for new programming and movies and we get new episodes of “Falling Skies” from TNT. This is a really good science-fiction show not made by the BBC. It’s on TNT. One of the best things about this show is that you see the aliens. I hate it when you never see what’s bothering everybody so. If you haven’t watched this show, you need to go to fallingskies.com and catch up.
If you read comics, you can get a fan fix every week at your local comic book shop. This is an area where I am not much in the know. I leave that area to my fellow columnist, Richard Lee Byers, but I know he takes home a stack of new books every week. There’s always a free comic book day in your future as well. Lots of comic shops make a big deal of this by having a mini-convention with costume contests and prize giveaways. Some also do this for free RPG days.
There you have it -- a summer to which you can look forward. When you are a fan, there is no end to the anticipation you can enjoy.
Have fun. Take care. Never give up. Never surrender. Look to the future.
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