Friday, March 6, 2015

Bytemonkey's Pensacon 2015 Recap

It's been five days since the end of Pensacon 2015 and I'm just now finally finding the time to write about it.

If I had to sum up Pensacon in one word. The word would have to be "awesome."  The people who organized the convention and all the volunteers did a great job.  Overall, the vendors and celebrity/artist guests mostly had positive things to say about their experiences at Pensacon this year.

The only hiccup was on Day 2 when the Pensacola Bay Center couldn't handle the number of people attending that day and some 2,000 people were turned-away at the door. Hopefully, the City of Pensacola will take that as a cue  to consider building a proper convention center in area. (I'm sure some economic guru in town has figured out how much economic benefit the town lost from not having a large enough venue for this event. If I find that info, I'll update this post).

For me, there were several events that I enjoyed at Pensacon.  First, it was great to see the vendor area in the Pensacola Bay Center filled with so many geeky things. Overflowing with toys, displays, comic books, pop art, anime, games, crafts, and more, the Bay Center was as wonderful oasis of nerdy geekery inhabited by all sorts of costumed heroes, villains, and fans.

A photo posted by ByteMonkey (@bytemonkey) on

Secondly, the guest panels that attended were informative and hilariously entertaining. This year, I attended the Adult Swim and Start Trek panels held at the Saenger Theater.  In the Adult Swim panel,  Tara Ochs (Too Many Cooks, Selma) and Dana Snyder (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, The Venture Brothers, etc.) made us laugh while sharing their experiences in the voice acting industry. (It was surreal hearing the voice of Master Shake in person).

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In the Star Trek panel, Garret Wang (Ensign Harry Kim of Star Trek Voyager) and Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troid from Star Trek: The Next Generation) were the guests speakers. Garret and Marina split the presentation into two parts with Garret speaking first and Marina finishing up. Both gave a fantastic performance in sharing some of the funny moments of their career. Wang did impressions of George Takei and Marina shared how her she's very unlike her character on TV.  The whole panel was awesome and as a fan, it was amazing.

A photo posted by ByteMonkey (@bytemonkey) on

A photo posted by ByteMonkey (@bytemonkey) on

Thirdly, I attended the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers panel.  The event brought together most of the original cast with the panel consisting of Karan Ashley, David Fielding, Barbara Goodson, Walter Jones, Kerrigan Mahan, Austin St. John, and David Yost.  Having Barbara Goodson (the voice of Rita Repulsa) scream, "Make my monsters grow!"  was a big highlight of the event.

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Fourthly, I attended an "Art of Comic Books" panel which showcased several comic book artists. The panel consisted of Derec Donovan, Larry Hama Roland Paris, Steve Scott.  All gave tips to aspiring artists about how to  break into the comic book industry and shared their favorite tools of the trade.  It was great hearing about the challenges and changes that they have experienced in the comic book industry.

A photo posted by ByteMonkey (@bytemonkey) on

Aside from the vendors and attending panels, I managed to meet some celebrities up close. I got to meet the amazing Katrina Law who plays Nyssa al Ghul in the show Arrow which is based on DC Comics' Green Arrow. From Katrina, I managed to get an autographed photo from her. Unfortunately, I was geeking out too much that I completely forgot to take a photo with her.

Speaking of autographs, I got to meet the very talented comic book artist Jenevieve Broomal. I got a couple of art pieces and comic books personally  signed by her.   

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. It was a lot of fun. I don't really remember the last time I had that much fun in my life. At this point, I'm very much looking forward to Pensacon 2016. Maybe next year, I'll wear a costume!  Ha!

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