(It's a baconga line.)
Let me explain to you Ba-Con in this way: I was an exhibitor -- Geektress had their first ever Geektress Booth -- and at one point on the first day I said "Gosh, the hospitality suite with the free bacon is so far away, they should really just bring us food. Like a bacon butler."
AND THEN THEY DID.
I was pretty desperate to get to this convention. Since I couldn't get the time off of work, I bartered to be allowed to show up a few hours late and actually spent the whole weekend either behind our table or at my actual job. But I was not disappointed. Ba-Con 2011 was so, so worth it.
(Bawls photo by Robert Walker. Nice picture of me looking terrible also available.)
The next thing you gotta say about Ba-Con is the BAWLS. Bawls Guarana Energy Drink was one of the convention sponsors. There were cases and cases of this stuff available to us, icy cold, all weekend. There were also endless ball jokes. "My mouth is full of BAWLS." "Could you hold my BAWLS?" "I forgot where I set my BAWLS," etc., etc., etc.
I usually despise energy drinks, but this one actually tastes like cream soda. So I had three cans of it on Saturday, and then tried not to vibrate through walls. And of course BAWLS being delicious only led to even more BAWLS jokes. "My BAWLS are tasty!" "I can't stop putting BAWLS in my mouth!" ET CETERA ET CETERA. I'm pretty sure NO ONE DIDN'T LIKE making Bawls jokes. Which is another reason Ba-Con was so fantastic.
Reason the billionth it was so much fun: I made new friends! Nicole and Josh at Geeks Podcast were fun to talk to, draw with, and share candy between. (I ate all their banana Laffy Taffies.) Their blog is actually more of a video podcast than ours, but they have a lot of content on the site and focus on stuff we don't always have a chance to, like video games. You should check them out. I'm trying to get them to come to Detroit Fanfare, because they're pretty great at working a crowd. (Free bacon popcorn!)
I spent most of the weekend behind my booth sketching bacon character cards. I took a few requests (some turned out better than others,) including one from Jess at Geeky Clean (they had more soaps than is currently in their online store, but they're Wil Wheaton famous so they don't have to follow any rules) that turned out super cute:
I love drawing Matt Smith's swooshy hair. Haters gon' hate. I don't care!
At the end of our row was the Artemis game, created by Thom Robertson. It's a networked PC game that you and a bunch of your Trekker friends can get together and play as a group, simulating starship bridge events like the Kobayashi Maru. (The person who plays the Captain doesn't even need a computer, seriously, he just shouts out orders.) To quote our friend Sarah, "...we didn't blow up the ship 75% of the time! I call that success." I've always thought that having to listen to some other booth's video game display music on a continual loop all weekend would be worse than being trapped on a Carnival Cruise. But Artemis's soundtrack is fantastic.
Even though I didn't have any of my Geektress cohorts to keep me company, they probably wouldn't have fit behind the booth. I had a ton of stuff crammed in to one tiny space.
I also had Ba-Con workers Lisa, CJ, and others to keep me company the whole weekend, and, like I said, bring me bacon-y foods. (Also please notice that CJ does Steampunk correctly, instead of randomly gluing pieces of a broken alarm clock to a plank of wood, strapping it to your back, wearing a hat and then getting all irritated when people ask "What's that thing on your back? Does it work as a clock? Is that a costume? Why are you wearing jeans?" -- I AM LOOKING AT YOU, GIRL AT NEW YORK COMIC CON FROM THREE YEARS AGO WHO STILL ANNOYS ME TO THIS DAY.) (Check it: Cogs. Gears.)
Dave and Mason kept things interesting by providing the occasional Nerdcore rap performance throughout the con, and across the aisle I had Nigel Sade's gorgeous artwork to look at. (I loved this piece!) I got a free comic from Black Cats Comic that I hope to review soon, and met a lot of new people who really loved the Discworld print.
There were displays from Rivet, 8 Bit Art, and Starbase that I didn't get to see, but I heard were awesome. And everyone was gettin' their corset on. There were also a bunch of panels, some involving SCIENCE! Next year if there's a Ba-Con, I'm definitely finding someone to guest draw at my table for an hour or two so I can check out the gaming room, the arcade, and some of the instructional panels.
At the end of Saturday night there was a party hosted by Barfleet. (I couldn't attend, because of work.) Barfleet is an organization based in the Midwest that attends science fiction (and related genre) conventions to provide free, over-21, alcohol-fueled parties. It's all volunteer staffed, and the drinks are free (though, if you're cool, you'll make a donation to the cause. Parties aren't cheap to host, I found that out last year.) I am also hoping they make it to Detroit Fanfare!
Our con-exclusive t-shirt was the "Morbo: DESTROY!" design (similar to the Andre the Giant Has A Posse street art.) But, since we only sold one, now the con-exclusive becomes an internet-limited design. If you're interested in purchasing one, check out my store. Also, I'm considering putting the leftover bacon sketchcards up for auction, with proceeds going to the ASPCA. I've been told that's a completely hilarious and terrible idea. However, our last charity auction on eBay went just awful, so I won't do it unless there seems to be a lot of interest.
I can't wait for Ba-Con 2012!! I hope it's not the same weekend as Connecticon again, HINT HINT BA-CON ORGANIZERS.