ConnectiCon 20 - 07/23/23 - Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT
By John A. Wilcox
As the years roll on, I've come to realize that each convention, each event, is an entirely individual and unique experience. Here's mine. I got up way to early on Sunday morning. I prepped my camera gear & loaded into my great niece Isabella's car. It was her first convention. As we headed up to Hartford from Westport I was reminded how most cars are not terribly knee-friendly for tall, disabled fat guys. One smooth trip later, we rolled into the con just before 11 AM. Here's the spot where I feel it necessary to say how very friendly & helpful ConnectiCon's staff were. Because everyone I met there went out of their way to make my experience as wonderful as possible. Thank you, staff! I salute you!
This was my first year navigating a convention within the confines of a wheelchair. Even with my great niece pushing most of the time, it still wears out your body after 4 hours! It was worth it. Most of our time was spent in the main vendor ballroom. Quite a dazzling array of merch to please pretty much every taste. I balanced out perusing the tables & talking to the vendors with photographing cosplayers & chatting with them as well. Fantastic. On the cosplay end it was loaded! Perry the platypus (from Phineas and Ferb), Waldo, Deadpool, various versions of Spider-Man & Spider Gwen, Link, Princess Peach, Barbie, Pyramid Head (from Silent Hill), Howl (with Calcifer), and just too many more to mention! The craftsmanship on many was just off the chain as you can see!
A highlight for me was a conversation with a cosplayer portraying Punk Spider-Man. His passion & joy were obvious and I was telling him that back when I was coloring Amazing Spider-Man for Marvel in the late '80s I had no clue how much our work would touch & inspire generations of folks. It was just a great moment. Cosplay is truly an art and an act of love.
Great American Gothic, Cody James By Cody, Heather Shields Illustration, Pixelux, Serenity Lockhart Cosplay, ROC Games, Art By Quinton, Louisa's Knit Knacks, Flourescent Finery, and Jeff Ryan were just a few of the fine folks that grabbed my attention with their art and artistry. So much to choose from for every taste! ConnectiCon did a superb job of bringing everyone an amazing array of writers, artists & craftspeople. Dizzying!
My great niece & I also watched a fun & fabulous lip sync battle, a hilarious magician, and some Cosplay Pro Wrestling! There were also table after table of televisions for free videogaming of all sorts as well as strategy games and arcades. If you couldn't find something fun and amazing to take in, you truly weren't looking! ConnectiCon 20 exhausted me, but in the best possible way! My love to all who made it a time I will never forget!
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