Monday, June 20, 2016
Thanks to my homies back in red-dirt fandom land, I'll be back BUSY with a Portal 47 drawing and all the Trekland road show once again in metro OKC for SoonerCon next weekend—which this year is a triple treat. And BUSY for me!
It's SoonerCon 25 ... on its actual 30th anniversary...and also the 25th anniversary of its onetime OKC sister media con, my own baby Thundercon.
SoonerCon is still a comfortable size at an expected 2,000, but incredibly diverse and sprawling in coverage—from anime, comics, "Oklahoma's largest sci-fi/fantasy art show", and SF/F lit and media ... to gaming, live-action role-play, "real space" science, cosplay, fan films and indie cinema. There's also the latest inductees into the Oklahoma Speculative Fiction Hall of Fame. And it still supports a charity: this year, the Oklahoma state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
And they've even got SoonerCon red carpet photo-op billboard walls!
It's been growing about 15% a year since coming to the Reed Center in suburban Midwest City, five minutes east of downtown OKC just off I-40 at Sooner (yes) Road ...and has sold out the adjoining Sheraton. I'm told the next-door Hawthorn Suites/Wyndham has all mini-suite rooms and is honoring the con's $99 room rate with an SCon mention —and day/ weekend memberships* are on early-bird discount through Wednesday. You can find late news on Facebook, too.
As the comic-con mega-model has taken the country's mainstream imagination in grassroots pop culture by storm, I've seen many old-school "lit cons" across the country wither and die out altogether. Kudos to SoonerCon after its 2007 reboot, where both Leonard and the old vets join Aislinn and the new blood with savvy marketing and sponsorships... and the growth stays vibrant.
I mean, look at this sponsor row (above)—including Bernina of OKC, who sponsors the entire cosplay/costuming shebang! (Logical, Captain.)
OKC is also home to one of the three major TOS fan-film studios in the US, of course, with the education-based Starship Grissom and other productions filming at Starship Studios. I'm also looking forward to crossing paths on the con trail with mon capitan Vic Mignogna of Star Trek Continues and joining him for the Oklahoma big-screen premiere Saturday of STC's recently-debuted sixth outing, "Come Not Between The Dragons."
I also get a chance to join SCon's rich space science/STEAM track to evangelize a whole hour with Oklahoma Space Alliance folks about non-profit Enterprise in Space. Our Con of Wrath DP Neal Hallford will be back home and doing some panels, too!
But of course my big focus this Trek anniversary year is my PORTAL 47 insider fan service, and talking about the upcoming ST Beyond with new-found enthusiasm as well as the new CBS Trek series coming in January on streaming All Access. There are three Portales in the Oklahoma City metro alone (and one ex-pat on hand), and we'll have a live meetup for sure.
So here's my way busier-than-usual days at SCon... which is also here, on-site (scroll).
And in the cookie-cutter hours between these panels, I'll be at my table—
FRIDAY (tabling noon-3, 4-5 )
3 pm: SoonerCon @midnight: Worst Book Ever (Maynard)— In @Midnight style, I'll relay audience suggestions to writer panelists to create the best "worst titles" and intros ever. PART II will include the book covers drawn Sat.)
5 pm: "The State of the Trek" Forum (Ballroom D)— My renowned fan forum where YOU talk and opine after my kick-off. And boy have things picked up. No rusty/dusty topics here.
6pm: Opening Ceremonies (Ballroom D)
SATURDAY (tabling noon-2, 3-6 )
11 am: Monster in an Hour (J Stage)— I moderate audience shoutouts to several artists to fulfill the dictum of a "monster robot" artwork—which then goes to the charity auction.
2 pm: Trekland, Between the Cracks (Ballroom B)— Hey, it's my annual show of in-jokes and insights, updated for this incredible 5-0 Fever anniversary year in Trek, new movie and new series! Are you a JJverse fan—I especially want to hear from you!
4-6 pm; ST Continues screening of Ep. 6, "Come Not between the Dragons," with a panel following with Vic (Ballroom D)— Where anime fans discover Trek, and Trek fans find their childhood. :-)
6 pm: Art/Charity Auction (Ballroom A/B) — I have some historic SoonerCon & ThunderCon pieces you locals don't want to miss.
10 pm-midnight: The Dr. Trek Show (Parlor: Sheraton 104)—Your last chance to get in on my annual, live-touring crowdfunder event to support my documentary, "The Con of Wrath"...with prize trivia, rare unseen Trek clips AND sneak peeks of the doc with George, Walter, Nichelle...and plenty of time to still go party.
SUNDAY (Do the math—I have one hour of table time today, at 2 pm !)
Noon: Enterprise in Space: For Real! (Theatre)— I get an hour to update and recruit new "virtual crew" crowdfunders, as spokesman and lead fandom/celeb outreach for this amazing, non-profit global program for student projects to orbit and be returned— inspired by the best of sci-fi and sci-fact, aboard the first real Enterprise in space. Members of the Oklahoma Space Alliance, the local chapter of EIS's sponsoring National Space Society, will join me too.
1 pm: Star Trek at 50 (Ballroom D)— A true panel, where Vic and I and everybody will share about our inspirations, dreams, and loves from Gene Roddenberry's unending little space saga's sandbox.
3 pm: SoonerCon Scoops and Stories (Ballroom D)— Yep, the veterans finally get to party and jawbone over our local con memories from the pre-cool days of fandom. Here's where it's great to have homies ... I think.
And Closing at 4 pm— for what will surely be an historic SoonerCon.
If not exhausting!
*In the grand old tradition of true sci-fi conventions, your SoonerCon attendance is a membership—in contrast to a mere show, with a ticket.