2002 BotCon Steve-o's Closing Report

Late events.

  • Nearly every event started late, often with the doors to the panel room being locked until the time that the panel was scheduled at, if not until later.
  • The voice actor panel started 45 minutes late because the actors were held up in the autograph room. During the interim, those who waited in the room were subjected to a sometimes excrutiating dispaly of fan showboating (singing, trivia-game-running, and a lackluster job of trying to recite the movie which degraded into bad South Park impersonations).
  • For the Dreamwave panel, Simon Furman was the first to show up, maybe 5 minutes late. For the next 15-20 minutes he sat up on the dais alone, looking bored, as we all waited as well. Eventually somebody shouted out "we love you Simon!", and we all cheered, and then he decided to start talking a little bit even though Dreamwave hadn't shown up yet and the BotCon staff weren't telling him to do anything. The rest of DW finally showed up a full 30 minutes late.

  • I was disappointed by the dinner. I was very happy to get to see the cartoon, but this was the first time we've walked away from the dinner without something tangible that we couldn't have gotten in stores anyway. The reasons for this were described above, and with that knowledge, I certainly don't hold any sort of grudge about it. 3H did everything they could, and just hit a lot of bad luck.
  • Having one of the exclusives be a G1 minicar was a great surprise, but I would have preferred not to have two of them. On the other hand, I can understand wanting to make the pre-reg exclusive be not all that much different or "more" special than toys available to regular attendees, sort of like my hope that the hotel exclusive next year will not be all that different from one of the others. (Like, hotel exclusive is a Sideswipe, while one of the regular exclusives is a Red Alert.) (And yes, I have my hotel room reserved, so I know I'll get the hotel toy anyway, but I'll feel bad for others if they're not able to get it and it turns out to be something really special.)
There were no fan panels this year. With the exception of the TFMST, most fan panels have been sort of lackluster anyway, so this isn't a huge loss in practice, but in principle I think it's important for fan panels to be there. They will make a comeback in the future, though. This year was sort of an aberration.

Guests who were dressed extremely non-formally were admitted to the semi- formal dinner yet again this year. The greatest offender is, I think, Particle Man. I know he reads this group sometimes... while he was, technically, wearing the required clothing (slacks, shirt, tie, jacket) he intentionally chooses his outfit to look as ridiculous and garish as possible. It really detracts from the whole "formal" atmosphere, IMO, and I hope he'll cut it out in the future. There were also a couple people who managed to get in wearing TF-themed football jerseys, and the staff from Dreamwave was wearing t-shirts and flannels.

The ad for DecepticonMatrix.com in the program really grates on me... I already went off on that, though.

On a similar note, the videotape bootlegger who was at the convention last year was there again. (Or, perhaps, a different bootlegger.) Although there was no porn shown on his TVs during the convention this year, he still had "girls gone wild" type videos for sale and out in the open. And, please remember, these aren't even legitimate copies of "girls gone wild", they're bootlegs sold as essentially full price, just like all the other stuff he sells. (Almost none of which was even remotely related to Transformers, of course.) This guy makes his living by selling illegal copies of stuff, and I'm really surprised that 3H would allow such a shady operation in their convention. Many of you know that I support things like fansubs and free comic scans for products that aren't otherwise available -- the critical factor is that these things be distributed for the sake of helping fans get them, and not for a profit. Distribution at-cost. This guy does not do that. I really hope to never see him at BotCon again.

And, that's all I have to say for now... As always, the convention was a complete blast, and I'm glad I decided to go a day early this year, arriving on Thursday, to give me more hanging-out time.

Thanks, 3H! We love you!

--Steve-o -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Steve Stonebraker | Transformers FAQ Keeper | Astrophysicist sstoneb@yahoo.com | www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~sstoneb | AOL IM: srstoneb

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