cons [OT]

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Mon Feb 24 14:41:15 EST 2003

Christian wondered...
> comic cons (along with the industry) are choking to death because everyone
> who goes is someone who wants to be part of the industry and a lot of the
> product is specifically aimed and targeted at a niche of people who are
> interested in one sort of thing and will put up with the ridiculous
> and collecting schemes the industry engenders.
> is that sort of thing a problem with any SF/fantasy cons?

Not in my experience, but I've frequently been told that Irish cons are a
breed apart and not at all like British ones (can't think of anyone I know
who's compared Irish and US cons).  Anyway, the average audience at Octocon
is a bunch of people who like to read/watch SF and fantasy in whatever
form - runs the gamut from comics collectors to Trekkies to people like me
who just read vast quantities of spec-fic.  While many of the audience
*would* like to get into the industry ("How to get Published" panels are
always well-attended), many more just want to meet a favourite author, hang
out with their mates in the bar, browse the dealers' room, show off at the
masquerade, or any combination of the above.

The product, as a result, tends to be varied; the dealers' room usually
holds several booksellers (both new and second-hand), one or two comics
dealers, and a couple of dealers selling everything from books to Magic
cards to comics to action figures to t-shirts.  Likewise, the panels cover
any aspect of spec-fic the organisers can find people to talk about and at
any given time, about half the attendees are just sitting about somewhere
gossiping.  Because Octocon rarely has much money (they nearly bankrupted
themselves getting Orson Scott Card over in the mid-90s), the guests tend to
consist of about half a dozen regulars who live in Ireland or come over from
England because they like Octocon, plus whatever big name(s) happens to be
doing a British Isles publicity tour or lives in the UK and can be
persuaded.  Thus they rarely get big US writers or TV/film stars, but quite
a few of the big British names have been over.

So Octocon tends to attract a pretty varied bunch of people, and is probably
the more fun for it.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be
- O. Cromwell

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