Sunday, March 4, 2018

This Con Was a Blast!

Mysticon is an annual event held in Roanoke, Virginia at the base of the famous Blue Ridge Mountains.  It draws 400-500 visitors and has an ambiance all its own.  This year John and Jim were invited as guests.  We took part in a number of sessions, chairing two each.  John was drafted at the last minute to lead one of his, on the Marvel comics universe (comics being a major focus of the con), and did such a good job that he was commended by the organizers.  He also chaired a session on "All Things Sherlock," especially the latest media versions.  Jim chaired "Let's Take Flight" and "Judging a Book by its Cover." . In addition, they did a signing and two readings from the Forlani Saga novels, joining scores of authors who shared their new works with the fans.  

Like most cons, this one covers a wide range of genres from science fiction and fantasy through horror and steampunk, besides hosting an extremely popular cosplay competition.  It is unique in that it includes a great many sessions on film.  Jim had the pleasure of watching four new films by production crews from Virginia an was particularly entertained by a horror-comedy flick entitled "The Last Air B&B" and a screen version of Lovecraft's "The Beast in the Cave." All in all, over 120 short and feature length films from every continent but Antarctica, many of them premieres, were shown.  Several popular media guests were present to represent the acting and production side of film-making.   For many years, Mysticon has also extended a welcome to professional wrestlers.  This year's guests included ECW hardcore legend Tommy Dreamer and his lovely and multi-talented associate, The True Original Gata (Monique Dupree), along with Jimmie Valiant.  Nor was music left out, as bands Bella Morte and The Vailix, along with DJ metro Angel, led the Saturday night concert.  The musical enthusiasm spilled over into the onsite restaurant/bar at night, as a cosplayer in dinosaur array had a host of adults and kids dancing through the evening.

With a pleasant venue at the Holiday Inn Tanglewood, Mysticon is a great three day experience.  But planning ahead is recommended, as the main hotel fills soon after the event is announced and badges may become scarce as the conference date approaches.  The Roanoke area is a hotbed of interest for speculative fiction, film and cosplay.  Many enthusiasts are drawn from the entire surrounding Middle Atlantic and Appalachian region.