ConnectiCon, Part 1
Garth and I are returning to ConnectiCon this weekend. It’s a very important show for us, and has been for years. It’s a convention that is also very near and dear to my heart, so much so that I’m dedicating both blog entries this week to talking about it.
ConnectiCon was a home for webcomics for years. It treated webcomickers as real guests and valid artists during a time when the medium was still taking shape, and many organizers looked at us as inferior versions of “real” comic creators. ConnectiCon knew the value of webcomics and put a spotlight on us that no other convention would do. ConnectiCon was a beacon for many of us, and the chance to exhibit our work at a show that respected us was invaluable. Many of us owe a lot of our success to the platform ConnectiCon so generously gave us.
I’ve made many friends through ConnectiCon over the years. It’s where I first met Garth, and that turned out pretty well. It’s where I met other webcomickers who would go on to be lifelong friends, as well as the convention chairman! And finally, most importantly, ConnectiCon is where I first met the woman who would become my wife. The business world would call this networking, and if that’s the case I think I’ve done a pretty good job networking (i.e. forging relationships with awesome people) at ConnectiCon.
ConnectiCon is where I host the Cosplay Death Match, but I’ll talk more about that on Thursday.
ConnectiCon is the only convention that I have attended every year since its launch. It’s been about fifteen(!) years and I’ve never missed at ConnectiCon weekend. I’ve had to decline invitations to friends’ weddings because they fell on the same weekend as ConnectiCon. Conventions are work weekends for us, so it’s not like I was turning down those weddings for the three-day nerd party these shows are for some people! But that level of dedication helped us establish a loyal crowd of people who can rely on our being there, every year. And that’s good business for everyone. On a more personal note, I get actual anxiety attacks over the possibilities of having to miss a ConnectiCon weekend. It’s only happened once or twice, and those times I’ve made lengthy overnight drives to accommodate double-booked obligations. I cannot imagine a summer without ConnectiCon.
I like doing conventions. I like meeting people and traveling. But ConnectiCon is different. ConnectiCon doesn’t feel like a convention. It feels like home. Apart from my time spent working on webcomics, it’s when I absolutely love my job.