Convention Fans @ PhauxCon 2009: Convention Report
PhauxCon 2009 was unlike any convention I’ve ever attended, namely because it doesn’t want to be like all of the other sci-fi and fantasy cons out there (hence the name “Phaux” con). What started as a small gathering of friends in a living room seven years ago has evolved into a slightly larger small gathering of fans at a hotel. I must admit that when I walked into the PhauxCon 2009 conference room with my friend Nathan Lilly (who runs the Convention Finder), I didn’t know what to think of this little convention. But what surprised me was that nine hours later I was genuinely sad to be leaving all of my new friends.
When Nathan and I entered the hotel lobby, there was just one little sign by the elevator directing us to the 7th floor. We arrived and discovered a large conference room (more like a small ballroom really), with about two dozen chairs, a projector, a screen, and two people sitting behind a table. We were introduced to Sierra and Rob, who are the two behind PhauxCon. Sierra is the founder, and Rob is a friend of hers from “across the pond” that’s been helping her run it for the past three years. We soon got to meet some of the other attendees, including David and Filamena (who I had met at Game Core Con just a few weeks earlier).
The opening session gave everyone a chance to talk about what had been holding their interest in television, movies, and books. Sierra also introduced herself, Rob, and the idea behind PhauxCon. The first panel discussion was hosted by Rob, and it was called “Fangstory: Cultural History of Vampires,” which was incredibly enlightening. Following Rob’s presentation was David’s panel on creating your own RPG game. David actually inspired a room full of people that had mostly never played a table top RPG before, to go to their nearest bookstore and pick up a game.
After David’s panel, we all split up for lunch. Nathan, David, Filamena, and myself all headed to a small pizza place around the corner. We sat around talking about conventions, and all kinds of other nerdy things, before returning to the hotel to continue. Up next was David and Filamena again, who talked about vampires and gaming, further inspiring the group to get involved. Then it was time for the “Out of the Closet – ‘True Blood’ and ‘Being Human’” panel, which discussed the way new vampire shows are being marketed, and how different the representation of vampires is on TV these days.
Our day concluded with a wonderful talk from Leslie “LA” Banks, author of the Vampire Huntress series. Leslie is a great storyteller, and took us all on a journey with her through her life as a writer. It was a wonderful talk, and I feel very fortunate to have met her. Leslie is one of the most genuinely down to Earth convention guests I’ve ever met.
By the time Leslie finished her talk, it was nearing 7 p.m., and I had to head out. But as I told Sierra, I fully intend to come back next year for PhauxCon 2010. Although it was the smallest convention I’ve ever been to, it was by far one of the most fun!
You can view pictures from PhauxCon 2009 at the Convention Fans flickr account!