Tales From LepreCon 36


I have to start by stating this was the first con I’ve attended of this size. I cut my teeth on the San Diego International Comic Book Convention (Comic-Con for short). That first year I went to Comic-Con, so did over 100,00o others. I believe less than 200 people attended LepreCon 36. Don’t quote me on this as I didn’t see any official numbers. As a good friend pointed out to me, “It’s like comparing apples to bowling balls.” I did my best to keep that in mind as I wandered around the halls of LepreCon.

After spend the greater part of three days at the Marriott in Mesa, Arizona, I was hard pressed to know why the convention was called the LepreCon. I did not see one thing the entire weekend that remotely resembled anything Irish. I bet if I dug deep I’d find the first convention was held over St. Patrick’s Day.

**dig, dig, dig**

Yep. I was right. The first four LepreCons were on or around the 17th of March. The remaining 32 events weren’t even in the same month. The only nod to their namesake I found was the badge. To be fair, there might have been more, but I didn’t notice them.

Day One

Friday was a bust and having nothing to do with the convention. Work refused to let me leave early enough to catch the panels I wanted to see. I attended the Guests of Honor Meet And Greet, but couldn’t keep from feeling like the outsider looking in. They had a bar to help lift the mood. However, I planned to drive home that evening and didn’t partake in anything stronger than a bottle of water.

I did find some fun trinkets in the dealer room. A prop from the Serenity movie found its way home with me. I do question its authenticity, but it looked cool and didn’t cost too much.

Briefly I perused the Art Gallery to gawk at the works by Charles Vess and James A. Owens. None of Mr. Owens’ works were for sale. Although if you want to come home with an original Charles Vess, all you had to do was be willing to part with $3,500. A steal, right? Since I’m not in the habit of carrying that kind of cash on me, I was forced to pass.

One of the display tables carried a mass of steampunk items. I kept coming back to stare at this table the entire weekend. I particularly liked the goggle-styled monocles and these clocks with over-sized and exposed gears. Since there was no photography aloud in the art room, I reluctantly refrained from snapping any pictures.

Day Two

Saturday was better for me. First of all, I was able to spend the entire day there. Second, the Amys were there. Cons are always better when you have someone to go with. Shared experiences tend to be more meaningful.

My favorite experience this day happened when George R. R. Martin signed my copy of A Game of Thrones.

Most of the day was spent going to panels. I’ll post those later this week as to keep this one short.

Day Three

Sunday almost didn’t feel like a con. The crowd, though small to begin with, was smaller. I watched a reel of movie trailers. Some were neat, but most of them I had already seen. Nothing super new. They did give away some movie swag. I walked away with a glow-in-the-dark Wolfman cup, a Legion t-shirt and four passes to see a sneak peek of the new Karate Kid movie featuring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. After that nothing really called to me. So I parted ways with the LepreCon.

Overall it made for a good weekend.


4 thoughts on “Tales From LepreCon 36

  1. Thanks for your review of LepreCon 36. As you discovered we were started near St Patrick’s Day, but the expanding tourism industry forced us to find less expensive, fan affordable accommodations.

    Charles Vess had his new book for sale via the Poisoned Pen dealers table for $40. It sounds like you missed that.

    We had about 340 total members. I don’t have an exact number yet, nor do I have a warm body count. Since the dealers room & art show were open to the public I did see some fen show up, but not get memberships. The fan table groups were not required either, so our records won’t have them anywhere.

    Thanks for attending this year and we hope to see you next year at Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe AZ for LepreCon 37! Pre-reg memberships are available at a discount now 🙂

    Mike Willmoth
    Hotel Liaison & Treasurer
    LepreCon 36

  2. As well as the copies of several of my books in the dealers room there were also LOTS of signed prints of my work (at mostly $30.00 per) available in the print shop in the art show.


    1. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment, Charles. I did notice the prints and signed copies. However, there’s something to be said about owning an original piece of yours. Even at the price they were listed at, I’m surprised you would be willing to part with any of them.

      Again, thank you for stopping by, both in Mesa and here at my blog. You truly are a master at what you do, and I wish you many continued successes.


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