(This was originally posted on our old WordPress site on 7/31/2011)
Now that we have touched upon the panels that left a bad memory let’s move on to a better subject, the panels that we enjoyed! The interesting thing about this is that the panels we enjoy seem to be the same ones year after year and hosted by the same people year after year. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
The first one we enjoyed was the “State of the Genre Address” hosted by Kevin Ranson and Brett Link of MovieCrypt.com. In this panel we were asked what we thought of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror in film, television, and online. We were asked if it was getting better or worse and why we though such. We focused a lot on the Marvel movies and their successes again and again lately compared to the DC movies that have some movie goers up in arms (the movie pointed out most was Green Lantern as a fail though I have yet to see that one.) Other questions that arose were things like why is Sci-Fi Friday now filled with 2 hours of wrestling when it used to be the day for major sci-fi shows on SYFY. All in all it was an enjoyable panel that got us talking and thinking about why some things are good and successful and others perhaps not as much.
The next panel that we had enjoyed was hosted by the same people as the “state of the Genre” panel; this one, however, has been a favorite of mine for the past few years. It’s the “Ultimate Occult Showdown”! The reason this panel is sooooooo much fun is because audience participation is required and mandatory and if you don’t speak up they WILL call on you! The premise of this panel is that they will take 2 characters or teams or creatures and say something like “Who is the better demon slayer and why Angel or Constantine” or “Who is hotter and why Buffy or Agent Scully”. At this point the people of the audience call out who they would give a point to and why, the reasons get discussed points get added or subtracted at Kevin and Brett’s discretion and eventually we have winners for each category. The one unfortunate point this year was a lot of us at the panel lacked TV this year so many of the comparisons were ones we just sat there mystified about. At points like this, to get at least some points going, Kevin to the laughter of us all would pick up the megaphone they had and go into the hallway and ask the question of the other con goers who were not in the panel. As I said audience participation I required, even if you didn’t know you were part of the audience!
Another panel my girlfriend and I attended and enjoyed a great deal was held first thing Sunday morning, the“Building Better Characters” Panel which was hosted by Linda Cowden author of Grimmie, Kevin Ranson author of The Spooky Chronicles, and T.S. Robinson author of Into the Dragons Maw, Mirror of Opposition and Battle Chasers. The great thing about panels like this is the ability for aspiring authors like me to pick the brains of the ones that are already where I want to be one day. Also, the authors that Ancient City Con tend to get are very nice people who love to help aspiring writers in any way they can. We got a lot of really good information from this panel about how to create good characters and how to flesh them out.
The last one we are going to talk about is the “Future of Publishing” panel. This was one that was very interesting for my girlfriend and I. After all if we want to be writers we have to know how to get published one day. Some of the topics touched upon were, E-book vs. Paper book, self publish vs. publishing house and do we really need bookstores or are conventions the better choice. Like the previous one mentioned, this was hosted by Linda Cowden and Kevin Ranson and had a lot of good information. However, the first ten minutes were taken up by the previous panel (Fanfiction to Fiction) since the man from COO-IE didn’t pay attention to time. Thankfully, Linda and Kevin took another ten minutes or so of their time to talk to us about things that they and us both did not agree with in that panel.
These panels were a great opportunity to grown and learn and network; my girlfriend and I gained a lot of wonderful information at this year’s con. Now, our job thankfully is simple- share it with others, which is what we are going to be doing. More ACC blogs to come soon so stay tuned!