Cincinnati is one of mankind’s greatest creations. Seriously, the list goes like this: The Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and Cincinnati.
But, even a Skyline swilling, Bearcat bred West Sider like me has to admit, that, for one of the most perfect cities on Earth, Cincinnati is severely lacking in geek-tastic cons. Thankfully Aloysius Fox, events manager at Pandora Promotions, has come to bring nerdy tidings to the Queen City.
Pandoracon is Sept. 28-30 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blue Ash, a suburb of Cincinnati. It grew out of Fox’s personal passions and the ‘Nati’s need for some nerd.
“[It came from] A lifelong love of science fiction, fantasy, gaming, and all things nerdy,” said Fox. “Ohio has some great conventions, but Cincinnati was a bit under represented compared to other major cities.”
And, for those looking for a place to celebrate their love of Fullmetal Alchemist or Gredo or steampunk or Booster Gold, Fox is happy to let you know there there’s going to be a place for everyone.
“The main theme of Pandoracon 2012 is Doctor Who, but we have panels on various movies, shows, books, comics, and genres,” he said.
I’m just getting my roots firmly planted in the geekery scene (I just schooled Mike on who the Winter Soldier is. That’s not relevant here, but I wanted to share it.), and I’ve been intimidated by the prospect of three days of nonstop nerdery on my own. But, Fox said not to fear.
“Pandoracon is for geeks on all scales of the spectrum,” he explained. “To help people participate, if they want to, we have an aspect of the convention called The Houses of Pandoracon; each attendee is assigned a House for the weekend. There are four Houses: clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. Each House has a King and a Queen, determined by a contest at the Midsummer Masquerade this July at Loveland Castle; the Kings and Queens are somewhat like hosts and hostesses of the weekend and will be rallying their Houses in friendly contest with each other. Each game, challenge, and activity of the weekend scores the Houses points and in the Sunday closing ceremonies we will discover which House won the most points.”
Fox also notes that even though this con will have more emphasis on activities and panels, there will still be an artists alley for artists, craftspeople, and illustrators to ply their wares. And, like any con worth its Mountain Dew vending machine, there will be special guests.
As a hardcore Communityfan, I’ve dusted off my bowler and gotten supremely jazzed about one guest in particular.
“We are a good humored convention; one of our guests of honor is Travis Richey who plays the lead in Inspector Spacetime, the leading Doctor Who spoof that has taken on a sort of cult-within-a-cult status in fandom,” said Fox.
He continued that other guest include, “British actor Jason Carter who played Ranger Marcus Cole in Babylon 5 is our other media guest of honor. We also have several authors who will be giving readings and sharing their writing experiences.”
Pandora Promotions, known for blowing up the city’s steampunk scene, is looking to create a con not just for those who arrived on their dirigibles, but also those who flew in on the Enterprise, their invisible jets, and on the wings of an Arcanine. Or, you know, drove out to Blue Ash in a Ford Taurus.
“We’ve had a huge involvement with building the Cincinnati steampunk community,” said Fox. “Steampunk events tend to have a greater participatory element to them and we want to bring that spirit of active programming to a multi-media convention. Plus we’re big fans of all sorts of things; it’s nice to celebrate it all at the same time.”
Tickets are currently $30, but the price is schedule to increase on Sept. 15. The event will be family-friendly during the day with a groovy side featuring bands and live acts for adults when the sun goes down.
“We are very excited about having music from steampunk band Ford Theatre Reunion, DJing from The Chaotic Good (featuring their eight foot tall dancing robot), sideshow acts from the Pickled Brothers Circus, Doctor Who themed belly dancing from Zahara’s Tangled Web, and other acts,” said Fox. “The goal of the program to get many people involved and having fun.”