Gen’s Tips: Attending your First Con

Hello and welcome to Gen’s Tips, an advice column for you and your friends. Each week (hopefully) I’ll be writing up a little something giving tips and tricks about conventions and nerdy stuff. Hey Gen, you might ask, I’m going to be attending my first convention ever, do you have any advice?

Here are my tips:

If you know about the con far enough in advance, preregister. It will save you some money.

Make sure you have a way to get to the con. Your car, a friends’ car, public transit, a hang glider, whatever.

Also make sure you have a place to stay for the duration of the con. If there are lots of people that are going to be sharing a room, be ready to possibly sleep on the floor. Everyone has done it at least once at a con and can relate.

Bring a purse or backpack or messenger bag and keep a water bottle and some snacks in there. You need to stay hydrated during the con and a granola bar can save your sanity in a pinch.

Be nice, be patient, be open. Cons are a melting pot of people and experiences, so it’s best to just take it all in and don’t worry what people are thinking. They’re all doing their own thing and nobody should be worrying about what you’re doing. If someone is, talk to con staff/security.

Don’t be afraid to talk to con staff/security. They are there to help you and to keep you safe. If you feel unsafe at all, please find a staff member and tell them.

Stay hygienic. Sounds weird, but cons do get a nasty smell to them sometimes (which we refer to as Con Funk) Please take showers and wear deodorant during the con. Yes this is a real issue.

And I’m not gonna tell you to have fun, because it’s a con! You will have fun.

-Last tip: After the con is over, and you’re back to normal life, it’s completely normal to get a little depressed. Con Depression is a thing and it will pass. Just keep in mind that there are always cons coming up so keep your spirits up by keeping in touch with your con friends and preparing for the next one!

Disclaimer: Gen is not a professional advice person in any way, and can only give tips based on their own experiences. If you’d like to ask Gen for advice though, head to the contact form and make sure you specify “Gen’s Tips” in the subject line.

So I Guess There’s Another ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Trailer

It’s getting harder and harder to feign enthusiasm for Michael Bay’s Transformers films the further we get into the franchise. It’s like we started with a genuinely decent film in 2007, but each subsequent entry into the series is just slightly worse. Now, at movie number five, it’s just getting more difficult to care.

Maybe it’s Bay’s disregard for a consistent continuity for the series or its mechanics. Maybe its just the fact that these movies keep getting longer and longer. Maybe it’s that the films genuinely lost something once Shia LaBeouf left them.

I mean all of that.

Either way, here come more explosions. And don’t get me wrong, Transformers films absolutely need lots of explosions to work. The problem is they need more than that to keep my attention.

Transformers: The Last Knight comes out June 23rd.

The First Trailer for ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Looks Amazing

CBS All Access has finally given us a real look at the upcoming series Star Trek: Discovery with a trailer for the show, and frankly it looks amazing. I know there’s only so much you can glean from less than two and a half minutes, but I literally can’t say anything bad about this.

There are also a few things which are, well, interesting — like who exactly is in the USS Discovery’s captain’s chair. We won’t delve into it beyond that since I think we’ve walked the spoiler line enough just by saying anything. I guess if you want to find out why we’re confused, you can just dig through the archives here.

Importantly, the trailer is committing to a Fall 2017 release date for the show. Considering how delayed the show has been, getting a new concrete time frame is really important. And while “Fall” is still super vague, it’s better than nothing.

I guess Star Trek: Discovery comes to CBS All Access whenever it’s ready.

Netflix Is Developing a Television Series Based on ‘The Witcher’

Netflix is officially adapting Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher series of books for television. Most of our readers probably haven’t heard of the Polish fantasy novels, but likely are very familiar with CD Projekt Red’s popular video games based off of them.

Sapkowski will serve as a creative consultant on the show, and Tomas Baginski (who directed the opening cut scenes for the games) will direct at least one episode. Sean Daniel and Jason Brown are executive producing, with Polish company Platige Image co-producing.

This is, of course, not the first television series based off of the series, as a thirteen episode Polish series came out in 2002. A year before that series was aired, a chopped down 130 minute edit was released as a film, though it was received poorly. As these were both in Polish, we assume you haven’t seen them either. If you have seen them… you get a gold star?

I’ll need to buy some gold stars…


West Plains, MO Based Oz-Con Plans Game Day Event to Make Up For Canceled Day of Con

West Plains, MO based gaming convention Oz-Con had a bit of tough time this year. You see, they ended up having to cancel the event about two thirds of the way through due to bad weather. How bad was it? Well… I believe the term most people would use is “historic flooding.”

So yeah, it was pretty severe. The convention lost power on Saturday, and had to cancel the Sunday of the event as the venue was no longer considered safe. Attendees who couldn’t get home or to their hotels ended up at a nearby emergency shelter, and the convention staff did their best to make sure that attendees were able to connect to their loved ones.

So yeah, it was bad.

And I think any reasonable person would forgive the con, considering this was an extreme, unpredictable situation where homes and lives were literally lost. What’s the Sunday of a con compared to that? To the extreme credit of the Oz-Con organizers though, they still want to try to make it right.

Yesterday Oz-Con organizers announced an event they’re calling “Flood Con.” It’s a free game day the con is hosting from 9:00am until 10:00pm on June 17th at the Missouri State University-West Plains Student Rec Center. Admission is free, but they’ll also be accepting cash donations and canned food items to help with ongoing flood relief in the area. There will be video games, tabletop games, and fellow geeks to have a grand old time with.

It’s a generous move, and it’s far more than a lot of other cons would do. You can find more information on the official Facebook event for “Flood Con,” and if you’re in the area and you can afford to donate towards the relief efforts in the area, this is a great opportunity to do so.

Jordan Peele Working on ‘Lovecraft Country’ Anthology Series for HBO

Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, Underground creator Misha Green, Bad Robot and Warner Bros TV are making an anthology series for HBO called Lovecraft Country. Based off of the Matt Ruff novel of the same name, The Wrap summarizes the series pretty succinctly:

When his father goes missing, 25-year-old Atticus Black joins up with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America to find him. And so begins their fight to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.

So yeah, it’s going to be a combination of mid-20th century racism and Lovecraftian horror — and it sounds amazing. Green is writing the pilot and showrunning the series, and will executive produce alongside Peele, and Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams and Ben Stephenson.

Via The Wrap

The Final ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Trailer Is Full of Monkeys With Guns

The final trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes has dropped, and it is just full of monkeys with guns. I mean, that’s the message I’m getting here – if you want to see a movie about a bunch of monkeys with guns, this is the movie for you.

Okay, so they’re apes and not monkeys… but you get my point.

The revived Planet of the Apes franchise has been surprisingly good, and this newest installment doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint. It may be a little strange to be completely rooting against the humans this time around, but it’s clearly where the films have been heading for a while. I for one welcome our intelligent ape overlords.

War for the Planet of the Apes comes out July 14, 2017.

Great Lakes Fur Con Canceled Due to ‘Staffing Issues,’ But We’re Not Quite Sure We’re Buying That

So Great Lakes Fur Con was originally scheduled to take place May 26-28 in Holland, MI, but (less than two weeks before the con) the event has now been officially canceled. Organizers made a post on both their official website and the con’s Facebook page announcing the cancellation:

Organizers cited staffing issues as the main reason the con wasn’t going to happen, but I’m not quite sure I’m buying it. For one, why did it take so long to make this decision? How would they not have known they couldn’t staff the con months ago? Why didn’t they reach out to other Michigan cons to fill in their numbers? I mean, according to the con, these were core staff people they were missing, and not just volunteers.

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Digging into this, I think it’s pretty obvious that any staffing concerns they had weren’t the main reason the organizers called it quits. I think it’s because of something simpler and much more common.

I think the con is broke. Continue reading Great Lakes Fur Con Canceled Due to ‘Staffing Issues,’ But We’re Not Quite Sure We’re Buying That

The Trailer for Fox’s ‘Ghosted’ Actually Looks Pretty Funny

Fox put out the first trailer for their upcoming paranormal comedy series Ghosted, and it actually looks pretty funny. The show stars Adam Scott and Craig Robinson as a couple of ordinary guys who end up working for the “Underground Investigative Service,” investigating strange occurrences in Los Angeles.

It’s a fairly straight forward recipe – a believer and a skeptic are partnered up to investigate the strange. With the right chemistry though, the show could be pretty great. The real question is going to be how the jokes (which are so rapid fire in the trailer) end up fitting into the episodes as a whole. Robinson and Scott are exceptionally talented though, so I have some faith.

Ghosted is coming to Fox later this year.

The Trailer for Fox’s ‘The Orville’ Looks Great… Right Up Until Seth MacFarlane Opens His Mouth

Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville is coming to Fox whether we like it or not. We now have a trailer for the show, and to be fair, the show itself looks great. The problems start when MacFarlane opens his mouth and reminds us all that his jokes are very much stuck in what passed for edgy humor twenty years ago.

Toilet seat jokes! Men and women are different! Hilarious.

I’m still going to try and give the show a shot, because I like the premise. The cast looks great too (Scott Grimes is in it — he played recurring character Jimmy O’Rourke on Republic of Doyle). But I keep going back to the fact that Seth MacFarlane is super gross, and I get pulled out of it.

I guess we’ll find out how it goes when the show premieres later this year on Fox.

All the nerd news and convention scene updates you can handle. Featuring a fornightly podcast and fueled by a lot of caffeine. Lots and lots of caffeine