Ancient City Con

Let's get thing out in the open, shall we?  It's been a while since I've gone to a convention.  

The reasons are not important.

It's because I got divorced in 2008 and did a lot of performing from 2007 through 2014, tested for my 3rd and 4th degree black belts in Tae Kwon Do, and was finally taken up on my offer to be laid off in 2013.  This resulted in a relocation of 1,000 miles, frequent trips, selling a house, events, tragedies, and various other things.

See?  I told you the reasons were not important.

Regardless, when a friend of 40 years suggested we go to the Ancient City Con in Jacksonville, Florida on July 17, (it ran from the 17th through the 19th) I decided, "sure."  And took a notepad because, I thought, I may want to do some interviews.

I was right, I did.

So, The Ancient City Con.  For the first time, it was held in the Prime Osborn Center, a popular and expansive convention center in Jacksonville, Florida.  The last con I'd been to in Jacksonville was Gen Con South in the 1980's and this was a tad smaller but their heart is in the right place.  Registration looked fairly well organized, with us day trippers taking all of 10 minutes to get our wrist bands and wander around while we waited for the the exhibit hall to open.

While we wandered, we observed the cosplay folks, always a treat.  I like cosplay friendly conventions.  It's not because I cosplay, because I do not.  And it's not just because I like to view shapely women in a variety of close fitting garments, because I do.  Rather, I like cosplay friendly conventions because it adds to the feel of the con and the basic truth is, the simplest cosply individual is making a statement just by leaving their house and joining folks in public.  That can be hard for those of us in geek culture.  So, Ancient City is a very friendly cosplay con and I find that a great thing.

How friendly?  So friendly that they invite you to email them any questions you have to get pre-approval for props and costumes.  It's on their FAQ page:

My overall impression is that this is a small con looking to structure itself to grow.  The exhibit hall was a bit small and filled, mostly, with retail merchandise vendors, but we did find a couple of intellectual property owners and will have articles published about them.  There was a separate Creator's Alley and, for the most part, this is a great idea.  Unfortunately, with the smaller exhibit hall, the Creator's Alley would have rounded out the main hall with a lot more interesting things.  It's a logistics and economy issues, I know, but I breezed through the Creator's Alley and never went back.  It just slipped my mind.  

One thing that I welcomed was the addition of food trucks.  We all know con food is limited in scope and a bit gougey in price.  The addition of food trucks was a great idea.  Real food for decent prices and a variety you'll rarely see inside a gaming con.  For this reason alone, I'd suggest attending Ancient City Con.  But wait, their's more.

Wardogz ran a LAN room.  We have a complete article about them but having a LAN room was kinda nice.  There was also the open gaming area, complete with a lending library, Tabletop organized gaming, console gaming, contests, panel discussions, LARPing, and demos including the Society for Creative Anachronism.  They are the folks with real armor and weapons so real that, rarely, bones get broken.  I know this because I have a scar on my forehead from when my helmet chin strap popped in a melee and my helmet punched through the skin, causing me to bleed not a little and get stitches.  That happened years ago, not at the con.

I've been to a lot of conventions and geek related events.  Some are always better than others and some, I'm looking at you, E3, are so consumed by the popular that the interesting gets crowded out.  Ancient City Con is not perfect, but it is a great start and deserves your attention.

Tell them sent you, they won't really care.