2020 is largely turning into the year without a fan convention. We saw a few conventions take place just after the New Year, but then the Big Bad Bug hit America’s shores and con after con started announcing their closures. If it wasn’t already apparent to everyone before it got to this point, the idea that this was going to be a year where fan gatherings had to fall to the needs of public health came when SDCC announced they were shutting their doors for 2020.
When SDCC went down, everyone started looking at who was next. All eyes were on regional cons in the near future, and even a few as far down the line as Labor Day weekend. Some people who know of the con took it as a bad sign when Marscon announced in May that, after talking with the hotels and the local health officials, they were canceling their January 2021 convention over (among other things) concerns that we still might not be able to have gatherings (let alone safely have gatherings) over a certain size in some venues.
Over on Facebook, the fan community tried to get some bit of that con experience they were missing by creating event pages for two cons, Concellation 2020 and Con-Tinual: The Con That Never Ends, that don’t exist anywhere outside of the virtual world. The topics in the forums range from gag topics to serious fan discussion, and there is a bit of that con vibe in there. But, in the end, no matter how fun they are, they’re still more Facebook forum vibes than con vibes.
Then, Concarolinas announced its shuttering of the planned 2020 convention. It was then that a new plan started to form. ConCarolinas and Con-Tinual got together and started creating virtual convention panels. These panels were to be put together with ConCarolinas staff and track heads as well as guests and attending pros who would have been a part of this year’s originally planned con.
And the virtual convention is happening right now.
Videos go live on the ConCarolinas Facebook page, and, a short time later, on the ConCarolinas YouTube channel. Below are just a handful of the panels that have already gone live. There are plenty more that have already gone live on the YouTube channel as well as a growing assortment of panels with pending live dates ready to go.
Here are a few of them. To keep this post a little Palaver Podcasts related, the first panel includes me. I apologize in advance for the trauma actually seeing my face may cause. But, hey, I’ve warned you before I have a face for radio and a voice for silent film.
Jerry Chandler is a lifelong geek who, while enjoying most everything fandom has to offer, finds himself most at home in the horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction genres. He has in the past contributed to websites like Needless Things, Nerdy Minds Magazine, Gruesome Magazine, and others while occasionally remembering to put up the odd musings on his own blog. He’s been a guest on several podcasts from the ESO Network, on Decades of Horror, and on the Nerdy Laser. He is also a regular co-host on The Assignment: Horror Podcast as well as the primary writer for its affiliated blog.