Let us know if you plan to attend CoKoCon 2020 next year.
Let us know what you think about this article in the comments section below. As always, we welcome your feedback on all of our content.
We checked into the Double Tree hotel at Metro Center on Thursday afternoon to get the studio setup and relax a bit before the start of CoKoCon. Surprisingly the pack up at home and setup in the hotel was pretty easy this time. We have streamlined our process and bought some gear storage boxes to transport most of our studio equipment. After we got setup, we went to have some dinner and went back to the hotel to record our first episode of our popular ConCast, which we dubbed CoKoConCast as well as do some catchup reading of books from our TBR pile.
Friday morning was restful and laid back with more reading until the Con folks started to gather in the lobby late afternoon. We got our badges from Andrea Rittschof at Registration and chatted with a few folks we know and missed our first intended panel….. There are just so many people to see and chat with and many panels to choose from at this convention. So, we took our time and visited the Dealer’s Room and chatted with a few folks and bought a book from Duncan Rittschof of Duncan’s Books and More (http://www.duncansbooksandmore.com) and a set of art pieces by T.L. Smith, who was sharing space with Duncan as the Amazing Wyked Writers/ Artists Wildly Working (http://www.tlsmithbooks.com). Alexander James Adams (http://alexanderjamesadams.com) (Twitter @ryuuaja) was also sharing space with Duncan and we were able to chat with him and setup an interview.
I want to give a special shout out to Beth Cato who we kept running into and never really got a chance to chat or have one of her cookies. We were planning to sit down and chat with her again this year but we ran out of time. I guess we will have to ring her up and chat with her about what projects she is working on.
Some of the other folks that had tables setup in the Dealer’s Room were Moebius Enterprises (www.moebiusenterprises.com), Cheryl and Martin of Dragon Wolf Crafts (www.dragonwolfcrafts.com), Ken of Ken’s Buttons (https://www.facebook.com/Kens-Buttons-236689076527600/) , Megan and Kira of Five Smiling Fish Publications (www.fivesmilingfish.com), Artists Wildly Working, Gramory Grae Skull (https://gramorygraeskull.com) , Jen’s Beads (http://www.jeanniecoxglass.com) , and Massoglia Books (https://www.biblio.com/bookstore/massoglia-books-tucson). We eventually got to speak to everyone and bought a few items for our personal collections.
Next door was the Art Show with some incredible art form local artists including Gilead, one of the guests of honor. It is always worth looking at (and buying) the artwork in the art show.
Right outside the Dealer’s Room were the Fan Tables. These are tables of fan groups and sponsors of CoKoCon. Among them were Cactus Brick (http://cactusbrick.org) the Lego Users Group, The First United Church of Cthullu (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1787920004798201/) , Heroes United of AZ (https://www.facebook.com/heroesunitedaz/), Maricopa Con (http://maricopacon.com), Phoenix Astronomical Society (http://www.pasaz.org), The Royal Manticoran Navy (http://trmn.org) , and Joshua Tree Feeding Program (https://www.jtfp.org).
Our first panel was the CoKoCon Programming overview giving us some insight into what to expect. After that we made our way over to the Terrace Ballroom for the Apocalypse Later Roadshow (https://www.alfilmfest.com) hosted by Hal Astell. Hal had five really delightful short films to show us. Ben naturally took notes and had his mini-review article here. We made it back to our suite and recorded episode two of CoKoConCast.
Saturday started early with the usual social media sharing and an interview with Alexander James Adams. He is a fascinating and interesting individual who has a powerful story. Alexander James Adams Interview. We finished that up and ran down for a bit of breakfast before landing in Dr. Dave’s NASA Solar System Exploration Update. Wow, there is a lot going on in just our little solar system. More time in the Dealer’s Room chatting with folks and watching out of the corner of my eye, Gilead doing his drawing dragons panel in the Art Showroom. I couldn’t believe how quick he was in making a dragon appear on a piece of white paper.
Our next panel was the Graphic Novels: Effective Writing and Pitching featuring Brian Augustyn, Jeff Marriotte, and Marsheila Rockwell. Of course, since we know Brian fairly well, we had to heckle him a bit (or rather; trade insults…). It was an interesting and enlightening panel where I learned a few things and got some great interaction with the panelists. We then headed back to the Dealer’s Room for a book signing with Brian Augustyn, where we chatted during and after with Brian and his wife Nadine. They are really great people and Brian has some wonderful stories and experience in the world of Comics and Graphic Novels.
We tried to go to the Ice Cream Social, with Ice Cream provided and served by the great folks at McAlpines (https://macalpines.com) , but there were way too many people trying to crowd in the room at the beginning. I understand it cleared out fairly quickly but, we decided it might be best if we went and had a bite to eat. The Awesomely Awful panel was just up our alley. They had a number of trailers of some really bad films over the decades. Oh my gosh! What a bunch of crap, it was wonderful.
Guest of Honor, Professor Sparks (https://professorsparks.us) had his first Dr. Frankenstein’s Laboratory panel in the Terrace Ballroom. He had several of the electrical set pieces from the James Whale 1931 Frankenstein film that got recycled through many films including Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. It was quite electrifying….. and very informative.
We finished off the night with a lovely little panel called The Torrid Tawdry Tacky Tales of Tea or something similar where the always awesome Madame Askew (https://www.facebook.com/MadameAskew/) regaled us with riotous rowdy (and sometimes) ribald tales of the discovery and subsequent selection of tea as the natural national beverage of the world. It was a rather circuitous conundrum we found ourselves in, but with Madame’s expert and enlightened education on the subject, we were saved. Many wonders were waiting for us in the telling of the tea story and all was right with the world.
Bedtime was not to be until much later since we needed to record episode three of our CoKoConCast and make preparations for our usual Webcast episode.
Sunday was another full day with breakfast with a friend from out of town (One of Ben’s oldest friends) and then we tried to get into Dr. Dave’s New Race to the Moon but it was standing room only into the hallway. So, we wandered over to the Dealer’s Room again for more chatting before we went to Alexander’s panel on Canticles. Despite the technical difficulties, it was a fascinating panel about a work in progress that he is writing the music for as well as acting in.
We headed over to the Sketch off that was originally only Jason Youngdale and Gilead but our very own Tommy Cannon (@TommyCannon) got drafted and his friend that was attending with him, Dain Gore, got drafted during the sketch off. It was fascinating to see artists create something on the fly from subjects dreamed up by the audience. The art was then auctioned off for the Y Achievers charity drive.
We had a few minutes to sit, relax, and chat with some folks before we had an interview with Stephanie Weippert in our mobile studio. After that, we recorded our Webcast Episode with Corey Nelson (our friend from out of town) sitting in and watching. We then headed out for some dinner and visiting/ catching up with Corey.
Monday morning arrived too soon and we had to get up and pack the studio up to take back home. Next year we are taking the Tuesday after Labor Day off so we don’t have to rush around on the last day of the con. We really wanted to go to the panel Alexander was doing on Music is Magic. I am so glad we did, it was truly magical and I learned a few things about how I hear and react to music and the why. We ran the studio stuff back to the house and petted the kitties for a few minutes and headed back to the hotel.
Thank you to Joseph Gaxiola for setting up a time for us to interview Gilead. That was a fascinating interview and will be featured in a future episode of TG Geeks Webcast, keep checking in on Mondays for the date.
The closing ceremonies were rather bittersweet since we made so many new friends and visited with some friends we don’t get to spend near enough time with during the rest of the year. Much thanks to Mark Boniece and Dee Astell, co-chairs for this year, and Hal Astell, vice-chair, as well as Edward Pulley for being the emcee for the closing ceremonies.
All in all, it was a great fan run convention with quality guests and great panels (too many competing with each other for our attention). We plan to be back next year and have some more exciting content for you, our readers.
Keep checking back here for new information about CoKoCon 202 and also CoKoCon.org (http://www.cokocon.org/2019/index.html) .
We Can’t wait to see you next year.
P.S. Forgive me if I forgot somebody…. ☹