Friday, May 29, 2015

MobiCon XVIII, 2015 – A Great Gulf Coast Convention


I attended MobiCon 18 at Mobile, Alabama this past Saturday.  The first thing that hit me when I walked through the door at 9:30 in the morning was the fact that at least one quarter of the people were in costume even at that early hour.  The registration was quick, easy, and very professional.  MobiCon was held at a great venue, downtown at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel on Mobile Bay and had a parking garage next door with a ramp that lead directly into the hotel.

 Costuming is an integral part of MobiCon and there was a variety that raged from the impromptu to the highly professional.   Anime and gaming console inspired costumes were predominant, but there were a number of original designs.


I was lazy this time around and only had a couple of costumes, which mostly loosely based on H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.  I had purchased some Mythos patches from Propnomicon a few years back and they have come in handy.  One of the other Propnomicon patches was from the Miskatonic University, which I attached to a blue blazer and worked well with a nice 60s Stetson fedora, a pair 30s glasses with my prescription inserted, which completed the costume for a Miskatonic U. “Professor”.  I also added the Miskatonic U lapel pen, but it's hard to see in the photo.  The other gentleman in the photo, Capt Gordon I believe, is from the Arkham Asylum, which although HPL inspired, is of the Batman/Joker timeline.  It worked well together for the photo nonetheless.

The other Mythos costume was even easier than the Professor, which featured another Propnomicon patch from the Arkham Sanitarium on a simple lab coat.  A syringe was actually an ink pen from a “Don’t Do Drugs” campaign which made for a safe and useful prop.   I lack photos of my third and last costume, but wasn’t really very Lovecraftian, as it was an Edwardian frock coat, a fancy vest and a grey top hat.   If I turn up a picture of this outfit, I’ll post it.  The upshot is that most of these costumes were generally thrift shop items with a few coming from antique shops, but not expensive at all.  Costuming doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. The popcorn machine was not a costume prop, but a donation to the MobiCon Charity Auction.

Among the many interesting guests attending MobiCon 18, I got to meet the animator Philo Barnhart, who worked on the Disney animated films such as The Secret of NIMH (1982), The Black Cauldron (1985), The Little Mermaid (1989), and Beauty and the Beast (1991).  All these films I remember watching them with my daughter (when she was small) years ago.  We had most of them on videocassette if that dates the period.

I didn’t have much time to chat with David Gerrold, but I did enjoy what little time I spent at his table.  It’s good to see him still active, having met him the first time some 40 years ago at a VulCon in New Orleans and have bumped into him from time to time at CoastCon.   Lou Zocchi, the dice and game designer was there and he is shown holding a copy of the classic Star Fleet Battle Manual, an early Star Trek model game from the late 1970s.  I go way back with Lou, but that’s another story.  Conventions are a place to meet old friends and meet new ones.
There was lots of gaming at MobiCon with two rooms dedicated to gaming with one for miniatures and the other to board games.  There's always a strong contingent of gamers at Gulf Coast Conventions.

Some friends of mine and myself had an impromptu fan table at MobiCon and held forth with our rendition of The Arkham Historical Society, which is a loose organization of local Gulf Coast fans who enjoy H. P. Lovecraft, history, pulps, weird fiction, Steampunk & etc.  We had a number of people who seemed interested.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any literature (or concrete plans) available at the time, since we hadn’t expected to set up at MobiCon.  You can’t see it in this photo, but the lady in the green dress has a nice Celtic Cthulhu on her skirt.

I had a great time at MobiCon and pretty much relaxed throughout the day enjoying watching fandom go through their paces.  The costume contest was at room capacity as always.   Photos from the contest are always tough locals to take photos, so instead I posted some costume photos taken throughout the day on Saturday.  I'd like to thank the MobiCon staff and volunteers for making this a successful convention.  I'd also like to thank the fans attending, without which there would be no convention.   I hope to see you at MobiCon 19 next year.  

Here are twenty two additional photos by another MobiCon attendee, Mike Kittrell:     http://photos.al.com/4558/gallery/mobicon_xviii_may_23_2015/index.html#/0 

MobiCon attendee Eris Walsh of the site She Geeks has a great, in-depth post:  http://she-geeks.blogspot.ca/2015/05/mobicon-happened-and-i-was-there.html

As more attendees post their galleries (and I find them), I'll put the links here.
Update 19 Jul 2015:  I've added a couple of new photos from a fellow attendee.

                                                                     CoastConFan

Oh yes, they had dancing girls ... did I mention dancing girls?

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