Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Mobicon 2017 was in Mobile Part I

Mobicon 2017 was “Mobilis in mobile”, to quote the Latin motto of Capt Nemo’s Nautilus, from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1870).  There are several ways to translate the Latin motto, two best exemplify Mobicon are to me:  “changing in the changes” and “moving within the moving element”.  We moved through the milieu of Mobicon 2017 this past weekend and its cosplay-heavy exterior, photographing only the surface photons that bounced into the camera lens.  More lies under the surface, but that’s for more intrepid explorers of the deep.  Here at the CCF Blog, we’ll stick to the shallow end of the pool.  Here are some pictures by my CoastConFan Blog staff photographer, Michael W. Moses, whom you may have seen in his Mad Hatter guise (all the better to mingle).

Mobicon was held over Memorial Day Weekend at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, located in Mobile Alabama  26th to the 28th May 2017.  The attached parking garage made ingress easy into the heart of Mobicon.  It didn’t take 30 seconds to go from the grey concrete parking area, through the double doors, down a half flight of stairs into the heart of the beast:  colors and costumes exploded.  Even at ten in the morning there were cosplayers everywhere.  

There were a number of age groups represented here at Mobicon, from old fans like myself; there were fan of all ages.  Whole families participated and many costumed.  There were a lot of young fans in attendance, which is great, because to have a dynamic fandom, you have to have new blood and new ideas.  The fans overall were well behaved, well scrubbed, and well costumed.  
Costumes have been part of convention fandom fairly early on   One big proponent of costuming as a fannish activity was E.E. Doc Smith who, dressed up as C(atherine L(ucille) Moore’s, character NorthWest Smith in the early 1960s.  Through the 1970s, fan costumes became more of a fixture at SF&F conventions and costume contests became standard.   Now costuming is an expected part of convention life and in some conventions, the primary element.

For photography, the lighting was problematic.  There was lot of it and from different angles through the huge windows over the course of the day, casting shadows and making for strong contrasts.  The primary problem was that the yellow theme of the rooms, along with the yellow sunlight made everything … yellow:  faintly tinctured to golden, to sepia, to uric acid yellow.  It took a good deal of color editing to even things out a bit, but Mr. Moses did yeoman work slaving over a hot keyboard.

The hotel staff members were extremely efficient and extremely nice.  You couldn’t hope for a better place to hold a convention, due to their diligence and professionalism.  That makes the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel a standout for convention goers.  My thanks to the hotel staff.
Speaking of staff, the Mobicon staff had things running pretty darn well.  If there were any major snafus, they were not seen by the conventioneers.  Everybody knows that running a convention is between managing the graceful collapse of a building to herding cats.  The staff of Mobicon deserves a round of applause for their efforts on behalf of the attending fans.  There were a copious number of security members acting primarily as helpful docents.   In this case, they were yellow shirts rather than red shirts.

Overall, there was cosplay, lots of cosplay.  I didn’t go to the steampunk ball or attend any panels due to time constraints and just plain laziness.  We went through the game rooms and found them well attended.  We didn’t go to the costume contest because Mr. Moses had already photographed a great many that were in competition, under better lighting circumstances, before the contest itself.   

I’d also like to compliment the fans and fan groups at Mobicon for their energy and willingness to share their creativeness.   Everybody I met was happy to take a moment out of their convention time to talk about their costume and take a pose for the camera.  I’m sorry if we missed a few costumes, some were only on scene a fleeting few moments and a some pictures just didn’t come out.  We mostly stayed on the main floor photographing, so I am sure we missed some fans.  Again my thanks to the fans and staff of Mobicon


All text here is copyright CoastConFan and photos are copyright Michael W. Moses.   Feel free to copy these low-res photos for your personal, noncommercial use.   Also feel free to link to this blog.

1 comment:

  1. "One big proponent of costuming as a fannish activity was E.E. Doc Smith, who dressed up as C(atherine L(ucille) Moore’s character NorthWest Smith in the early 1960s."

    Doc, age 72, at the 20th Worldcon in 1962...

    (Doc -- Not only a Legend, but also One Of Us: a Fan)