This weekend I return to my favorite convention. This weekend I will play host for the main event of the convention weekend, which I helped to build. This weekend I get to see Garth in person again, which is always a treat.
It’s time for ConnectiCon!
ConnectiCon is the only convention I have attended every single year since its inception, save for its cancellation during the pandemic. I was there when it launched as a college campus show and have watched it grow thousandfold. I have missed two friends’ weddings over the years in favor of ConnectiCon, the show is that important to me. I owe a great deal to ConnectiCon.
It’s because of ConnectiCon that I met the woman who would become my wife. She was helping the convention advertise in Baltimore, where I was also exhibiting. Our mutual friends took us out to dinner, and it was from across that table that our eyes met for the first time. We were both seeing other people at the time, but the seed was planted that day.
It’s because of ConnectiCon that I met Garth! The convention was gaining momentum and had moved from its college campus to a proper convention center. At the time it was becoming known as “the webcomics convention” and was attracting webcomickers from all over. Garth gave it a try and ended up at a table near mine. We struck up a friendly conversation and remained good friends over the following years. Not only did we eventually end up working on STAR POWER together, but he asked me to be the Best Man at his wedding.
It’s because of ConnectiCon that I get to perform on a stage again. Hosting the Cosplay Death Match, which I pitched the convention chairman as a replacement for the Cosplay Chess Match and has since become the main event of the weekend, lets me indulge my love of the performing arts. You could argue that hosting an event isn’t exactly performance in the way that you’re learning lines or rehearsing scenes, but keeping a crowd entertained and thinking on your feet in front of a few hundred people is certainly performative. And the thrill I get from being on that stage is indescribable. There’s nothing like it, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
It’s because of ConnectiCon that I have a career in webcomics! As I previously mentioned, ConnectiCon was once known as “the webcomics show” and it attracted webcomickers from all over the country. I got to make connections and forge friendships with artists, writers, and creators I never would have had the opportunity to meet. We were all coming up at the same time so we made sure to mention and link one another in our personal blogs and post-convention summaries. Traditionally you would just call that “networking” but I never approached it that way. I was genuinely just excited to meet other folks who loved to make comics, and if my desire to befriend them was also making business connections, that was just a bonus for me. I can count many of my closest friends and colleagues in webcomics among people I met thanks to ConnectiCon.
I can’t wait to return there this weekend. I hope you’ll come to see me and experience the convention that has given me so much. I owe it as much as I can give of myself.
(And yes, that is Garth’s art of me as the Death Match host. And no, I don’t have that physique any more.)