RPG Evolution: Terrificon Con Report

We had such a good time at our last con that we decided to refine our cosplay at Terrificon next.


Terrificon, held July 28-30, is an annual comic book and pop culture convention that takes place at Mohegan Sun Expo Center. The convention draws in fans of comic books, anime, video games, movies, and more from all over the country. It features a wide range of activities, including celebrity guest appearances, panel discussions, cosplay contests, vendor booths, and interactive experiences.

Cosplay is a major highlight of Terrificon, with attendees dressing up as their favorite characters from comic books, movies, TV shows, and video games. This year my wife and I went in our steampunk-themed costumes, while my son dressed as the Engineer from Team Fortress 2 and my daughter dressed as Nezuko from Demon Slayer. We went on Sunday, usually a lower attendance day for conventions but the timing worked for us.

Although Terrificon encourages cosplay, it's worth noting it takes place at a casino. You don't actually walk through the casino to get there (there's plenty of convenient parking), but casino rules are still in effect. As a result, no masks or cosplay weapons are allowed. I got stopped at the front door because I had a pocket knife on my keychain and had to run back to my car to drop it off.

Unlike ConnectiCon, Terrificon focuses on comics and talent, so most of the activity revolves around guest appearances and signings. Throughout the event, attendees have the opportunity to meet and interact with celebrity guests, including comic book artists, writers, actors, and other industry professionals. There were plenty of comic luminaries and several famous actors in attendance, including Jonathan Frakes, Rebecca Romijn, and Anthony Michael Hall.

We also attended a panel titled Getting Published, Kickstarter & Geek Marketing hosted by Matt Herring with guests David Boop and Matthew Phillion. Although there's an ongoing writer and actor strike, guests are allowed to represent themselves at panels like this so long as it's not affiliated with a client or company. Not surprisingly, they endorsed Kickstarters as a means of selling product, but emphasized the importance of having a community before launching. They also warned against scammers who will provide faux mass-marketing to aspiring authors.

Terrificon's bread-and-butter is comics, which is an interesting space to be in as a retailer. Lots of dealers were selling comics at a time when comic movies are dominant but comics themselves not quite so much. Or to put it another way, I love to read comics, but I don't have the space for them and have largely switched to digital comics -- purchasing them isn't economical for me.

The star of the show is the massive vendor hall, which hosts various vendors offering merchandise related to comic books, collectibles, gaming, and other pop culture items. There was a life-sized Appa from Avatar: The Last Airbender for photoshoots and plenty of gaming vendors, including Decus Workshop, The Dragon's Lair, Links Chainmaille, and Paul Simic. My kids bought knitted items from Julia's Styles.

Our prize purchase was from Normal Human, who produces dice and engraved glasses. I've had some Dungeons & Dragons themed pint glasses for some time but because they designs on the glasses are decals, they're not dishwasher safe. Unfortunately, exposure to water from (even from handwashing!) degrades the decals such that the wizard pint glass looks like he's casting invisibility. Normal Human took our order and within an hour, we each had our own pint glass with a uniquely engraved pattern: an owl for my wife, a cat for my daughter, a fireball for my son, and a dragon for me.

We finished things off by eating at the casino. There's plenty of restaurants, but Game On, a bowling-and-arcade themed bar and restaurant, was an easy choice and it's right next to the convention center.

You wouldn't think a geek-themed convention would work at a casino, but the synergies make a lot of sense. It brings in a younger clientele that doesn't normally attend casinos and there are plenty of amenities, plus the casino can manage the volume. Just don't bring your pocket knife.
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Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca

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