Indy Pop Con is held in Indianapolis, IN and is not like any convention I have ever been to before. It isn’t a comic convention or a game convention or a Cosplay convention…it is more like an “everything that geeks love” convention and it was pretty awesome.
We were only able to go to Indy Pop Con for 1 day due to other obligations but we had a blast and wished we could have stayed longer. There was so much to see and do but not an overwhelming amount which is nice. We have been to other conventions..lots actually…so we were excited to check this one out and not have to worry about what to expect or anything like that.
When you first arrive at the Convention Center in Indianapolis there are signs everywhere telling you where each Hall is located so you don’t get lost very easily..unless you are me. However, you will get lost if you don’t know where to go in the first place like I did. I may have forgotten which Hall to register my ticket in…Ooops. I like the scenic route anyway.
The lines for checking in your ticket were amazingly short. I think a LOT of people got 3 day passes and checked in the day before or we beat the rush…or missed it. The process was VERY quick. Show them the QR code, they scan it and ta-da! you’re in. They give you a badge or wristband, tattoos and a program guide and you are on your way. Zumba Queen was with us and she even bought her ticket minutes before we left for the Con and her process was just as quick and easy.
The first thing we saw was a HUGE gaming area in the registration hall. Tables everywhere with games available or you could bring your own. We have been to Gen Con so we were familiar with this, however, this one was sponsored by Whosyer Gamers and free. This same Hall had the Pikachu Car which was awesome! The Gentleman had to “drive” it naturally.
Hall I had all the vendors, games and booths and everything in it. There were rooms that had demonstrations, panels, and various other events. Sadly we didn’t get to do any of those…next year though… One room had the Doctor Who experience..a 4D adventure into the Whoniverse…and I had to miss it…I almost cried.
When you walk into the Main Hall in any convention you feel immediately small and overwhelmed…this is natural so don’t panic. If you are looking for specific celebrities, vendors, or artists you can refer to your program guide. These guides are fantastic because they literally tell you where everything is and so much more.
Now after you catch your breath and the enormity of the event relax and wander. You will not get lost and unless you have something specific you want to see or do you will not miss anything. Instead you will see and experience everything. I am an every aisle kind of person and my son “leads” us through the crowd as only a seasoned Con goer can. I am so proud.Zumba Queen had never been to a convention like this before so we were kind of her tourist guides which was awesome! I LOVE showing people this world. I sort of let her just soak it all in and only explained a few things that I have learned over the years. Mostly to respect the Cosplayers…I wish I the time or talent to make my costumes. She of course had seen people in costume, and for a race or two was even in costumes, but Cosplay is different.
When you see people in costume, like my son, sometimes they are just wearing a costume. Cosplayers at conventions are more than happy to let you take a picture. Most (like 99%) will even pose for them in a famous pose that the character they are portraying would assume. All you need to do is ask and then you can either take a pic of them or with them. My son was only interested in robots this time…
The one thing you should never do though is assume they are like the character they are portraying. Be respectful, don’t grope or grab, or yell at them or anything like that. They are people…in costume having fun and loving their craft. With that in mind…try to get as many pics as you can because some of those costumes are truly amazing.
When we found the celebrity area I was shocked to see decent sized lines but not overly crowded or swarming. The set up was brilliant and since there were only designated Photo Op times the rest of the time you could just line up, pay for a selfie (yeah…they started doing that) or a signed photo and move on starry eyed. Well I don’t get that but I did geek out a little when we got our pic taken with the 7th Doctor…yeah I met Sylvester McCoy.
I couldn’t say no to meeting the Red Ranger, Steve Cardenas, since my son is a HUGE fan of the Power Rangers. He did already have a signed photo by the lovely Cerina Vincent as the Yellow Ranger from another version of the show. So we paid for our selfie and a photo and he threw in a dog tag for him too. It pretty much made his day so we were both happy.
They had a LOT of celebrities including Ron Glass (Firefly and Serenity), Nicholas Brendan (Buffy), Kandyse McClure (Battlestar Gallactica), John DiMaggio (voices on Futurama and Adventure Time) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor on Game of Thrones). Those are just a few of the faces you found in and around Celebrity Row…well that is what I called it anyway.
Mixed in with vendors, game company booths, and comic sellers were Artists. Comic artists mostly but the best part about most of their booths is the live sketching. Some offered to sketch a piece for you while you wait and watch for a modest fee. We were out of spending money of course…grrr…but we came across the booth of Guy Gilchrist. He is the artist of the comic Nancy and (this may age me…) the Muppet Babies. I love that show!
Someone had paid for a sketch of baby Gonzo and he was just about to get started when my son wandered up and asked what he was doing. I love that my kids don’t know or care what a celebrity is right now. Guy was so nice and patient. He explained he was about to draw and asked if the Gentleman would like to watch. For a little over 20 minutes (not sure on the time as I fail at guessing time estimates) my son watched him draw Baby Gonzo. He asked a few questions and Guy explained the process as he went.
It was truly amazing and I am so grateful my son was able to have that experience…and was patient through it. He has always liked art and drawing but now he wants to draw like “that guy” he says. Priceless experiences like this are why I will always stop and wait if my kids want to “watch” or “listen” to something.
Wandering the aisles is the best way (in my opinion) to experience everything. You meet some of the most interesting people just by walking up to their booth and saying hi and looking at their items.
We discovered a new comic, Super Mom about a super hero who is a Mom and learning how to juggle both worlds. There were authors of various books but with a son learning to read this was great. Fluffy the Bear is a kids chapter book series by J.S. Skye, about a little bear born in the North Pole and his adventures. Wes Sturdevant wrote a book about Hermes (from greek mythology) and how clever he is and how he learned that sometimes you can hurt people’s feelings even when you don’t mean to.
New games to try, Incredibrawl by local (to Indy) game company V3G and another local company RSquared Comics put out Zombie Plague, a print it to play it zombie game. You may have heard of Heroes Wanted by now as it was a HUGE KickStarter success. It was funded in less than 48 hours and reached all their Stretch goals..so they added more. They were offering demos and a chance to meet the creators.
There were endless booths with things to buy and once again I found myself debating whether we could eat peanut butter and jelly everyday or if we really really needed that Ocarina…or in my son’s case pet Dragon from the Dragon Pets booth. We opted for variety in our food…or in other words the responsible thing to do but I took a LOT of business cards.
The Gentleman took every business card, sticker, flyer and button he could get his hands on. He likes to collect them and we add them to his scrap book when I print pictures for it. No fancy backgrounds or anything, we simply put in pictures, cards or stickers and the wristbands from our conventions, races, etc. The kid has been to a few Cons and things with me in his young life. I can’t wait for his sister to start going this year!
One of the highlights for me was checking out the IUPUI created Return of Aetheria: War of Realms. This is the follow up to last year’s Return to Aetheria that was shown last year. It is an ARG (Augmented Reality Game) gaming experience that was easy enough to play for my 5 year old but challenging and engaging enough to make me want to play too! If you ever get a chance to try this game out I suggest you do so…but plan on doing nothing else for awhile.
Like it’s big sister Con, Indy Pop Con was full of some of the kindest and most respectful people I have ever encountered. It is just a whole different world going into a Geek Convention. I’m not sure what it is but the atmosphere is full of excitement and fun and I seriously never ran into a rude person there. We spent the whole day there and there were a lot of people. We were bumped into but every person said “Sorry” “Excuse Me” or “Pardon Me” or some variation of that. The Geekdom is a very different group of people and while I know not all are like that I think its safe to say the majority is very respectful.
There was a sort of Gotta Catch ‘Em All game with bracelets being passed around that was pretty awesome. I didn’t get them ALL I don’t think but if I didn’t I am only missing like 1 or 2…we tried. There was the Batmobile, the General Lee, a very well done Bumble Bee cosplayer and so much more. I can’t cover everything we saw or did but I can show you some of it…I like pictures.
<p class=”maintextheader”>Here is a gallery of some of our fun at Indy Pop Con. <br /><span>
If you are new to conventions this is a fantastic one to start with. Indy Pop Con literally has something for everyone. Artists, Games, Comics, Celebrities from all types of shows and movies and some awesome vendors. There was even a Michaels Booth! I cannot wait until next year!