Chicago TARDIS Recap

I always mean to write these recaps for conventions right after the con, but I usually don’t get to it until a few days after. I was on top of things for Chicago Comic Con, but somehow it’s Tuesday and I’m only just now writing about my time at Chicago TARDIS.

The hotel allowed dogs!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I was really excited to go to Chicago TARDIS. I even wrote a whole blog on why people should go without even having gone myself. And to be perfectly honest, the convention lived up to my expectations. I enjoyed the entire day, even though I attended the con by myself. The attendees were friendly, the space wasn’t too crowded (each day was capped at 2,000), and it had a laid back and relaxed atmosphere. With my anxiety issues, I sometimes become very uncomfortable at conventions, but I was relaxed and enjoying myself all day at Chicago TARDIS.

I started the day early because I had an interview schedules with Paul McGann (the Eighth Doctor) at 11am–but I had to get there ten minutes early. There was a bit of a kerfuffle, though–the night before, I saw on the Chicago Tardis Facebook page that the photo ops with Paul McGann had been moved to 11am. I sent the person I had been in communication with an e-mail, but I didn’t receive an answer until I got to the convention. While I assumed that there wouldn’t be an interview at 11am, I still wanted to be there before then, just in case. The response I got from the convention staff was brief, saying that they were trying to determine if the interview was going to happen or not. I didn’t have anything planned at the time, so I went to one of the TV rooms to wait for my first panel. On Saturday, this TV room was playing The Fires of Pompeii–the fourth series episode with soon-to-be-Twelfth-Doctor Peter Capaldi. It was a decent way to spend my time. At about 1pm, I got another e-mail letting me know that Paul McGann’s schedule wasn’t going to allow for me to do my interview, which was a bummer. I had spent a lot of time getting ready for the interview, and I was sad I wasn’t going to be able to do it. On the other hand, though, I was extremely nervous about it so the fact that it was canceled allowed me to relax a little bit before speaking on my first panel.

From the Chicago TARDIS Facebook page.

The two panels I spoke on were at 12pm and 2pm. The first panel was a discussion of SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay, and the second panel was a beginner’s guide to cosplay panel. I had thought that there would be moderators at the panels, but when we got there the panels were three of us sitting in front of a room of people. We went through and introduced ourselves, then asked each other questions and asked questions from the audience. I kind of went into my default TA/lecturer mode in each panel because I was a little uncomfortable about not having a plan or structure, but I think it worked out alright. I wish they had let us know more about the structure of the panels beforehand. If I had known that there wasn’t going to be someone in charge of structuring the panels, I would have contacted my fellow panelists beforehand in order to devise a plan of attack. The lack of structure meant that we inevitably left out a lot of information that could have been helpful in the “So You Want to Cosplay” panel, since we conducted it on the fly. One of my fellow panelists was wearing an incredible Barmaid Clara costume, and has a really impressive costume portfolio, so I think you should check her out (here’s a link to her blog).

Also from the Chicago TARDIS Facebook page.

I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the con collecting cosplay pictures (you can see them now on my Weekly Cos-Day post on Junkies Nation), deciding what I was going to buy from the dealer’s room (a Fourth Doctor/Dalek action figure set), and attending other panels. I went to a panel called “Moffat’s Girls,” which was a critique of the characterization of female companions during the Moffat era. It was an interesting panel, but I was a little disappointed that I didn’t hear anything new. It’s a critique, though, that’s just my own fault–I spend too much time on the internet and thus have heard all of these comments before. The panel kept the audience involved and interested, though, so I thought that it was very successful.

I also spent some time trying to collect some badge ribbons. I have always been jealous of the Gallifrey One ribbons, so I was really excited to see these at Chicago TARDIS. Unfortunately, as I’m a giant introvert, I wasn’t very successful at gathering ribbons. I got two, though! Good for me!

The bottom ribbon has a silver UNIT logo.

There was a good amount of time between the last few panels and the masquerade, so I drove to the nearby Portillo’s and grabbed dinner. While I was there I ran into a girl I met earlier, and she invited me to eat with her and her dad. It was very nice of them to be so friendly and welcoming, and we had a very interesting conversation on sci-fi and reality over dinner. This was just one example of how nice the whole Doctor Who fandom was at this con. It was great.

I got in line early for the masquerade, but I sat about halfway back in the main programming room due to VIP tickets. I think, though, that they would have been better off seating the VIPs first, since only about 50% of the seats they had saved were filled. As a result, I wasn’t able to get any good pictures of the masquerade for this site or for JN, which was a bit of a bummer. Some day I will invest in a better camera that will allow me to take pictures from further than three feet away. However, that’s waaaay out of my budget for now.

I left after the announcement of the masquerade winners, even though I had initially wanted to see the MST-like presentation of The Five Doctors. It was after 9:30, though (about 30 minutes after it was scheduled to end), and I had a baby shower I needed to go to in the morning.

I’m definitely going back to Chicago TARDIS next year. I have a few people who decided they wanted to go with me too late to grab Saturday tickets, so next year I won’t have to wander around by myself. Despite some of the issues with organization that plague all cons, Chicago TARDIS was a great way to spend the day. If you’re in the area, you should definitely check it out next year.

One thought on “Chicago TARDIS Recap

  1. Pingback: Recap: Indy PopCon (Saturday and Sunday) | Geekphoria

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