Currently it is raining here in Kentucky. It seems fitting, very fitting, for the weather to take a turn for the gloomy.
Today was the last day of BotCon. The very last day. I’ll let that one sink in a moment before I continue with my BotCon report.
On Thursday I was up early again; I was on the Thursday tour and didn’t want to miss it. I wasn’t alone on this one as my friend DA was also taking this one in as well. Our first stop was at Marengo Cave, which is actually located in Indiana. This is the first time I have ever stepped foot inside of a cave, so it was a totally new experience. It’s also one worth repeating and if you are ever in that area, I recommend that you check out the cave. It’s truly beautiful down there.
I also purchased a little something from the gift shop that proves it’s more than 6,000 years old. Yeah.
We ended up running a little behind but did manage to make our second stop: the Conrad-Caldwell House museum. This one was a little more laid back but definitely not for everyone. However, we did get to eat lunch there; I now get why the barbecue sandwich is so popular in North Carolina. With lunch now history, we headed back into the city and headed over to Louisville Slugger and if you are ever in Kentucky, get your backside in there! Do the tour! Get a personalized bat! Pick up MLB swag! Just GO! I don’t think I’ve had more fun in my life.
Our last stop was within walking distance and it was the Frazier Museum, which was within walking distance. DA and I wandered about there for a bit, then came back to the hotel. I was exhausted, so I crashed early once I got back to the hotel room. It helped, as I was able to get up at a decent hour on Friday for the first day of the Con.
Friday’s highlights included the Script reading–a BotCon staple–the Filmfest, autographs from David Kaye, Gregg Berger, Venus Terzo and Judd Nelson for the VIP ticket holders. We also had an early preview of the Dealer Room, had a meet-up with the Goldern Ticket holders (I was one of them), and took in a Stan Bush/Vince DiCola concert while chowing down on some grub and hanging with the guests. I got my ugly mug in a group shot that featured Judd Nelson, hung out with my friends and just had a freaking blast. After the Golden Ticket party broke up, I caught up with DA and Prime and we eventually came back to the hotel to crash. We had another big day tomorrow.
Saturday featured the Hasbro Product preview, pictures with Mr. Nelson–who is an insanely cool guy, by the way–panels with the voice actors and of course, the Dealer Room. We also had the Transformers Collector’s Club round table–the last one ever–on that day. It got a little tough, sitting through the round table knowing that this was the very last one.
It’s not about toys. It has nothing to do with the exclusives. It’s not about finally being able to wear your Optimus Prime tee in public and not feel like a total jackass. It’s about the friends, the family, the connections that are made with the people that we meet at this convention. That’s why the panel was so hard.
We also had the Judd Nelson panel, which was VIP ticket only and a freaking blast. Like I said, Judd Nelson is insanely awesome so the panel was a ton of fun. After that was done, Prime, DA and I all got “cleaned up” and hit the Casino Night/Awards Dinner. I chatted with Aaron Archer–who bought me a glass of pinot!–and hung with my friends. We may not have won much at the auction but the memories I made are priceless.
Then came today. Prime and I hit the panel featuring Hayato Sakamoto and we were able to get one of comics–Sakamoto-san drew the cover–signed by him.. and he even drew a little sketch on the cover! Sugoi!
We also stayed for the Cybercast Podcast panel in order to pass the time for the absolute last panel of BotCon: BotCon Over the Years. We went through memories with Pete and heard a heartfelt thanks from Jon Hartman. That was a bit much for me and I almost lost it and by “lost it” I mean “nearly flooded the panel room with my tears”. Not kidding. So not kidding on that one. But when we broke it up, I headed to the Dealer Room and the Club Store, where I took pics and got Brian Savage to autograph my Golden Ticket badge. I also did something I have never done before: I filled an entire SD card in my camera. There were no exposures, no memory left in that 2 gig card. For me, that is a first.
Tomorrow, Prime and I will be headed back home and I will be back at work on Tuesday. Although Hasbro has said that they are committed to us, that we will have future events, I can’t help but feel apprehension. Maybe it’s an over-reaction but we’ve heard no real news. We have no idea how Hasbro may handle a future convention, whether it will be a freestanding Transformers convention or not. We have no idea what may come. So I will end this blog post like this, as it was played in the convention hall about ten minutes before the show closed for good and all:
Thanks for the memories. But to quote Simon Furman: it never ends. Til all are one.